Friday, July 26, 2013

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

June Newsletter


NIAB Innovation Farm:
Key Challenge event – Growing whatever the weather 26 Jun
Investigating the impact of unpredictable weather events and warming climate on water availability – floods and drought – and pests and diseases in crop plants.
Key Challenge event – Bio-fortification and dietary choice 2 Jul
The role of plant genetic innovation in providing a varied diet and improving nutrition including enhanced health benefits and improved flavours. Can targeted probiotic crops really make a difference to the health of the nation?
Further information

JIC: Speed dating with scientists 10 Jul, 18:30
Open to the Public
Further information


JIC: Plants do sums to get through the night New research shows that to prevent starvation at night, plants perform accurate arithmetic division. The calculation allows them to use up their starch reserves at a constant rate so that they run out almost precisely at dawn.
Further information

RRes: Rt. Hon. Owen Paterson backs a science and evidence-led discussion on GM
The Rt Hon. Owen Paterson, Secretary of State for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs chose Rothamsted Research in Hertfordshire to deliver a major speech on 20 June on the future of GM crops and biotechnology in agriculture.
Further information

Plant breeder KWS is launching its new potato business to UK merchants, trade and growers. The move follows the establishment of KWS Potato BV at Emmeloord in the Netherlands a year ago last April.
Further information

BBSRC is major partner in new €15M Europe-wide synthetic biology funding
BBSRC is contributing €3M as a major partner in a new Europe-wide call for research projects in Synthetic Biology, the first from the Synthetic Biology ERA-NET (ERASynBio).
Further information

Red oilseed rape signals STOP! to pollen beetle infestation Rothamsted Research scientists have shown that a change in the petal colour of oilseed rape from yellow to red can result in a significant reduction on the pollen beetle infestation.
Further information

Unkempt land could benefit farmers
Parts of the farm landscape that are overgrown are more important in supporting wildlife than they first appear, according to new research published in Ecology Letters.
Further information

Dr Tim Brears has been appointed chairman of the Institute of Food Research. Dr Brears is chief executive of Xention Limited, a venture-capital-funded biopharmaceutical company.
Further information

Jobs and Studentships

Department of Plant Sciences
Research Group Leader, Sainsbury Laboratory, Cambridge University
Further information


Research Assistant £22,500 - £23,800 16 Jul
Research Assistant £28,100 - £31,300 2 Jul & 7Jul
Further information

Application For Temporary Employment 2013 Currently recruiting for September 2013 only
Further information

RAGT Seeds Ltd
Cereal Geneticist 9 Jul
Liaison with breeders and genotyping team to identify opportunities and solutions for genome-enhanced cereal breeding
Genetic mapping and analysis including QTL, AG, GS approaches
Liaison with internal and external bioinformatics and research groups
Interviews will be held on: Wed 17 July 2013 Telephone: 01799 533707 Email:
Further information

Post-Doctoral Research Scientist 20 Jul
The post holder will contribute to the concluding phase of a running project entitled "Impact and mitigation of emergent diseases on major UK insect pollinators" which is part of the Insect Pollinator Initiative (funding administered by BBSRC) and is collaborative with five leading laboratories.
Research Assistant 10 Jul Research Technician 7 Jul
Further information

NIAB Innovation Farm
The Colour of Fashion - Specialist Consultancy Opportunity 5 Jul
Consultant required to deliver 'The Colour of Fashion - NIAB Innovation Farm workshop on dye processes and practice for fashion SMEs'
NIAB Innovation Farm are looking for experienced consultants to develop and deliver a full day workshop and a series of one-to-one sessions for fashion SMEs. The workshop will explore the environmental impacts of synthetic dyes and industrial dye processes and offer a practical introduction to natural alternatives and artisan dyeing techniques. The workshop will also offer an introduction to a range of plants from which dyes can be derived. The following areas should be covered and content must be relevant to the needs and capacity of micro businesses.
Further information

Wheat Trials Officer 10 Jul
Activities include the preparation, drilling, field assessment, harvest, sampling and quality assessment of potential new wheat varieties.
Further information

Vinovva (Sweden) Mobility for Growth
The Mobility for Growth programme targets experienced researchers who have a doctorate or at least four years’ full-time equivalent research experience and who are interested in mobility as a career development option.
The programme duration is from 2012 to at least 2017 and there is currently an overall budget of EUR 35 million, of which EUR 10 million is co-funding from Marie Curie Actions (European Commission).
Further information


