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The Elizabeth Creak Charitable Trust and the School of Life Sciences

Murray GrantThe School of Life Sciences welcomes Professor Murray Grant, who recently took up the position of Elizabeth Creak Chair in Food Security. The post has been funded by The Elizabeth Creak Charitable Trust, which was established in memory of Elizabeth Creak, the first female High Sheriff of Warwickshire, who ran one of the county’s largest and most successful dairy farms for a number of years.

Professor Grant’s research interests are in the molecular basis of plant microbe interactions and he will contribute to developing our profile in fundamental and strategic plant and crop science. As Elizabeth Creak chair he will contribute to sustainability of the agriculture industry in the UK through research, education and public engagement.

Professor Laura Green, Head of the School of Life Sciences, said:
"The Trust's support in enabling us to create the Elizabeth Creak Chair in Food Security will make a significant difference to our research and impact programme focused on the crucial issue of Food Security. We have a very strong Plant and Crop Science theme, with 25 principal investigators and their teams researching into all aspects of plant health, production and basic plant biology. Warwick Crop Centre helps translate much of this research to farmers and advisers."

On Saturday 4 June 2016, thanks to a generous donation from The Elizabeth Creak Charitable Trust, staff and students from the School of Life Sciences were able to set up a stand at the Kenilworth Show to teach youngsters about soil in a fun and engaging way. Professor Gary Bending and his team invited children to explore the hidden elements of soil using microscopes to spot the different micro-organisms and habitats. Members of Warwick Crop Centre and Warwick GRU (which houses the UK Vegetable Gene Bank) were on hand to discuss how crops grow and why some older wild varieties of current crops contain useful genes to help them survive different environments. Also in the marquee were the PerFarmance Project who provided participants with an opportunity to walk barefoot through five different mixtures of soils while listening to Rob Lillywhite describe the microbial communities beneath our feet.

crop diversity   microscopes   Elizabeth Creak
School of Life Sciences stand
at the Kenilworth Show
  Professor Gary Bending using
microscopes to look at soil
  Elizabeth Creak Charitable Trust
visiting the show

Useful links:

Legacies at Warwick - Elizabeth Creak
Soil Microbial Diversity and Functioning (Bending Group research pages)
Warwick Crop Centre
Warwick GRU
PerFarmance Project