"Surprising discovery about Bumblebee colony fitness" and other latest news from NRI in the latest edition of our monthly e-newsletter
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July 2014

Surprising discovery highlights pollen's role in reducing Bumblebee colony fitness

The negative effects of pesticides on bees and other pollinators have been in the news a lot recently, but new research from NRI shows that pressures on pollinators can come from a variety of sources. Dr Sarah Arnold and colleagues explore the relationships between the ecological roles of chemicals produced naturally by plants and pollinators.

Call for urgent scale-up of efforts to reduce food waste

In a recent Parliamentary Report entitled, ‘Missing Food’, UK Parliamentarians of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Agriculture and Food for Development called on all governments and donors to urgently scale up and better coordinate efforts to reduce postharvest losses and food waste. Professor Rick Hodges and Dr Debbie Rees from NRI, experts in the field of postharvest losses, made presentations at the seminar series on which the report was based.

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The growing use of Information and Communication Technology in development 

Dr Bruno Tran contributed to an All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) seminar which brought together experts in the field of agriculture and food, to explore the potential of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as a tool to help smallholder farmers.

NRI are currently offering funded Phd studentships 

NRI is currently accepting applications for a variety of funded Phd research studentships on topics such as; Cassava Brown Streak Disease, Mosquitoes as a Vector of the West Nile Virus, Drivers of Change in Carbon Stocks in a REDD project, and Gene Flow between Whitefly Populations across Continents. The deadline for applications is Friday 18th July. Detailed info can be found here.

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NRI's rodent expert appears on ITV Tonight news programme

New evidence has been uncovered that a new generation of 'super-rats' are emerging in Britain, which have almost 100% resistance, in some towns, to the commonly available rat poisons that can be bought over the counter. Professor Steven Belmain, an international rodent expert at NRI, comments on the findings.

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NRI employs next generation technology to identify resistance to cassava disease

A pioneering research article has been published by Dr Maruthi Gowda on identifying resistance to Cassava Brown Streak Disease, which affects the crops of 700 million people worldwide. The aim of the study was to identify the level of resistance to CBSD of three cassava varieties, and to understand the mechanism of resistance for providing effective control of the disease.
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Forthcoming events: 
  • No events at present
Job opportunities at NRI: 
  • Economist - NRI seeks an economist with an interest in value chains and markets to join its expanding team of natural and social scientists who are addressing the challenges of poverty reduction and food security through the application of science. Closing date: Thursday 17 July 2014. Read more.
  • 5 FUNDED Phd studentships on offer at NRI, Deadline 18th July. APPLY NOW:
    • Identifying the role of over expressed cassava genes in resistance to cassava brown streak virus
    • Ecology of the mosquito Culex modestus, a potential vector of West Nile Virus in the UK
    • Establishing the link between plant stress signalling and activatable endogenous pararetroviruses
    • Gene flow between Bemisia tabaci populations in Africa and Europe
    • Drivers of change in landscape carbon stocks in a REDD Project, Sierra Leone
Latest publications from NRI:

Achir, N., Pénicaud, C., Bechoff, A., Boulanger, R., Dornier, M. and Dhuique-Mayer, C. (2014) Use of multi-response modelling to investigate mechanisms of β-carotene degradation in dried orange-fleshed sweet potato during storage: from carotenoids to aroma compounds. Food and Bioprocess Technology, 7 (6). pp. 1656-1669.

Baca, M., Läderach, P., Haggar, J., Schroth, G. and Ovalle, O. (2014) An integrated framework for assessing vulnerability to climate change and developing adaptation strategies for coffee growing families in Mesoamerica. PLOS ONE , 9 (2). e88463.

Nelson, V., Tallontire, A., Opondo, M. and Martin, A. (2014) Pathways of transformation or transgression? Power relations, ethical space and labour rights in Kenyan agri-food value chains. In: Goodman, Michael K. and Sage, Colin, (eds.) Food Transgressions: Making Sense of Contemporary Food Politics. Critical Food Studies . Ashgate Publishing, Farnham, UK, pp. 15-38.

Read more for a full list of our latest publications.
Copyright © 2014 Natural Resources Institute, All rights reserved.
The Resource #25: 10/07/2014

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