Tree Health and Plant Biosecurity Initiative - phase 2
A Living with Environmental Change (LWEC) initiative 2 Jul
This initiative will provide a commitment of up to £9M over the next few years to support strategic research in this area under the auspices of the Living With Environmental Change Partnership.
Further information

Nutrition for life - providing safe and healthy foods 3 Jul
The aim of this competition is to encourage innovative technologies and processes, to ensure that what we eat and drink can be made as safe and healthy as possible. Projects must be business-led and collaborative.
Further information

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Vacancy at RAGT


RAGT is a leading European plant breeder committed to developing its research and commercial position in Europe and has programme in wheat, durum, triticale, maize, sunflower, soya and grasses.

We are looking for an enthusiastic, innovative, self-motivated and practical person to join RAGT to provide quantitative genetic support for our European wheat breeding programmes.  Reporting to the Molecular Breeding Lead, you will be based in Ickleton near Cambridge.

The main responsibilities of the position will be: 
  • Liaison with breeders and genotyping team to identify opportunities and solution for genome-enhanced cereal breeding
  • Genetic mapping and analysis including QTL, AG, GS approaches
  • Liaison with internal and external bioinformatics and research groups
Candidates will have a degree in genetics or related discipline, ideally with post graduate quantitative genetics qualification and/or experience.  Good communication, planning and organisational skills are essential.

To apply, please send a CV and covering letter to:
Natasha Matthews, H.R Manager,
R.A.G.T Seeds Limited, Grange Road, Ickleton, Essex, CB10 1TA
Telephone:  01799 533707            Email:

Closing date for applications:    Tuesday 9th July 2013
Interviews will be held on:         Wednesday 17th July 2013

Link to vacancy on website:

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Wheat Genomic Selection at NIAB

‘Applying genomic selection to predict
wheat yields in Northern Europe’

Alison Bentley

‘The Genomic Selection of MAGIC’

Ian Mackay

NIAB IF Visitor Centre
(NIAB HQ, Huntingdon Rd, Cambridge CB3 0LE)

Thursday 27th June, 2013
11am to 12noon

May newsletter


Masterclasses for SMEs 
Learn basic principles with a particular emphasis on cash flow, understanding financial statements, account systems, tax and filing returns.
Securing suitable funding18 June
This practical and interactive course will help you understand the pros and cons of different kinds of finance, understand how to identify sources of finance, and secure funds by submitting compelling applications for funding.
Key Challenge event – Growing whatever the weather, 26 June
Investigating the impact of unpredictable weather events and warming climate on water availability – floods and drought – and pests and diseases in crop plants.
Further information (including July and August Masterclass dates)
Society of Chemical Industry:  SCI Young Researchers in Agrisciences 2013, 2 July
University of Reading, Whiteknights Campus, Reading
Crop Production, Protection, Utilisation
This event is for early career scientists working in biological, chemical, environmental and other relevant sciences and all interested in learning about progress and meeting new talent in agrisciences.
CPPS Members are eligible for a discount.
Early Bird Fees before 2 June: £29 SCI/CPPS Members
Standard Fees after 2 June: £45 SCI/CPPS Members
Boxworth Open Day: 5 June, 12-4pm
Battlegate Road, Boxworth, CB23 4NN
Meet the experts and find out about:
• Weed management options for wheat & OSR
• Benefits of cover crops for black-grass control
• Herbicide resistance: grasses and broad-leaved weeds
• Disease control in wheat and oilseed rape
• Control of weeds, pests & diseases for horticulture
• Repairing damaged soils
• Managing thin/backward crops
• The Yield Enhancement Network – competing to increase
Further information
EMBO Practical Course: ‘Multi-level Modelling of Morphogenesis’ 14-26 July
Main Course Objective:
Understanding the multi-level nature and feedbacks involved in biological development requires an integrated, systems biology approach.
Target Audience:
This practical course is aimed at experimental biologists with an interest to understand and explore how the complexity of biological systems can be dealt with within a mathematical or computational framework, *and* at computationally and mathematically oriented students interested in learning leading-edge computational techniques that can be applied to gain insights in developmental biology.

