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Fascination of Plants Day: become a plant scientist for a day

From one little seed, planted into soil, many green lives can arise – from small herbs up to big trees, or from ornamental flowers to substantial crops which all animals and humans need to survive on this planet. Plant biologists estimate the total number of plant species roughly to be about 250,000.

Blight studies reveal evolution of potato disease in Europe and Asia

Plant scientists at the James Hutton Institute are studying the evolution of late blight in potato by working with industry and research partners to track the distribution and diversity of dominant clones in Europe in 2020, and have also contributed to a review into the development of the disease in Asia in the last 150 years, as part of global efforts to improve the sustainable production of healthy potato crops.

Improved management of farmed peatlands could cut 500m tonnes of CO2

Substantial cuts in global greenhouse gas emissions could be achieved by raising water levels in agricultural peatlands, according to a new study co-authored by James Hutton Institute scientists and published in the journal Nature.

Peatlands occupy just three per cent of the world’s land surface area but store a similar amount of carbon to all terrestrial vegetation, as well as supporting unique biodiversity.

Environmental and agricultural research at centre of new Hutton-Utah State University partnership

A partnership agreement has been signed between Utah State University and the James Hutton Institute to promote cooperation in agricultural and environmental research, with emphasis on climate change issues.

The agreement was signed by Professor Colin Campbell, Chief Executive of the James Hutton Institute, and USU President, Noelle E. Cockett, during an online meeting held to mark the occasion.

Views wanted on impact of COVID-19 on UK food and nutrition security

How will food production respond to the effects of COVID-19 in the next 18 months? Which sectors are likely to experience change? These questions are at the heart of research examining how best to protect the UK’s food and nutrition security from the impact of climate change, and for which views are being actively sought.

Hutton and Liberty Produce to help advance Singapore’s food sustainability and net-zero goals

An industry team led by agritech specialist Liberty Produce and supported by the James Hutton Institute has won Innovate UK funding to develop innovative hybrid farming and greenhouse technologies to work towards Singapore’s food security and net-zero goals.

Aerial maps used to monitor peatland restoration on Balmoral Estate

Researchers from the James Hutton Institute are deploying aerial mapping technology to collect data on the natural restoration of peatland at the Queen’s Balmoral Estate in Scotland. A survey aircraft equipped with advanced laser scanners is being used to create highly detailed 3D models of upland peatland, with the aim of monitoring changes in hydrological and waterflow dynamics resulting from the restoration work.

Worshipful Company of Fruiterers’ Matthew Mack Award presented to Dr Rex Brennan

The Worshipful Company of Fruiterers has presented its 2021 Matthew Mack Award to soft fruit scientist Dr Rex Brennan, an Honorary Associate of the James Hutton Institute. This triennial award is to recognise distinguished achievements in education, training and innovation within the fruit industry.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the award was presented at a virtual banquet on Wednesday 17th March 2021 by Master David Simmons, who outlined Dr Brennan's achievements.

New mobile app puts soil erosion under the spotlight

A new mobile app has been launched to provide farmers, land managers and the public with a quick, easy way to learn about soil erosion in Scotland and contribute their own records and images to improve our current understanding and to share them with other users of the app.


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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.