How should uncertainty in spatial information be communicated?

This post is written by Dr Christopher Chagumaira with contributions from Prof Murray Lark.  Many and varied people have to make decisions about environmental management, be they farmers, policy-makers or managers, and spatial information about environmental variables (e.g., soil properties) is essential for this task. Within the Future Food Beacon, the GeoNutrition project is concerned …

Soils and decarbonisation: What future for agriculture?

It is decarbonization day at COP27 today. One of the ways to reduce carbon is capturing it in the soil. Soils are hugely important for our futures here on this planet. But how do soils capture carbon? And how can we develop agricultural practices that better support carbon sequestration in soils? In this post, Malcolm …

Next Generation X-ray Computed Tomography system awarded to UoN Hounsfield Facility, boosting soil research capacity

Soils represent a major store of global carbon, much more so than that held in vegetation or the atmosphere. However, this reservoir of soil organic carbon (SOC) is highly susceptible to destabilisation and loss, leading to declines in soil health, loss of biodiversity, and nutrient capital, and the release of harmful greenhouse gases (GHGs). We …

Unlocking the science behind traditional farmer practices: An interview with Muneta Grace Kangara

Muneta Grace Kangara is a Research Fellow on the Translating GeoNutrition: Supporting policies to reduce mineral micronutrient deficiencies in Zimbabwe project. She was recently awarded a Rank Prize Visionary Award for Early Career Researchers in Nutrition (2021). We spoke to Muneta about her work, how she became a researcher, and why she is passionate about …

Plant root breakthrough leads to Science paper – Bipin Pandey and Rahul Bhosale tell us how it happened!

Dr. Bipin Kumar Pandey (above) is a Research Fellow in the School of Biosciences at the University of Nottingham. He received a 12-month PhD+ award from the Future Food Beacon in April 2018. Dr. Rahul Bhosale is a Nottingham Research Fellow in Phenomics and Functional Genomics at the Future Food Beacon, University of Nottingham. He …

The new agricultural bill: soils, sustainability and farming

It may have already left your news feed, but a few weeks ago a new agricultural bill was presented in parliament. We spoke to some of our local soil and plant scientists, Prof Sacha Mooney, President of the British Society of Soil Science, and Prof Malcolm Bennett, and Prof David Salt on what the new …

Predicting micronutrients in the soil: an interview with Christopher Chagumaira

Christopher Chagumaira is a UoN-RRes PhD studentship recipient. His project is titled: Geospatial modelling of soil geochemistry at national scale for improved human nutrition and he is supervised by Prof Murray Lark (UoN), Prof Martin Broadley (UoN), Dr Alice Milne (RRes), Prof Patson Nalivata (LUANAR)and Dr Joseph Chimungu (LUANAR). Why did you decide to do …

Meet the Beacon: Dr Gabriel Castrillo

Gabriel Castrillo is a Nottingham Research Fellow in Plant Microbiome, and a member of the Future Food Beacon of Excellence. Gabriel’s research is focused on understanding how plants and microbes interact, in the context of nutrition. He examines how microbes help plants cope with nutritional deficiencies, and how the plant impacts the structure of the …

CEPHaS: understanding soil water and its potentials for agriculture

Conservation agriculture (CA) is a set of practices which have been proposed to improve the resilience and sustainability of crop production, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) where food security is endangered by the increasing frequency and intensity of drought seasons under climate change.  In CA, the structure of the soil is not disturbed by cultivation, …

Meet the Beacon: Prof Murray Lark

Murray Lark is Professor of Environmetrics and a member of the Future Food Beacon. Prof Lark is interested in spatial statistical models and their application to problems in sampling and experimental design and the analysis of data from large surveys.   Much of his work is concerned with understanding constraints on crop performance with respect to …