Please register online at:

Deadline for registrations:
31 May

Further information
Short Course – Water Security for Policy Makers and Practitioners, 10-14 June, UEA, Norwich, UK
The course is designed for entry and mid-level water and development policy-makers and professionals in government, donor, NGO or implementing agencies, environmental journalists, consultants and activists wishing to take their knowledge of water resources further.

For further information and to apply please follow the link below  or contact Sarah Gore on

Cost: £1500 including all tuition and B&B accommodation from Sunday 9 June.
CUEN Annual Energy Conference on SMART CITIES AND SMART ENERGY 18 June
Centre for Mathematical Sciences, University of Cambridge
Throughout the day, distinguished speakers will address the challenges and potentials regarding our future electricity and energy system and will engage in discussions with the audience. In four sessions the conference will focus on smart cities, urban planning, smart materials, energy storage and smart grids.
The event is also intended for people with a general interest in energy, opening up a discussion between different points of view on the topics of smart cities and smart energy.
Organic Research Centre Wakelyns Agroforestry Open Day 26 June
Agro-ecology: Science and Practice for Sustainable Farming
Metfield Lane, Fressingield, Eye, Suffolk, IP21 5SD
Experts will offer challenging views on the use of energy in society and agriculture, showing how the application of agro-ecology to crop production can improve energy balances while maintaining biodiversity in agricultural systems,
Cost: £30 + VAT per person including lunch and refreshments


BBSRC survey: views on research areas and technological developments for the next 5-10 years
Please provide your thoughts by taking part in the short survey by 3 June
As part of its long-term strategic planning, BBSRC is seeking your views on the research areas and technological developments which will be most exciting and important in bioscience over the next 5-10 years.
Ideas put forward through this exercise will be discussed by members of BBSRC's governing Council and wider strategic advisory network as part of a workshop to be held at the beginning of June 2013. Outcomes will help inform BBSRC's long-term planning, including input to future Government Spending Reviews.
Anyone is welcome to respond, but BBSRC is particularly keen to gather input from PhD students and post-doctoral researchers.

Further information
National Farm Pollinator Survey
Scientist Volunteers needed 
to help farm visitors become citizen scientists! Open Farm Sunday 9 June
Can you help?
Volunteer scientists are needed to help with the pollinator survey on selected farms on this years’ Open Farm Sunday.

The main focus will be to:
1.     Conduct a survey in the morning and in the afternoon – as a scientific dataset
2.     Raise awareness of the Pollinator Survey at the event and encourage visitors to take part
3.     Act as an on-site expert in order to smooth the way and inspire a new generation of scientists 
The aim is for the public to spot and record on a survey form the pollinators that visit flowers on a farm. By taking part in the Pollinator Survey the visitors will learn about the vital role insects can play in pollination and many of the foods they enjoy every day.  The large-scale dataset will provide a unique resource for exploring relationships between insect abundance and land use and demonstrates the value of flowering field margins and other non-crop habitats on farms.

For further information and to offer your help and support, please contact: Candace Robb or Annabel Shackleton
Tel:  024 7641 3911
Join the bioenergy discussion 
BBSRC has launched a new toolkit to encourage researchers and the general public to engage in a national conversation about bioenergy. The Bioenergy Dialogue Toolkit provides a range of resources including a 'Democs' bioenergy game, potential future scenarios, and guidelines to help people plan and run dialogue events this summer.
An event will be run in Cambridge on 8 June 2013, 2pm-4pm - (venue to be confirmed, more information will be sent shortly)

JOBS and Studentships

Research Group Leader, Sainsbury Laboratory, Cambridge University
Trials Officer 4 Month Vacancy, 31 May
Post Doctroral Researcher, 10 June
Metabolic Biology: Towards the synthetic terpenome - Making new metabolic pathways using synthetic biology approaches
KWS are recruiting for summer vacation work placements (Harvest and Production Assistants)
Enterprise Campus Project Director, 28 May
Applications are now open for 2013/14: MSc Water Security and International Development at the University of East Anglia
The degree is the flagship of the UEA Water Security Research Centre. The 12-month MSc prepares students for employment opportunities with non-governmental organisations, government aid agencies, and multilateral organisations.
Please apply online, or for queries and informal discussion, contact Mark Zeitoun at or tel: +44 (0)1603 593232.


