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RADIANT: Realising dynamic value chains for underutilised crops

Biodiversity is hugely important for the functioning of natural systems, and restoring biodiverse ecosystems is an essential part of our fight against climate change. Biodiversity is key to food, nutrition and economic security, particularly for small farmers and farming communities in rural areas. There are around 259,000 plant species on our planet, of which 50,000 …

Screening heat tolerance in rice plants – An interview with John Ferguson

Photo by marianne bos on Unsplash John Ferguson is a postdoctoral research fellow on the Palaeobenchmarking Resilient Agricultural Systems (PalaeoRAS) project  Tell me about your work. What do you study?   I am plant ecophysiologist. I perform experiments to understand how plants respond to environment stress. We use the results from these experiments to link variation in the plant’s responses to genetic variation. This …

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 …

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 …

Greenhouse gas emissions from sunflower oil production – by Thomas Alcock

Vegetable oil production around the world Today, global food systems are responsible for 26% of all of the world’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Crops grown for vegetable oil and their co-products, such as animal feed, account for 19% of non-pasture, cropped land. They therefore represent a major source of GHG emissions, which are only set …