At the closing ceremony of the World Technology Summit 24-25 June 2003, it was announced that one of the five finalists in the Environment (Individual) section of the World Technology Awards 2003 was one of NRI's consultant researchers, Dr Glyn Vale, for his lifetime achievements in research and development on tsetse control in Zimbabwe and neighbouring countries. Dr Vale has long had collaborative links with NRI's vector management scientists, and for the past three years has been working for NRI in Zimbabwe.
A Ruminant Feed Expert is required to review the livestock farming systems in minority areas, propose methods of improving production through nutrition and provide training for dairy and beef farmers in the development of their feeding systems as appropriate.
It has been announced by the Royal Entomological Society that one of NRI's entomologists Dr Stephen Torr and his co-authors from Canada and Zimbabwe have won an award for the best paper published in the Society's journal Medical and Veterinary Entomology in the last two years. Their paper, entitled 'Application of DNA markers to identify the individual specific hosts of tsetse feeding on cattle,' reported the use of DNA fingerprinting to identify which animals within a herd are preferred by tsetse flies.
NRI, in collaboration with the Institut de Recherches Médicinal et d'Etudes des Plantes Médicinales (IMPM/MINREST) in Cameroon and the International Foundation for Science (IFS), is organizing the FoodAfrica initiative, which is sponsored by the European Union and the IFS.
An NRI report "Facing the Challenge: NGO Experiences of Mitigating the Impacts of HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa" has been published on-line. The report, edited by NRI Associate Joanna White, presents nine case studies of NGO initiatives in the region (five in Uganda, two in Tanzania, one in Zimbabwe and one in Lesotho) and gives an overview of their significance.
Dr Guy Poulter is the new head of NRI. Originally an expert in fisheries, Guy has over 25 years experience of working for - and in - developing countries. He was previously Director of Operations at NRI and has now been appointed Acting Director of the Institute following the retirement of Tony Clayton at the end of 2002. Guy will lead the work of over 115 staff - including about 90 specialist natural and social scientists - at the Institute, which has a prestigious worldwide reputation for research, consultancy and training services in sustainable development. NRI's diverse expertise includes such areas as social anthropology, land management, farming systems, food science and pest management.
'Making Ends Meet' is a multi-media project which is a collaboration between NRI and the BBC. Funding for NRI's participation in the project has been provided by DFID. The project has at its core a series of radio programmes that were first broadcast on the BBC World Service in August 2002.
An NRI plant chemist beat 1500 other hopefuls to make it to the finals of BBC Talent's 'Science on Screen' initiative, designed to find a new presenter for BBC science programmes.
"A friend of mine showed me the advertisement," explained Dr Phil Stevenson, Reader in Plant Chemistry at NRI, "and as I already have some experience of science-presenting on the satellite science channel Einstein TV, it seemed like an opportunity too good to miss." The field of applicants was narrowed down to 140 for the first auditions. In these, Phil presented a mock TV report about the use of viruses to control insect populations and, after further short-listing in a one-day workshop on broadcasting techniques, he was delighted to be one of the six selected for the final competitions 'on air.'
On 28 March 2002 the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh honoured NRI by a Royal visit. There was an opportunity for the Royal party to meet with NRI scientists and students in the Ward Room of the Pembroke building on the Medway Campus of the University of Greenwich.