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Cafe Sci:"From Soil to Supper: how microbes can help feed the world"

Duncan Cameron

Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield

I'm a plant scientist, and my interests lie with the interactions between plants and the microbes that surround them in the soil. In 1937,  Franklin D. Roosevelt said “A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself”. Indeed, all too often we neglect the important role that soil, and symbioses between different organisms that inhabit the soil, play in underpinning the success and stability of the food supply. Modern farming practices, such as ploughing and the application of chemicals and fertilisers have effectively sterilised agricultural soils, depriving plants of these essential symbioses. It is these organisms and the soil that they inhabit that my group is investigating, to understand the benefits that they provide to the plants that associate with them and how we can harness beneficial microbes to help us produce more food, more sustainably.

MEETING FORMAT: Our speaker talks, uninterrupted for 20 minutes, to introduce his topic. During a break to get drinks, the Hat goes round. Then there is an hour’s chaired question and answer session. Cafe Sci is funded by the Hat (no sponsors). We suggest a contribution £5 (waged) or £2 - £3 (unwaged). Full details here.

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