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Plants for the Future: sustainable and innovative agricultural systems

A report by a multi-stakeholder working group of the European Technology Platform ‘Plants for the Future’, featuring contributions from James Hutton Institute scientists, has identified three principles that will help transition towards more environmentally and socio-economically sustainable agricultural systems.

The European Technology Platform ‘Plants for the Future’ (Plant ETP) was established to support the transition to more sustainable and innovative agricultural systems that remain within planetary boundaries.

New research illustrates impact of Covid-19 pandemic on women in agriculture

New research published today by the James Hutton Institute has found that the shift to virtual meetings and events due to the Covid-19 pandemic improved accessibility to knowledge exchange, networking, and organisations for women working on farms and in agricultural careers across Scotland. The virtual shift also saved time on travel and prevented childcare difficulties.

ISRR Medal Lecture on Root Research shines light into the dark world of roots and soil

The 2021 ISRR Dundee Root Medal Lecture and Workshop on “Below Ground Interaction between Plants” took place on the 17th November 2021. This is an annual event for scientists interested in root research and the plant/soil interface.

Intercropping: exploitation of biodiversity benefits in arable fields

Diversification of crop systems provides great opportunities to make food production more sustainable and resilient but also faces challenges along the whole value chain. A session at the World Biodiversity Forum (26th June to 1st July 2022) co-organised by a James Hutton Institute scientist will summarise current knowledge about the benefits of intercropping and draw attention to ongoing challenges, including the need to provide advice to farmers, access to adapted machinery, and the development of end products from intercropped systems.

Loss of tree species has cumulative impact on biodiversity

Diseases affecting different UK tree species have been shown to have a multiplying effect on the loss of associated biodiversity, new research by James Hutton Institute scientists and partners in the UK and Portugal has found.

In a study published in the latest issue of the Journal of Ecology, the research team reveal that the decline of ash and oak trees may affect more species than just the ones that only use oak or only use ash as their habitat.

Dee Catchment Partnership scoops Nature of Scotland climate action award

The Dee Catchment Partnership, a collective of organisations tasked with looking after the river Dee catchment in north east Scotland, has won the Nature and Climate Action award at the RSPB Nature of Scotland Awards. The highest accolade for nature conservation in the country, the awards recognise excellence, innovation and outstanding achievements in Scottish nature conservation. The 10th annual ceremony was held virtually this year, hosted by BBC Landward’s Arlene Stuart.

New PhD studentship opportunities announced - apply now

New opportunities for PhD projects from the James Hutton Institute's annual competitive joint-studentship and EASTBIO DTP 3 programme are now being advertised on

PhD projects are funded jointly between the Institute and participating universities and opportunities are offered from the Institute's science groups covering many aspects of Hutton science.

Scotland supports a new vision for water at COP26

Global water security is under increasing threat through the impacts of climate change, generating increased societal, environmental, and economic risk for communities. A new book launched for COP26, “Water Security Under Climate Change”, explores how different countries are attempting to tackle water security challenges and to what extent they are likely to succeed.

Outrage and optimism in the face of the climate crisis: watch the 43rd TB Macaulay Lecture

How do climate negotiations take place and why is progress so slow? How can governments, scientists and activists work together to tackle the climate emergency for everyone's benefit? These questions, and many others, were at the heart of the 43rd TB Macaulay Lecture, led by Christiana Figueres, former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), in conversation with Scotland's First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon MSP, and youth climate activists Anuna De Wever, Lola Segers and Julieta Martinez.

Young farmers invited to ‘reimagine Glensaugh’ during upcoming farm demonstration

What do the next generation think should happen in Scottish agriculture to overcome the challenges of climate change and halt carbon emissions? This will be the topic for discussion during a tour and workshop at the James Hutton Institute’s ‘climate positive’ Glensaugh Farm this week.

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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.