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A new era for local Biodiversity Partnership

The North East Scotland Biodiversity Partnership (NESBiP) is delighted to announce the appointment of Alex Stuart as their new coordinator. Previously employed by Aberdeen City Council Ranger Service in Duthie Park, Alex will bring experience of working with a wide range of stakeholders to the partnership.

International research effort maps global distribution of soil nematodes

Ground-breaking research into the soil beneath our feet, just published in the journal Nature, transforms current understanding of life on land by revealing that the world’s largest animal populations are found in high-latitude sub-arctic soils.

Scientists at the James Hutton Institute have contributed to a study which maps the global distribution of soil nematodes. These tiny creatures make up an estimated four-fifths of all terrestrial animals and play a critical role in soil nutrient cycling, plant growth and the climate.

Berry latest research on show at Fruit for the Future 2019

Join us at our Invergowrie site, near Dundee, on Thursday 25th July for the 2019 edition of Fruit for the Future, the annual showcase of soft fruit research including scientific presentations, outdoors demonstrations and walks through experimental plots, presented by the James Hutton Institute and the Scottish Society for Crop Research.

This year's event will feature an official opening by Ben MacPherson MSP, the Scottish Government's Minister for Europe, Migration and International Development.

Highlights of the 2019 programme include:

Wild potato genes may be key to stronger spuds

Potatoes have been a staple of Britain’s diet for half a millennium, but new research suggests that limited genetic differences in potato lineages has left British and American spuds vulnerable to the disease that caused the Irish potato famine.

Plant scientists at the James Hutton Institute and the University of Dundee have revealed that commercial potato crops are under constant threat of late blight, the pathogen behind one of Europe’s most devastating famines, but wild potato genes might be the cure.

Pea gin: how your choice of afternoon tipple could help save the rainforest

It’s the season for a cold afternoon ‘gin & tonic’ on ice. The health impact of one too many is questionable, but what is the environmental footprint of that classically delicious aperitif? An international team of researchers has worked with a a pioneering distillery manager to answer this question in a study published in the scientific journal Environment International.

Funding boost for biodiversity restoration in the River Dee

Two projects aimed at restoring biodiversity in the River Dee catchment will receive more than £350,000 from a new competitive national fund from Scottish Natural Heritage. The Aberdeenshire projects were selected alongside 12 others across Scotland to share £1.8 million in funding to help the county meet its international biodiversity commitments.

International congress of plant scientists focuses on solutions to crop pests and diseases

Projected global population growth requires food production to increase by 70% before 2050 to meet demand. Pests and diseases are a major constraint to providing this food security: between 30-40% of our crops are lost to pathogens long before they reach our dinner plates. Increasing resistance of pathogens to pesticides and tightening regulations that restrict the use of our remaining chemical control agents have had a cumulative negative effect on food production. Beyond this, climate change is already increasing the spread of harmful pests and pathogens.

Professor Dieter Helm announced as speaker of 42nd TB Macaulay Lecture: Green and Prosperous Land

Dieter Helm CBE, Professor of Economics at the University of Oxford and Fellow of New College, Oxford, has been announced as the speaker of the 42nd T.B. Macaulay Lecture, presented in partnership by the James Hutton Institute and the Macaulay Development Trust on 2nd October 2019 at Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh EH8 8AS.

James Hutton Institute contributes to Biorefinery Roadmap for Scotland

The James Hutton Institute has contributed to a body of evidence compiled by the Scottish Industrial Biotechnology Development Group to demonstrate Scotland’s global competitiveness in biorefining and attracting inward investment.

Spotlight on dairy production systems at Edinburgh Fringe show

The role of grazing in dairy farming the UK has become increasingly contentious; dairy farming in the UK has changed from seasonal housing and grazing to around a fifth of farmers housing cows all year around. This change continues to be controversial with the public, and consumers are concerned about the environmental, welfare and social impacts of large farms housing cows all year around.

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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.