// Latest Posts

Modelling ancient Mayan farming – An interview with Rik Rutjens

Rik Rutjens is a PhD candidate with the Palaeobenchmarking Resilient Agricultural Systems (PalaeoRAS) project. Photo (right) by Karla Hernandez-Aguilar Why did you decide to do a PhD? What were you doing before?   After completing my undergraduate and masters degrees at Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands, I could not decide which path to take for my future: research or industry? Eventually, a research internship at San Diego …

Computer Vision and plants – An interview with Bowen Deng

Bowen Deng is a PhD student on the Palaeobenchmarking Resilient Agricultural Systems (PalaeoRAS) project  Why did you decide to do a PhD? What were you doing before?   All my life, I have had a fascination with computing and technology. I have always enjoyed keeping pace with the latest advances in technology and have remained amazed at the speed of computerized developments over …

Droughts and their effects on agriculture – An interview with Amit Kumar

Amit Kumar is a PhD student on the Palaeobenchmarking Resilient Agricultural Systems (PalaeoRAS) project   Why did you decide to do a PhD? What were you doing before?    Before coming to the UK, I worked for the National Institute of Hydrology (NIH) in Roorkee (India) as a Senior Research Fellow for two years. NIH is a leading research institute working under the Ministry of Water Resources, Govt. of India. Earlier, I had completed my Masters in …

Agricultural systems in The Fertile Crescent – An interview with Ali Ben Mustapha

Ali Ben Mustapha is a PhD student on the Palaeobenchmarking Resilient Agricultural Systems (PalaeoRAS) project  Why did you decide to do a PhD? What were you doing before?   I was born into a farmer’s family in north Tunisia and I love farming and the land. My ambition is to conduct research that will help farmers take the right decisions to improve the productivity and sustainability of their agricultural systems.  This PhD allows me to …

Indigenous Farming in Mexico and Belize – An interview with Karla Hernandez-Aguilar

Karla G. Hernandez-Aguilar is a PhD student on the Palaeobenchmarking Resilient Agricultural Systems (PalaeoRAS) project  Why did you decide to do a PhD? What were you doing before?   Before joining the University of Nottingham, I worked in Southern Belize for two and a half years as the Protected Areas Program Director at an NGO called Ya’axche Conservation Trust. I established working relationships with many indigenous …

Palaeobenchmarking Resilient Agricultural Systems (PalaeoRAS) – by Prof. Matt Jones

Professor Matthew Jones heads up the Palaeobenchmarking Resilient Agricultural Systems (PalaeoRAS) project. The project comprises 10 researchers and over 20 academic staff across 5 Schools at the University of Nottingham. PalaeoRAS is funded by the Future Food Beacon through its Innovation Challenge programme. The PalaeoRAS project and its aims PalaeoRAS seeks to understand how plants …

Root growth in a complex microbiome – Dr Gabriel Castrillo’s paper in nature

This blog celebrates the achievement of our very own Dr. Gabriel Castrillo in becoming co-first author on a paper in the leading journal, nature. Everybody at The Future Food Beacon takes delight in seeing Gabriel’s work going from strength to strength. His new paper is called A single bacterial genus maintains root growth in a …

How can the winged bean improve our futures? An interview with Chong Yuet Tian

Tian is a Future Food Beacon Malaysia PhD student under the supervision of Prof. Festo Massawe, Dr. Hui Hui Chai and Dr. Ajit Singh. She obtained a BSc (Hons) in Agricultural Science before joining University of Nottingham Malaysia to research genetic improvement of crop plants, especially minor and underutilised crops. She is currently researching winged …

Crops for the future: the case of the winged bean – by Chong Yuet Tian

Future Food Beacon researchers in Malaysia and the UK are working with partners globally to utilise crop diversity to plug gaps in food production. We aim to address nutrition security challenges by making a diverse range of healthy food crops available and accessible to all. In addition to the flagship project on Bambara groundnut, Future …

Foodprint: how to embed a social enterprise in the community – by Isabel Corlett

Foodprint  is proud to have set up Nottingham’s first social supermarket, led entirely by University of Nottingham students. Foodprint also serves as a food redistribution network.   Foodprint has rightly garnered favourable media coverage for its innovative and impactful work both before and during the Covid 19 crisis of 2020. However, it would not have been able to carry out this work if it had not already succeeded …