The world is facing the twin food-based challenges of providing sufficient nutritious food for a growing population, and at the same time providing foods that reduce diseases of affluence, such as diabetes and obesity – which are reaching epidemic proportions worldwide. Innovations in agricultural resilience and food for health and healthy aging are at the heart of these challenges, as is recognising that food is inextricably tied to production, management, and culture and rights.
As part of our strategy to find practical solutions to these challenges the Future Food Beacon of Excellence (Beacon) is investing £2 million in two world-class, highly interdisciplinary, research projects.
The first project is titled:
This project is led by Prof Andy Salter.
Investigators: Andy Salter (Lead), Asgar Ali, Simon Avery, Serafim Bakalis, John Brameld, Jo Gould, Ourania Gouseti, Yin Sze Lim, Sean Mayes, Tim Parr, Ying Zhang
Aim: The overall aim of this project is to evaluate novel plant and non-plant protein sources and to develop the most suitable for animal feeds and/or human consumption.
1) Protein is an essential component of the human diet and, within the poorest global populations (particularly sub-Saharan Africa and parts of South Asia), deficiency of high quality protein still represents a significant nutritional problem.
2) Global population growth, which is projected to reach 10 billion by 2050, will inevitably require the production of more high quality protein foods, for both direct human consumption and for animal feeds.
3) Increased animal and aquaculture based food demands, to match expected population growth, will put extreme strains on the existing infrastructure, available land, and have implications on climate change through increased Green House Gas production. Thus the current strategy for producing animal-derived protein is unsustainable.
Objective 1: Investigate the alternative means for generating protein and whether these can be manipulated to improve the quality or efficiency by which protein is produced.
Objective 2: Determine interventions which potentially utilise alternative, low-value feed sources to facilitate the sustainable production of such proteins.
Objective 3: Development of these protein sources for use in aquaculture, farm animal production or as human food ingredients.
The second project is titled:
This project is led by Dr Matt Jones.
Investigators: Dr Matt Jones, Prof Zoe Wilson, Dr Levi Yant, Dr Rahul Bhosale, Prof Sarah Metcalfe, Dr Zinnia Gonzalez-Carranza, Dr Franziska Schrodt, Dr Jenn Gaskell, Prof Markus Owen, Dr Barry Lomax, Dr Steve Ramsden, Dr Erik Murchie, Dr Ranjan Swarup, Prof Tony Pridmore, Dr Michael Pound, Dr Sara Goodacre, Prof David Salt, Prof Suzanne McGowan, Dr Simon Gosling, Dr Matthew Johnson.
Aim: The Palaeobenchmarking Resilient Agricultural Systems project aims to understand how plants respond to climatic stress within their past, present and projected agricultural systems considering the impact of environmental, biological, economic, and social variables towards improving productivity and sustainability of future agriculture.
Agricultural resilience has been a challenge for societies for over 11,000 years. Archaeological and geological records describe the successes (i.e. Hodder 2007), and failures (i.e. Weiss 2016), encountered in the past, while recent social unrest in the Fertile Crescent, the first home of agriculture, demonstrates the complex and changing social, economic, and environmental landscapes that can lead to a lack of resilience (Kelley et al. 2015). To improve our understanding of over 11,000 years of agricultural resilience scenarios and maximise the lessons we can learn from these, we will investigate past, present and projected agricultural systems in centres of agricultural origins, including: Latin America, the Fertile Crescent, and East Asia.
The project uses an interdisciplinary, holistic approach to understand agricultural systems in their full complexity, without which projections of future agricultural resilience cannot be robust.
The project is organised across three themes:
Theme One: Maize and Latin America
Theme Two: Cereals and South West Asia
Theme Three: Multiscale Trait Discovery Pipeline
Opportunities associated with these projects will be advertised shortly. Please check here for more information.Continue reading
|Title||Future Food Innovation Challenge Programme|
|Employer||University of Nottingham|
|Job location||University Park, NG7 2RD Nottingham|
|Published||January 29, 2019|
|Application deadline||Unspecified deadline|
|Job type||Postdoc  |
|Fields||Environmental Science,   Agronomy,   Biomedicine,   Water Science,   Forestry,   Food Science,   Agricultural Economics,   Aquaculture,   Crop Science,    and 6 more. Horticulture,   Plant Fertilization, Animal and Human Nutrition,   Plant Protection and Animal Health,   Soil Science,   Waste Management,   Animal Science  |