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The challenge of food demand and food insecurity?

24 July 2012, 11am
at the James Hutton Institute, Invergowrie, Dundee
for scientists, students, staff
Photograph of Tim Benton

Professor Tim Benton, UK Champion for Global Food Security and Professor of Population Ecology will give a seminar "The challenge of food demand and food insecurity".

With the growth of the human population and the dietary transitions associated with economic development, worldwide demand for food is set to rise considerably. At the same time, there is widespread recognition that farming systems need to become more sustainable to protect the underlying natural capital providing the ecosystem services on which much planetary function depends. Given that we rely on a functioning global food system, the sustainable intensification of agricultural is something that affects us all. 

In this seminar, Tim will highlight some of the drivers underpinning demand growth, describe the impact of agriculture on the environment, and highlight some of the global issues that arise from it (and how they may affect our choices in the UK), and suggest solutions for moving agriculture in a more sustainable direction.

Tim's research career has been focussed on the linkage between organisms and environmental changes and his research in the agri-environment sphere also focusses on how farming drives ecological dynamics (at field, landscape and larger scales, up to global).

He has used a variety of techniques through his career (including field and lab work, statistical, numerical and analytical modelling) and has held positions at UEA (postdoc), Cambridge University Press (Science Editor), Stirling University (lecturer and Senior Lecturer), Aberdeen University (Senior Lecturer) and Leeds (Professor, 2005, Director of the Institute of Integrative and Comparative Biology (2005 -2007), Pro-Dean for Research (2007-2011). From 2011, Tim has been UK Champion for Global Food Security, acting as ambassador and spokesperson for matters to do with food and food security, and coordinating work across this area between research councils and government departments.

This seminar will take place at the James Hutton Institute Dundee and will be broadcast live to the Aberdeen site.

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The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.