Read the latest news from NRI in the 3rd edition of our monthly update... Including: climate change adaptation, bumblebee behaviour, Fairtrade impact study..
Dear <<First Name>>,
         Welcome to the third edition of The Resource and the latest selection of news from the Institute, including publications and events. To see the complete list, please visit our website at

July 2012

Helping smallholder farmers adapt to climate change

Small holder farmer with her crop in Rwanda
A number of recent and ongoing projects at the Natural Resources Institute are focusing on those expected to suffer the worst impacts of climate change. Smallholder farmers, and rural poor in developing countries, already live with climate variability and the recurrence of extreme climate events. Professor John Morton, the Head of our Livelihoods and Institutions Department, discusses what NRI is doing to tackle this subject. 

Read more 

Connecting farmers to their possible climate futures

NRI has been commissioned by the Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCFAS) programme of CGIAR to test the CCFAS 'Farms of the Future' approach. This approach introduces farmers to places where the current climatic conditions are similar to those projected for the farmers' home areas in the future. NRI conducted a successful study tour in Tanzania, in May 2012, that took farmers from two communities in the north east of Tanzania on a journey to the south west of the country. Along the way they visited several communities, where the farmers were given the opportunity to explore how they might innovate in order to adapt to the changing climate.

 Read more

New potential weapon to combat crop pests

Insect pests are a major threat to food production around the world, and concerns about the environmentally damaging effects of pesticide use are driving EU efforts to develop new safer biological controls for crop pests. A team of scientists at NRI, together with Lancaster University and EcoAgriConsult Ltd (Tanzania), have made a novel discovery that could provide a new tool for controlling globally important crop pests.  The research is focused on the better control of African armyworm in sub-Saharan Africa, where they are developing the use of a natural disease of the armyworm as a pesticide. David Grzywacz of NRI says this is potentially an important new tool in the fight to control pests not only in Africa, but globally. 

Read more
Bumblebee on sweet sugary 'flower' in the flight arena

New insight into bumblebee behaviour

Scientists from NRI, and Queen Mary, University of London reveal how bees cope in complex visual environments. Their research has demonstrated that bumblebees not only find it challenging to distinguish between different coloured flowers when under leaf-shade, but they subsequently modify their behaviour to adapt to the patchy light conditions.

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Mike Thresh receiving Golden Cassava Award

Dr Mike Thresh awarded the Golden Cassava Award

During the Global Cassava Partnership Meeting in Uganda on the 20th June, Dr Mike Thresh, Emeritus Professor of Plant Virus Ecology at NRI, was presented an award for his longstanding scientific contributions to understanding and building awareness of cassava diseases. Mike has used to great effect, his gift in communicating the seriousness of the threat from cassava viruses to a range of audiences.

Read more
Matengo pits

New Fairtrade impact study covering cotton in West Africa and India published by NRI

NRI and the Institute of Development Studies recently collaborated to complete a four-country study assessing the impact of Fairtrade cotton. The study identifies the main areas of impact for cotton producers and their organisations in Mali, Senegal, Cameroon and India, and explores the value chain issues which play a role in shaping impact. 

Read more
Job opportunities at NRI: 
  • There are no job vacancies at present. 
Latest publications from NRI:

Arnold, Sarah E.J. and Chittka, Lars (2012) Illumination preference, illumination constancy and colour discrimination by bumblebees in an environment with patchy light. Journal of Experimental Biology, 215 (13). pp. 2173-2180. ISSN 0022-0949 (print), 1477-9145 (on-line)

Hassan, SallyColgan, RichardPaul, Mathew J.Atkinson, Christopher J.Sexton, Amy L.van Dolleweerd, Craig J.,Keshavarz-Moore, Eli and Ma, Julian K-C. (2012) Recombinant monoclonal antibody yield in transgenic tobacco plants is affected by the wounding response via an ethylene dependent mechanism. Transgenic Research. ISSN 0962-8819 (print), 1573-9368 (electronic version) (In Press)

Hawkes, FrancesYoung, Stephen and Gibson, Gabriella (2012) Modification of spontaneous activity patterns in the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae sensu stricto when presented with host-associated stimuli. Physiological Entomology. ISSN 1365-3032 (online) (In Press)

Read more for a full list of our latest publications.

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Copyright © 2012 Natural Resources Institute, All rights reserved.
The Resource #3: 23/07/2012
Feature photograph © Lora Forsythe

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