£8.5 million Nutrition for Life competition is now open. This competition will fund R&D projects which stimulate innovation in the food and drink sector with an emphasis on providing healthy and safe foods.
Competition Scope:
The call includes both Feasibility and Collaborative R&D projects within the following scope;
* Integrating technologies to assist nutrient absorption
* Nutrient regulation and delivery
* Novel and healthier foods
* Safety, authenticity and traceability
* Production and Processing of food/nutrients
To find more about the scope of the competition, view this video from Nick Bassett (Lead Technologist, Technology Strategy Board)

Register for the competition: Providing Safe and Healthy Foods
Nutrition for Life Feasibility Studies (£50k-100k, 6 - 12 month projects)
Nutrition for Life Collaborative R&D (£250k to £1m, 1 - 3 year projects) 
BBSRC calls:
Application deadline: 11 July

SCI Young Researchers in Agrisciences 2013

Crop Production, Protection, Utilisation

Tuesday 2 July 2013

University of Reading, Whiteknights Campus, UK
Organised by SCI’s BioResources Group

Final deadline for presentation offers 7 June

This interdiciplinary event is for early career scientists working in biological, chemical, environmental and other relevant sciences, and all those interested in learning about progress and meeting new talent in agrisciences.

More information

Monday, May 13, 2013

News update May 2013

·         EPSO Fascination of Plants Day 18 May Festival of Plants at the Botanic Garden, Cambridge Please advertise widely!
·         ADAS Boxworth Open Day (5 June)
·         British Section of the Combustion Institute and the Institute of Physics, Cambridge - One day Conference on “Biomass fuelled power generation with CO2 capture” (Registration / Programme). For any additional information or queries please contact the Support Manager, Ms. Kaysha Banton ( (24 May).

Jobs & Studentships
·         BSPB, Ely – Technical Officer
·         Bayer CropScience, Gent - Scientist in Wheat Genetics,
·         Cranfield University - Plant Molecular Genetics Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

ADAS Boxworth Open Day: 5 June

Wednesday 5 June 2013; 12 – 4pm

Battlegate Road, Boxworth, Cambridge, CB23 4NN

Meet the experts and find out about

  • Weed management options for wheat & OSR
  • Benefits of cover crops for black-grass control
  • Herbicide resistance: grasses and broad-leaved weeds
  • Disease control in wheat and oilseed rape
  • Control of weeds, pests & diseases for horticulture
  • Repairing damaged soils
  • Managing thin/backward crops
  • The Yield Enhancement Network – competing to increase yields

BASIS and NRoSO CPD points available

In a challenging season, come and discuss with experts how to manage crops for this year, and give a good entry into the next

Further info.: A+ events at or 01954 267666

Friday, April 19, 2013

CU Botanic Garden Festival of Plants

18 May, 10am to 4pm

The new Festival of Plants at the Cambridge University Botanic Garden brings together horticulture and science in a day devoted to all things plant, from propagation to pollination, from seed to shopping! Join our team of horticulturalists, plant experts and scientists from across the region for a garden event with a difference.

Visit the website for more information

SCI Young Researchers in Agrisciences 2013: Crop Production, Protection and Utilisation

University of Reading, Whiteknights Campus, Reading, UK

02 July 2013, 09.30 - 18.00

Organised by SCI’s BioResources Group

Registration is now open!

To book for this event and for more information, please go to

This event is for early career scientists working in biological, chemical, environmental and other relevant sciences and all interested in learning about progress and meeting new talent in agrisciences.

  • Experience presenting to a multidisciplinary audience
  • Raise your profile, build networks, find ideas and inspiration
  • Hone your career skills

The previous three events in this annual series have included a wide range of disciplines such as agronomy, crop and plant physiology, environmental sciences, molecular biology, plant nutrition, soil science, crop protection, analytical chemistry, biofuels and biomaterials.


