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Queens Anniversary Prizes 2015

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Stimulating research at NRI: resourceful students lead successful symposium

NRIPS11 750NRI’s PhD students recently showcased their work at the First Annual NRI Postgraduate Symposium. This initiative, designed and carried out by the students themselves, highlighted not only the students’ research but shone a spotlight on their resourcefulness, creativity, enterprise and teamwork. The event, which took place on the 20th May at the University of Greenwich Medway Campus, provided a professional platform for students to discuss their work, sharpen their communication skills and fostered networking across the Institute.


NRI students savour success with sweet potato snacks

Sweet potato snacks4 detail1 750Can you imagine sweet potato crisps suffused with seafood curry, lime and coconut or thyme and chilli? Or if you have a sweet tooth, how about some energy-packed sweet potato breakfast bars, combining exotic mango and passionfruit, or chocolate and chilli…? This is just a small sample of snacks developed by NRI students as part of their Master’s programmes this year. Recently, students had the opportunity to showcase their work at a product development event at NRI, where guests from the Kenya High Commission in London and the Kenyan sweet potato industry sampled the innovative products.


Plagues, poisons and poverty: NRI Professor champions sustainable rat control in inaugural lecture

B bengalensis 750Rodents, particularly rats, elicit a strong reaction in most people – from fear, to loathing, to disgust – and with good reason, for we know they can transmit diseases, destroy food crops and damage infrastructure. But what do we do when rodents get out of control? NRI’s Professor Steve Belmain will discuss rodent reproduction and control at his Inaugural Professorial Lecture entitled “Sex, Breeding and Population Dynamics: When Rodents Get out of Control” taking place on the 8th June, 2016 at the University of Greenwich’s Medway Campus.


From harvest to market, NRI targets postharvest losses with next-generation information system

aphlis plus crops 750NRI is at the forefront of a battle to beat losses of food crops after harvest, known specifically as ‘postharvest losses’. When food is lost after harvest, it also means wasted agricultural inputs such as seeds, water, land use, fertiliser, labour and transport that were invested in growing the food. In addition, any pollution or carbon dioxide released during the process will have been in vain. But what is the extent of this loss, and what can we do to reduce it?


NRI in China: growing roots, tubers and partnerships

Field trip1At the beginning of the year, NRI embarked on a series of engagements in China, including involvement in the First World Congress on Root and Tubers Crops and the signing of a number of agreements with Chinese Research Institutes and Universities.


Bacteria hold vital clues to malaria mosquito’s movements: NRI researcher’s findings published

AnophelesGambiae R Ignell 750To catch a killer, you have to understand it, and know its movements. Malaria is particularly deadly, killing 450,000 people a year, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa. The disease is spread by mosquitoes including Anopheles gambiae. This mosquito usually bites people at night, though its changing habits mean that it is starting to bite people outdoors and earlier in the day, before people are under their insecticide-treated bed nets. To eradicate malaria, we must know more about An. gambiae, in order to develop effective methods of control. A novel study published recently in Scientific Reports shows that bacteria found all over the mosquito contain vital clues about a mosquito’s origins and daily movements.


NRI Professor awarded France’s prestigious Order of Agricultural Merit

John PorterProfessor John Porter, internationally renowned scientist in crop ecology and physiology, biological modelling and agricultural ecology, has been made a Knight of the Order of Agricultural Merit – France’s highest accolade in the area of agriculture – which is given to people who have made exceptional contributions to agriculture via theory, innovation or practice. The Ordre du Mérite Agricole was started in 1883, in recognition of the importance of agriculture to the French people and economy – an importance that continues to this day – and was considered the second highest French honour after the Légion d’Honneur.


Biopesticide use and the environment: free event at Greenwich sparking innovation

BumbleBee2 750Biopesticides – substances used for controlling pests made from natural products or micro-organisms – are environmentally friendly, biodegradable, and can be cheaper and more effective than chemical pesticides. They’re also big business, with the biopesticide market predicted to exceed USD 6 billion by 2020. Growth in this sector is reflected in the growing popularity of the free Greenwich Biopesticide Event, now in its fourth year, which brings together members of the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and biopesticide technology community to share opinions, challenges and opportunities.


From plant to Palace: NRI's cassava work receives Queen's Anniversary Prize

QAP3 750For 25 years, NRI has been working to improve the cassava value chain, along its journey from farm to fork. Now that journey is taking NRI and cassava to Buckingham Palace – the official residence of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II – for the presentation of the Queen's Anniversary Prize awarded to the University of Greenwich for NRI's cassava work.


NRI pays tribute to valued collaborator

Postharvest meeting Indiana 750Dr Corinne Alexander was a well-known and well-respected agricultural economist and grain marketing extension specialist at Purdue University, Indiana, USA. NRI staff who knew Corinne were shocked to hear of her sudden death in January 2016, and deeply saddened to lose such a valued collaborator and friend.


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