Food & Environment

The newly created Global Food and Environment Institute has 85 academic staff holding a research portfolio of over £40 million and an investment plan of approximately £40m in new academic staff and new instrumentation. Since the November 2016 census date identifying the £40 m externally funded portfolio of research, institute members secured a £8m GCRF collective fund award on climate smart agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa. The award is twinned with a £8m award led by the climate theme. Food and Environment has a long-term rate of organic growth in research income of £8Mpa and the overall food theme had a rate of grant capture of £8.9m pa during 2015-16.

The Global Institute has 4 focus areas to concentrate resources and intellectual effort. These are 1) environment, crops and agrifood, 2) urban food consumption, 3) food and livelihoods in the Global South and 4) international food supply networks.

Unique research facilities/groups:

  • Critical Zone Observatory: The capital investment in the environment, crops and agrifood area will establish the University of Leeds farm as a world-leading terrestrial observatory to study Earth’s critical zone, the thin surface planetary layer that supplies most of our life-sustaining resources. The critical zone observatory (CZO) will combine research in agriculture, biology, Earth systems and data science to support student education, research, training and commercialization.
  • Urban Food Observatory: The capital investment will also support urban food consumption with the establishment of an urban food observatory. The urban observatory will combine quantitative flow analysis of food within cities, related environmental and waste emissions, and food consumption and dietary health patterns, and both qualitative and quantitative research on consumption behaviour and practices of individuals and households. Interventions to modify behaviour within the urban food system will also be possible.
  • The Centre for Plant Sciences, an innovative research centre, well-equipped with a state-ofthe-art plant growth unit, tissue culture suites with culture rooms, that has been developed to support our research activity.
  • The University’s 400ha Field Research Unit: -Spen Farm which hosts the UK Agritech centre’s pig research facility - Headley Hall, the main arable centre -Wise Warren, 263 ha (630 acres) -Crossroads Farm
  • The Human Appetite and Research Unit (HARU)