#TNOfood on 1st March: opening notes
This is the third Food Forum event – a dozen of the finest minds in the West Midlands joining to talk about food futures for Birmingham in 2050.
Here are some notes on what links their expertise to the future of food in the city of Birmingham.
Professor Robert Berry is Executive Dean School of Engineering & Applied Science at Aston University. His research is in event processing, which takes in huge amounts of data from lots of sources. The school is working in the area of biomass, which may be a subject of discussion here.
Dr Mark Rutter is Head of Animal Health and Welfare at Harper Adams University College. His interest is in applied animal behaviour. Interested in connections between animal welfare, animals selecting their own diets and how this affects efficiency of production and sustainability.
Professor David Pink is formerly leader of the Crop Improvement Group at Warwick HRI, he has over 25 years’ experience in breeding research. He now does some teaching and continues his research at Harper Adams University College. David is a crop geneticist and plant breeder – interest is in increasing sustainability of the food supply . He’s also a member of the food ethics council and interested in local growing: “in cities, if you don’t have fruit and veg you don’t have a healthy diet.”
Dr Lynsey Melville is Director of the Centre of Low Carbon Research at Birmingham City University. Current area of interest is bio-energy. She is interested in relationships between food waste energy, water and how the food waste cycle relates to energy.
Professor Vicky Buchanan-Wollaston is from the Plant Senescence Research Group at Warwick University. With a PhD from the John Innes Institute, she’s also worked for BioTecnica International in the US & at London’s Wye College. Main research is in plant mobilisation and ways to grow plants that maintain nutrients after harvest.
Professor Laura Green works on endemic infectious diseases of livestock, which crosses into animal welfare. Diseased animals are generally less efficient. Can we improve animal welfare and ensure more efficient production? Personally feels looking after animal welfare is “part of our public good” – and lack of legislation is an issue.
Dr Rob Lillywhite is Senior Research Fellow at the Warwick Crop Centre, Warwick University. His main area of interest is the interaction between agriculture, horticulture and the environment. He was recently on Farming Today talking about water & drought. Nitrogen nutrition, but now looks a resource use across whole agri-food chain so has a wide ranging view of the whole supply chain. He’s working on making farming more sustainable.
Professor Ruth Reed is an architect with a background in landscape design and planning. She was the first woman to serve as RIBA President.
Professor Adam Tickell is an economic geographer with research interests in developing a renewed political economic geography, he is Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research & Knowledge Transfer at Birmingham University. His research is most around the international political economy, and some on urban politics: “we can’t feed people in 40 years time on an animal based diet”.
Professor Alister Scott, an inter-disciplinarian, is currently working on research which challenges conventional thinking around the rural urban fringe – how the needs of the city may be met by reversing expansion – and bringing the rural into the city.
Dr Christopher Brewster is a lecturer in Information Technology at Aston Business School. His research interests are in knowledge management, natural language processing and the use and application of semantic web technologies. His relationship with food is an interest in organic food and how the web can spread info. He’s part of the Smart Agri-food a project which looks at future internet technologies and their impact on the food chain.