// Archives

Swift: A ten minute coffee with Dr Gabriel Castrillo

Dr Gabriel Castrillo is an Associate Professor in Plant Microbiomes and a member of the Future Food Beacon, where he started out as a Nottingham Research Fellow.  Tell us about your research in 10 words or less… I examine plants interactions with microbes in the area of nutrition. Now, explain your research for a lay …

Adaptation in the face of adversity: unlocking the secret of genomes

How can we better understand plant responses to stress through their genomes? Prof Levi Yant and Dr Guillermina Mendiondo discuss different ways to look inside the world of plants. Life’s astonishing diversity is entirely the product of evolution. Adaptation of any organism to the environment, and the reflection of this adaptation – the evolution of …

Evolving grass pea from ‘orphan’ crop to staple food

This post is written by Drs Peter Emmrich and Levi Yant.  Malnutrition from protein deficiency is a widespread problem and concern. Populations in the developing world are at particular risk due to the higher costs of animal proteins when compared to plant proteins. These populations therefore tend to rely on protein-rich plant-based foods like beans, …

Diversity of duckweed sites in Elgin, Scotland: Part four in a botanical tale of exploring natural variation around us

This post is written by Kellie Smith.  After a successful duckweed hunt in the South East and West of England, featured in my previous blog posts, we then made our way north. We were headed to Scotland to see whether duckweed coverage was equally dense as in southern England and if different species compositions prevailed. …

A tale of rhynes and reens in the South West corner: Part three in a botanical tale of exploring natural variation around us

This post is written by Kellie Smith. See her previous posts about the great duckweed hunt here. The next exciting stop off point on our duckweed tour is the South West. In this case, the South West region refers to the ridge between Wales and England – Bristol, on the English side and Newport, on …

Duckweed hunting in the South West: Part two in a botanical tale of exploring natural variation around us

This post is written by Kellie Smith I introduced the great duckweed hunt in my previous blog starting on the South East coast. The quest takes me this week to the other end of the South, the South west corner, particularly St Austell and the Cornwall region. It turns out Cornwall is quite far! Why …

The great duckweed hunt! Part one in a botanical tale of exploring natural variation around us

This post is written by Kellie Smith. Welcome to our new series, showcasing duckweed! We have written about duckweed before, but these posts showcase PhD candidate Kellie Smith’s fieldwork hunting duckweed around the UK. Kellie is an avid duckweed collector and researcher in Food and Agriculture at the University of Nottingham. She is passionate about …

The growing power of the rhizotrons! – An interview with Dr Jonathan Atkinson

Dr Jonathan Atkinson is a Senior Research Fellow, Technologist in Phenomics, and co-founder of the Future Food Beacon’s Makerspace. He stars in our new video Future Food: an introduction to the Makerspace, which we highly recommend that you watch! In this blog, we ask why and how Dr Atkinson designed and built his largest creations …

The Baobab Genome Project: approaching the mysteries of diversification and death – by Levi Yant

With its unmistakeable shape synonymous with the continent, the baobab is an African icon. It is also important on a very practical level: its nutritious fruit, pulp and seeds have been eaten across Africa for ages. High in vitamin C and other nutrients, the use of baobab in the global diet is radically increasing, with …