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Warwick Agri-Tech: Innovation for a Sustainable Future

On 29 and 30 December, Warwick Agri-Tech is showcasing its expertise at The CropTec Show 2023 at Stoneleigh. Warwick Agri-Tech is a WMG-SLS collaboration combining advanced engineering with plant science to shape the future of agriculture.

Watch the Agri-Tech video

Wed 29 Nov 2023, 09:44 | Tags: Faculty of Science Plant & Agricultural Bioscience

SLS researchers contribute to UK Parliament report on horticulture

On 6 November, the House of Lords published a report entitled ‘Sowing the seeds: A blooming English horticultural sector’. The report looks at the development of the horticultural sector in England and includes citations from Professor Richard Napier and contributions from Professor Rosemary Collier and Alex Kelly.

Read the report

Tue 07 Nov 2023, 13:29 | Tags: Faculty of Science Plant & Agricultural Bioscience

Farming and Environment Award

Professor Rosemary Collier has been Highly Commended by the British Guild of Agricultural Journalists in the first Caroline Drummond Award, Celebrating and Communicating Farming Excellence. Rosemary will be presented with a trophy later in the year.
Find out about the awardLink opens in a new window.

Wed 01 Nov 2023, 10:31 | Tags: Faculty of Science Plant & Agricultural Bioscience

The University of Warwick celebrates the successful harvest of "GODIVA" and ‘OLIVIA’ – two novel dry beans inspired by local cultural history.

Researchers at Warwick Crop Centre have celebrated the successful harvest of a homegrown bean developed to thrive in a British summer.

Press Release (9 September 2023)

Professor Eric Holub and research fellow Rosanne Maguire discuss the novel bean varieties on BBC CWR.

Radio interview 

National Organic Month: Warwick Crop Centre's pioneering research into low-input farming

During National Organic Month, the University of Warwick's Crop Centre takes a pioneering stance in the realm of low-input farming, shedding light on the concept of 'organic farming.'

Press Release (1 September 2023)

Robocrop: The robot assistants helping farmers to increase productivity

The future of farming could involve robots– as farmers seek to address labour shortages and increase crop yields.

Warwick Crop Centre and WMG are working in close collaboration to combine their robotics expertise and plant science expertise to investigate how they can apply autonomous robotics to greenhouses and croppable fields.

Press Release (25 August 2023)

ENABLE workshop: Are the university learning environments as inclusive as we think?

Lecture theatre with studentsOn Friday 29 September 2023, the School of Life Sciences will be hosting a free workshop: "Are the university learning environments as inclusive as we think? An investigation from the awarding perspective".

Based on a thorough data analysis from recent years and first-hand practical experience, the workshop will identify existing reasons for lack of inclusivity and unbiased awarding in biological science and related degree streams.

The workshop participants, comprising academic leaders, teaching professionals and a diverse student community, will also provide on consensus recommendations on how to close existing awarding gaps for a more inclusive learning and teaching environment throughout the UK.

Consensus recommendations will be published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Find out more and register

Helping plants and bacteria work together reduces fertiliser need

Today, published in Microbiome, Dr Beatriz Lagunas and colleagues at the Universities of Warwick and Justus Liebig (Germany) have shown a new way to boost plant nutrient uptake and growth. This could reduce the need for fertilisers, an input to agriculture which can be harmful for the environment. Fertilisers can run into waterways, or get broken down by microbes in the soil, releasing the potent greenhouse gas nitrous oxide into the atmosphere.

Press release (3 July 2023)

The first British Baked Beans could be on the breakfast menu thanks to University of Warwick research

Professor Eric Holub, a plant scientist at Warwick Crop Centre, has developed Haricot bean varieties which can be sown in early May and harvested as a dry grain before mid-September, matching the UK's warmer months. Until now, it has been impossible for farmers to grow the haricot variety used for baked beans in the UK because they are incompatible with the climate.

Press Release (16 June 2023)

The story was also on BBC Breakfast. Watch it on iPlayer (from 22m 30s)

Honorary Fellow

MurrayProfessor Murray Grant has been re-elected as an Honorary Fellow of the Academy of the Royal Society of New Zealand. Fellows have made contributions to knowledge at the highest levels in their different fields and across disciplinary boundaries. Find out more

Can super-speedy plant cells feed a growing population?

