The latest news from NRI in our December e-newsletter
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Edition 28 – December 2014

Season's greetings from NRI's Director

Dear friends and colleagues,

I'm pleased to greet you at the close of 2014, a year filled with an astonishing array of NRI research activities here at the University of Greenwich and in our projects across the world. For NRI, the past year has witnessed both happy and sad news, many staff and student arrivals and departures, opportunities, awards, and achievements, as we become an ever more vibrant, growing institute.

We have some particularly special news to share with you regarding two important aspects of our work – collaboration and impact. In November, NRI was awarded the Times Higher Education Award for International Collaboration of the Year for the Cassava: Adding Value for Africa Project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Just a few days ago, it was announced that all the research we submitted to the 2014 Research Excellence Framework was graded as internationally excellent or better for its impact.

Thank you for your interest in the work of NRI. I and all of my colleagues wish you the very best wishes of the season and a very happy New Year. We look forward to working with you in 2015.

All best wishes,

Andrew Westby

Impact of NRI’s research graded internationally excellent or better

The Research Framework Excellence (REF) assesses the quality of research in the UK’s higher education institutions and this type of assessment is carried out every six years. The impact of all of NRI’s research submitted to REF2014 has been graded as internationally excellent or better.
NRI wins Times Higher Education Award showing truly international collaboration

The 10th Annual Times Higher Education Awards ceremony held in the evening of the 27th November, saw NRI pick up the prestigious prize for International Collaboration of the Year for its flagship project Cassava: Adding Value for Africa (C:AVA), a project involving more than 200 organisations in Africa, with key partners from five universities, research institutes and NGOs in Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda. 
Striking the right balance on credit + insurance for African smallholders: prestigious award for new project

Offering optimal financial packages to larger numbers of smallholder farmers at lower costs is the aim of a new project led by Dr. Ana Marr (NRI and the Business School at the University of Greenwich). The three-year project, to be known as AgricreditPlus, has been awarded a GBP 745,000 grant by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Department for International Development (DFID). 
Coffee, cocoa, nectar, pollen? New research reveals favourite poisons and cures for pollinators

Caffeine lovers! Could it be that your favourite coffee improves your memory of its taste so that's the reason you return for more? It may not be true of people and their daily cup, but it is true of caffeine lovers of the bee world – as shown in a recent study by Professor Phil Stevenson of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew and NRI, and collaborators at Newcastle University. 
Harnessing the potential: APPG report on ICT4Agriculture draws on NRI expertise

A report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Agriculture and Food for Development launched on the 26th November advocates that Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) have the potential to be powerful tools in agriculture, as presented by NRI experts during a series of ICT4Agriculture seminars which led to the report.
Adding value to root crop wastes – the Gratitude project disseminates its findings

The three-year project Gratitude (Gains from Losses of Root and Tuber Crops) came to an end in November with its final dissemination exhibition and stakeholder forum meeting in Porto, Portugal, showing its success in the sharing of knowledge and experience among European, Asian and African partners. 
NEW undergraduate biology programme led by NRI: apply today!

Do you believe that science is key to unlocking solutions to the 'big' issues facing the world today, such as climate change and food security? If so, then you could be an ideal candidate to apply for the BRAND NEW four year undergraduate programme Integrated Masters in Biology (MBiol), led by NRI together with the Department of Life and Sports Science at the University of Greenwich Medway campus. Applications are being accepted now for the programme starting in September 2015.
Postharvest exclusive: from analysing losses to adding value, NRI solutions featured in Guardian article

An article highlighting innovations to combat postharvest losses published in the Guardian features two flagship NRI projects in a 'celebrity line-up' of six smart scientific solutions for a suite of problems causing damage to an estimated 50% of food crops in the developing world.
Research consortium featuring NRI seeks to harness the power of agriculture for improved nutrition: new grant announced

The Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) announced on the 3rd November 2014 that they have been awarded a major research grant for a project which seeks to improve nutrition outcomes in smallholder farm families and poor households through tailored nutrition-sensitive agriculture programmes designed to benefit women of child bearing age, infants and toddlers. 
NRI helps alumni and partners win PEARLs!

Three of NRI's alumni and partners in Africa have been awarded a prestigious PEARL – a research grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation under their Program for Emerging Agricultural Research Leaders – which supports innovative and bright minds from national agricultural research institutions or universities to collaborate with researchers internationally to meet the challenges of increasing food security and sustainable productivity of smallholder farmers.
View NRI's public lectures on YouTube:
John Morton, Professor of Development Anthropology and Head of the Department of Livelihoods and Institutions at NRI, gave a public lecture entitled The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: what it is, what it says, and why we should listen, on 8th October, at the University of Greenwich Medway Campus.

View the lecture on YouTube
Richard Hopkins, Reader in Behavioural Entomology at NRI, gave a public lecture entitled Location, Location, Location: Some Studies on the Searching Behaviour of Insects, on 3rd December, at the University of Greenwich Medway Campus.

View the lecture on YouTube 
Forthcoming events:
  • 'Biopesticides - Where is Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in Europe?' - University of Greenwich, Greenwich Maritime campus Thursday 9th April 2015. This will be the third Greenwich Bio-pesticides Event organised by Enterprise Europe Network SE UK and the European Centre for IPM, NRI. More information will be provided on the NRI website shortly.
Latest publications from NRI: 
Lamberton, Poppy H.L., Cheke, Robert A., Walker, Martin, Winskill, Peter, Osei-Atweneboana, Mike Y., Tirados, Iñaki, Tetteh-Kumah, Anthony, Boakye, Daniel A.,Wilson, Michael D., Post, Rory J. and Basáñez, María-Gloria (2014) Onchocerciasis transmission in Ghana: biting and parous rates of host-seeking sibling species of the Simulium damnosum complex. Parasites & Vectors, 7 (1):511. ISSN 1756–3305 (doi: 10.1186/s13071-014-0511-9)

Umber, Marie, Filloux, Denis,Muller, Emmanuelle, Laboureau, Nathalie, Galzi, Serge, Roumagnac, Philippe, Iskra-Caruana, Marie-Line, Pavis, Claudie, Teycheney, Pierre-Yves and Seal, Susan E. (2014) The genome of African yam (Dioscorea cayenensis-rotundatacomplex) hosts endogenous sequences from four distinct badnavirus species. Molecular Plant Pathology, 15 (8). pp. 790–801. ISSN 1464-6722 (Print), 1364-3703 (Online) (doi: 10.1111/mpp.12137)

Utono, Iliyasu Mohammed, Coote, Claire and Gibson, Gabriella (2014) Field study of the repellent activity of ‘Lem-ocimum’-treated double bags against the insect pests of stored sorghum, Tribolium castaneum and Rhyzopertha dominica, in northern Nigeria. Journal of Stored Products Research, 59. 222–230. ISSN 0022-474X (doi: 10.1016/j.jspr.2014.03.005)

Read more for a full list of our latest publications.
Copyright © 2014 Natural Resources Institute, All rights reserved.
The Resource #28: 23/12/2014

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