PhD students and first post-docs wishing to present have three options:

  • Oral paper (20 minutes)
  • Poster (A0: 1189 mm x 841 mm, portrait)
  • Poster plus Flash presentation (5 slides, 5 minutes)

An abstract of 300 words (max.) indicating title, authors and preference for presentation option should be sent to by 10 May 2013.
Oral presentation slots are inevitably limited and will be allocated to achieve a balanced programme. Topics may be results, reviews or plans and may have been already presented elsewhere. Prizes will be awarded, focusing on quality of science and clarity of communication.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Vacancy at NIAB


(Fixed term, 1 year maternity cover)

Applications are invited for the post of Glasshouse Research Assistant in NIAB’s Genetics and Breeding Team, based in Cambridge. NIAB is an independent plant science organisation with a research focus on crop improvement.

This post provides technical support for all aspects of genetics research in the glasshouse and will also involve some lab-based activities.

You will need to be very well organised and able to manage workload peaks. Some experience of working in a glasshouse and laboratory environment and knowledge of plant genetics would be an advantage, but is not essential as full training will be provided. The role requires computer literacy, meticulous record keeping and a full driving licence or access to independent means of transport.

This is a fixed term post of 1 year to provide maternity cover. Starting salary in the range £14,500-£15,500 dependent on skills and experience. Company benefits include Group Income Protection, Stakeholder pension, generous holidays and free car parking. Further details and an application form are available on our website: or from the HR Office, Huntingdon Road, Cambridge CB3 0LE, Tel: 01223 342282, Email:, quoting Ref: T/262. Closing date for applications: 1 May 2013.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

News & Funding: Jan 2013

News highlights

New PVR trademark launched to promote plant breeding and seed innovation.

New PVR trademark launched to promote plant breeding and seed innovation A new information campaign to highlight the critical role of plant breeding innovation and quality seed moved a step closer when participating seed companies and plant breeders unveiled the new EU-registered PVR trademark for the first time at the LAMMA event in Lincolnshire.

Initiated jointly by BSPB and AIC on behalf of the UK plant breeding and seeds sector, the campaign will focus on the importance of Plant Variety Rights (PVR) as a unique form of intellectual property to protect, stimulate and reward progress in crop improvement.

The PVR trademark will soon start appearing across the seed industry on seed bags, stationery, invoices, websites, variety boards and marketing material. Supporting information about Plant Variety Rights, plant breeding and seed production will be provided through a dedicated campaign website and literature, as part of a wider drive to highlight the vital contribution of our plant breeding and seeds sector.

BSPB chief executive Dr Penny Maplestone said: “Access to genetic innovation, delivered to the market through high-performing varieties and quality seed, is the foundation for successful crop production. Faced with the global challenges of food security, climate change and sustainable development, recent reports from Foresight and the Royal Society have highlighted the urgent need for continued progress in crop genetic improvement as the single most important factor in improving the yield, climate resilience and production efficiency of our major food crops.”

“The PVR campaign will highlight the critical role of IP protection in supporting a dedicated process of investment, innovation and independent evaluation within the plant breeding and seeds sector, and the enormous benefits this brings to farmers, food producers and their customers.”

AIC Seed Sector chairman Paul Taylor said: “Companies and organisations licensed to use the trademark are demonstrating their commitment to providing the best product, backed by science and delivered to the market through proven testing procedures. Users of the trademark are investors in R&D, committed to supplying high quality, innovative products to their customers.”

“The PVR trademark will serve as a prominent reminder of the research, innovation and independent evaluation behind each new variety and bag of purchased seed, and the need for continued investment in plant breeding to support a competitive farming industry and a dynamic value chain.”

Be part of a national public engagement project on Bioenergy.

Be part of a national public engagement project BBSRC is running a Bioenergy Public Dialogue workshop at the Dana Centre in London on the 24th January and there is an opportunity for you to take part.

From 1400 to 1800 you will take part in an interactive workshop with other researchers that will equip you with the skills needed to run public engagement events. After a supper, members of the public will arrive and, with close coaching from engagement experts, you will be able to put into practice what you have learnt. BBSRC will cover travel expenses and overnight accommodation. This initiative is part of a for a national public dialogue project for which BBSRC has successfully secured funding from BIS, through Sciencewise. The dialogue will explore public views around bioenergy through a series of events around the country during 2013, based on an ‘engagement toolkit’. The outcomes from those discussion events will help inform BBSRC policy and strategy.

Although some events will be run by BBSRC, the full potential of the project will only be reached with your involvement and we would like to encourage you and other bioenergy researchers to run you own events. The workshop is an ideal opportunity to develop your public engagement skills, to help you learn about planning a dialogue event, and to try out the toolkit at the evening session at the Dana Cafe.

