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Public Engagement

Elizabeth Creak Distinguished Guest Lecture 2022

The School of Life Sciences is delighted to host Professor Cathie Martin MBE FRS for the Elizabeth Creak Distinguished Guest Lecture on Food Security on Thursday 10 November 2022: 'Engineering nutritional traits conferring the benefits of a plant-rich diet'. Find out more

Elizabeth Creak Distinguished Guest Lecture 2019

On Friday 15 November, the School of Life Sciences was pleased to host Professor Nicola Spence who delivered the Elizabeth Creak Distinguished Guest Lecture on 'Responding to an increasing threat - protecting the UK from plant pests and diseases'.

Pictured left: Professor Murray Grant (Elizabeth Creak Chair in Food Security), John Hulse (Elizabeth Creak Charitable Trust Trustee), Professor Nicola Spence (Defra) and Professor Lorenzo Frigerio (Head of School of Life Sciences).

 
Kenilworth ShowSLS student showing bee colony to mother and child at Kenilworth Show

On Saturday 8 June 2019, members of SLS and Warwick Crop Centre attended the Kenilworth Show to demonstrate some of their research and teaching activities related to food production. Professor Rosemary Collier, Professor Murray Grant and Dr Alex Jones organised interactive displays on 'where does our food come from?', water footprints, insect pests, mass spectrometry and plenty more. They were supported by some of our Master's students on Clyde Higgs Scholarships (generously funded by the Elizabeth Creak Charitable Trust).

Prof Jones standing next to Prof Grant
Elizabeth Creak Distinguished Guest Lecture 2018

On Friday 30 November 2018, SLS were delighted to host Professor Jonathan Jones from The Sainsbury Laboratory who delivered the Elizabeth Creak Distinguished Guest Lecture on 'Mechanisms and applications of plant immune receptors'.

Introduced by Professor Murray Grant, Elizabeth Creak Chair in Food Security, Professor Jones shared his wealth of experience in an insightful and engaging lecture on plant defence mechanisms.

 
Elizabeth Creak Trustees with Clyde Higgs studentsElizabeth Creak Charitable Trust visit Warwick

On Wednesday 18 July 2018, the Trustees of the Elizabeth Creak Charitable Trust visited the Wellesbourne campus. The Trust is very generously funding a number of areas in the School of Life Sciences - the research of Professor Murray Grant, the Elizabeth Creak Chair in Food Security; PhD research by Scott Dwyer into biological control of the varroa mite, an ectoparasite of the European honey bee; and the Clyde Higgs scholarships. There are currently six scholars, studying on the MSc courses ‘Sustainable Crop Production: Agronomy for the 21st Century’, ‘Food Security’ and ‘Environmental Bioscience in a Changing Climate’. The Trustees were welcomed by Chris Ennew, Provost, and Professor Lorenzo Frigerio, Head of the School of Life Sciences. They received presentations on the research studies before having a tour of the site.

Two students at thermal composting stand, Kenilworth Show 2018


Kenilworth Show

On Saturday 9 June 2018, members of the School of Life Sciences and Warwick Crop Centre took part in the Kenilworth Show. Based in the Farming and Countryside educational area, funded by the Elizabeth Creak Charitable Trust, volunteers demonstrated some of our research and teaching activities related to food production.

Organisers Professor Murray Grant and Dr Rosemary Collier were supported by MSc students Charlotte Lacey, Rebecca Davis, Ellen Stickland and Lorna Evans.

Prof John Pickett standing next to Prof Murray Grant

Inaugural Elizabeth Creak Distinguished Guest Lecture 2017

The School of Life Sciences was delighted to host Professor John Pickett (CBE, DSc, FRS) on Friday 28 May 2017. John delivered the Inaugural Elizabeth Creak Distinguished Guest Lecture on Food Security entitled ‘Global food security: removing production constraints with GM but learning from nature’.

The talk covered a fascinating array of examples of how multidisciplinary research, with a central focus on chemical ecology, can help enhance global food security while still providing fundamental understandings of how plants interact with their environment.

 

Kenilworth Show - Inspiring the Next Generation of Farmers!

On Saturday 10 June 2017, a team of academics and students, supported by the Elizabeth Creak Charitable Trust and British Society of Plant Pathology (BSPP), took part in the Kenilworth Agricultural Show with a stand in the education section demonstrating aspects of their research related to food security, plant pathogens and soil health. The public were invited to explore hidden elements of the soil using microscopes, look at some of the important pathogens affecting UK crops and take part in what turned out to be a very challenging quiz on where our food comes from. In addition to the hands on experiences, the public were able to actively discuss all aspects of food security and plant diseases with the researchers. Many thanks to the team for all their hard work: Professor Murray Grant, Dr Rosemary Collier, Kathryn Hales, Amy Newman, Henry James, Lucy Redmore, Hannah Foxall, Steph Kancy and Dr Phil Smith (BSPP).

Prof Murray Grant delivering Food Security lecture to the publicThe Elizabeth Creak Charitable Trust Warwick Food Security Lecture: Keeping Plant Pathogens at Bay

On the evening of Tuesday 7 February 2017, Professor Murray Grant led a Public Science event exploring the issues of Food Security faced by the global and local community. As the Elizabeth Creak Chair in Food Security, Professor Grant was supported in this event by the Elizabeth Creak Charitable Trust. John Hulse and Paul May, trustees of the Trust, also attended. The evening was supported by SLS academics from both Gibbet Hill and Wellesbourne. Professor Grant gave insightful and engaging talks on the state of food security across the world, plant science research that occurs within the department and on the growing threat banana wilt is having on our favourite fruit. A further talk was given by Dr Miriam Gifford on how we can use beneficial organisms to support the growth of crops, including how we can use beneficial fungi to increase crop yield.

The public were shown many key areas of plant research in the School including how we are preparing to combat diamondback moth invasions, regional cuisine and beans, as well as viral and soilborne diseases of plants. Laboratory tours gave guests the opportunity to view confocal and electron microscope displays of plant biology, cell sorting, high throughput liquid handling for screening plant responses, and a visit to Lab C40 - a fully functioning plant science and analysis lab.