Joe McKennaDr Joe Mckenna has been awarded a BBSRC Discovery Fellowship of £535,000 to investigate actin – a natural molecule contained in plant cells – to see whether it can be engineered to move faster and so grow bigger plants with more biomass.

Press release (21 March 2023)

Thu 23 Mar 2023, 10:40 | Tags: Plant & Agricultural Bioscience Cells & Development

Two domestications for grapes

Professor Robin Allaby gives his perspective in Science, on the evolutionary events that led to grape domestication. The article made the front cover.
Read the paper (3 March 2023)

Growing British - Professor Napier on Radio 4

On Thursday 2 March, Professor Richard Napier was featured on the BBC Radio 4 Farming Today programme talking about a new green paper “Growing British” he helped to create. It’s a strategy highlighting how to increase fruit and veg production in the UK. Listen (from 1:14).

Find out more

Thu 02 Mar 2023, 10:42 | Tags: Faculty of Science Plant & Agricultural Bioscience

Meet our researchers: John Walsh

Professor John Walsh talks about his research into how viruses interact with agricultural crop plants, and how to improve vegetable crops’ resistance to viruses without using pesticides.

His food and agricultural research has helped to improve natural resistance to the viruses that infect plants, reduce the use of pesticides and improve health and welfare.

Mon 06 Feb 2023, 14:15 | Tags: Plant & Agricultural Bioscience

Scientists reveal why sprouts taste better as you get older… and why your grandparents were right all along

Researchers from Warwick Crop Centre are sharing food for thought about the humble sprout this Christmas and tell us:

• Why having a gene mutation makes sprouts taste horrid

• Why sprouts taste better after frost

• Why they make us gassy

Press release (15 December 2022)

Thu 15 Dec 2022, 13:46 | Tags: Press Release Research Plant & Agricultural Bioscience

Four new academic positions available in the School of Life Sciences

We wish to appoint four excellent and ambitious early to mid-career principal investigators who are capable of developing innovative and original research programmes:

  • 2 x Permanent positions focused on Host-virus Interactions
  • 1 x Permanent position focused on Plant Virology
  • 1 x Permanent position focused on Host Responses to Microbes

Find out more and apply

£1.5m Crop Research Centre opens at University of Warwick

A facility using gene-editing technology to improve quality, resilience and sustainability of vegetable crops has opened at the University of Warwick.

The Elizabeth Creak Horticultural Technology Centre (ECHTC), which also contains The Jim Brewster Laboratory, is a £1.5 million facility which will use cutting edge techniques such as gene-editing to improve vegetable crops.

Addressing issues relating to disease resistance, crop yield, adaptability to climate change and nutritional value in horticultural plants, the research will help with the key global challenges of climate change and feeding the world’s growing population.

Press Release (10 November 2022)

International collaboration identifies new molecular targets in crop resistance

Professor Murray Grant is part of a team of international researchers who have identified and classified new isomers that could help develop more robust and resistant crops – via synthetic biology approaches.

Press Release (4 November 2022)

Warwick iGEM success

iGEM is a global synthetic biology competition aimed at University and High School students.This year, 360 teams from across the world took part in iGEM, including a team from Warwick - team PyRe. The team attended the Grand Jamboree in Paris, on 26-28 October.

After delivering their presentation and attending the judging session, the team were awarded a gold medal for their project. They were also nominated for the Best Environment Project for their excellent work on the detection and degradation of pyrethroid pesticides. Read about the project.

Team PyRe members:

  • Aayush Patel (2nd Year Biochemistry)
  • Mujie Chen (2nd Year Neuroscience)
  • Ashmitha Srirasan (3rd Year Biomedical Science)
  • Yvette Lo (3rd Year Biomedical Science)
  • Jerry Yu (4th Year MBio Biochemistry)
  • Prem Ravichandran (2nd Year Computer Systems Engineering)
  • Zak Fulk (3rd Year Biomedical Systems Engineering)
  • Ng Yi Fan (2nd Year Economics)

The team were supported by Dr Fabrizio Alberti and Dr Alexander Darlington (Engineering), and postgraduate advisors Sandie Lai, Daniel Richmond (Chemistry), Michaël Dagne Tadesse and Nathan Burton.

Elizabeth Creak Distinguished Guest Lecture - 10 November 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.

Title: Engineering nutritional traits conferring the benefits of a plant-rich diet.

Find out more

Wed 26 Oct 2022, 14:54 | Tags: Faculty of Science Plant & Agricultural Bioscience

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