Waitrose working to encourage sustainable food production
Lancaster Environment Centre is one of the largest centres for environmental research, hosting world-leading scientists and social scientists working on topics related to environment and sustainability.
The mission of the Centre for Sustainable Agriculture is to couple cutting-edge research in plant science and other disciplines with a practical focus on sustainable agriculture in order to address the ecological, economic and social challenges facing agriculture in a rapidly changing global environment.The required increase in agricultural production and effective food distribution to feed a growing global population.Increasing consumer demands for safe and healthy food.Increasing ecological challenges and ecological demands on agricultural production.Increasing recognition that agro-ecosystems play a key role in conservation and mitigation of global change impacts.
Within Lancaster Environment Centre the Plant and Soil Ecology research group is focussed on research on how global change is impacting natural plant communities and soil properties as well as the services that these ecosystems provide for us. Dr Carly Stevens is one of the lead academics within this research group, her expertise in plant ecology and soil chemistry, and in particular, how factors such as air pollution and climate change are altering plant communities in grasslands.
Mark Ashby is a PhD student working with the Plant and Soil Ecology research group at Lancaster Environment Centre on a project jointly funded by Waitrose and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). His project is focussed on the ecosystem services that field margins provide both for the environment and for people. In particular, Mark is looking at whether field margins managed for conservation provide better carbon storage, plant diversity, infiltration capacity and support more pollinators compared to those that are left unmanaged. Mark is currently collecting data from his study farms in the UK.
Hazel’s research is focused on how the Brassica cropping system can be accelerated.
Charlotte discusses her focus on the impact of UV on pest and plant interactions.
Hannah discusses the focus of her research: opportunities to optimise the growth and yield of peanut crops in water-limited conditions.