To register to attend this event or if you have any queries, please contact or, or phone Marta on 01793 413325.

How should UK STEM teaching and learning inspire the thinkers, doers, innovators and leaders of the future?

The answer to this question is important to all of us, especially given the decisions still to be made around the secondary National Curriculum. But we want to know what you think! The National Science Learning Centre, National STEM Centre and EdComs are working together to publish a collection of views from contributors across education and industry. The aim is to give practitioners, employers and key thinkers a platform to express their views, to generate debate and to influence future policy and practice in the delivery of STEM teaching and learning.

There are two main ways to contribute:
1. Send an email with your thoughts and experiences to:
2. Join the discussion on Twitter: #STEMlearning We will be engaging in discussions and compiling responses over the next four weeks. This is your chance to have your say.

Funding Opportunities

· BBSRC Excellence with impact awards (Thursday, 31 January)
The Excellence with Impact competition aims to recognise institutions that can develop and successfully deliver a vision for maximising impact, alongside a relevant institution-wide culture change. The winning organisation will receive an award of £0.5M and there will be a further £0.5M available to be awarded at judges' discretion to highly commended runners up.
Further details

· The Community Resource for Wheat Transformation application process is now open. (Thursday, 31 January)
This is a resource for UK plant scientists to apply for their genes to be transformed into wheat free of charge, funded by the BBSRC’s Biological and Bioinformatic Resources fund (BBR). There is an online application process and further details via the following link Enquiries should be directed to in the first instance.

Events and Jobs: Jan 2013

Partner Events

· Cambridge led Public Debates on Global Food Security:
Smallholder Farming and the Future of Food Monday, January 28, 2013, 7 pm; Kings Place, London.
Further details

· CPPS Seminar:
Interactions between plants and soils in the carbon cycle; Thursday, 14 February 2013, 16:00-17:00; followed by networking over wine & nibbles at the Department of Plant Sciences.
Further details

Tuesday, 12 February, 10.00am-3.30pm; Scotch Corner Holiday Inn Hotel, North Yorkshire.
Further details


Senior Research Technician (Friday, 8 February); Senior Machinery Research Technician (Friday, 8 February); Ecotoxicologist / Assistant Ecotoxicologist (Tuesday, 29 January); Seasonal Ecology Consultants (Monday, 28 January).
Further details

Postdoctoral Researcher (Thursday, 31 January).
Further details

· NIAB Innovation Farm
Research and SME Liaison Officer (Thursday, 31 January).
Further details

· RAGT Seeds Ltd
Plant Breeder, start date to be confirmed, permanent position; Plant Pathology and Projects Manager (Maternity Cover), start date: early March, duration: 1 year.
For further information please contact Natasha Matthews, HR Manager:

· RRes
Research Assistant (Friday, 15 February); Research Scientist in Soil Science (Friday, 15 February); Post-Doctoral & Post-Graduate Biochemist Biochemist (Friday, 25 January); Bioinformatics Scientist (Monday, 28 January); Communications Officer (Thursday, 24 January).
Further details

· Syngenta
Trialing Territory Data Support. £25,000 to £29,000 p.a. depending on experience. Fulbourn, Cambridgeshire
Syngenta are constantly looking for new and better ways to help generate high yielding crops for a growing global population. It’s essential work – and your knowledge of field trials processes will help do it better than ever before. You’ll play a major part in maintaining excellence in the capture, management and analysis of data relating to the field trials of Syngenta's innovative crop protection and seed products. Key tasks will include ensuring efficient use of Field Information Systems and Knowledge Sharing tools, arranging contract and secrecy agreements with contract research organisations and managing the financial processes for field trials within the North Europe territory. Your aim? To maximise value and minimise costs in the constant drive to improve today’s technologies and develop those of tomorrow.
To measure up, the ideal candidate would have:
• A degree in a biological or agricultural related subject
• An understanding of the needs of field trials staff and technical project managers
• Experience in field trial planning and data management would be advantageous although full training will be provided
• Excellent communication skills
• Proficiency in Word, Excel, PowerPoint and field trials software
For more information about the company please go to

· Teagasc
Postdoctoral position in computational and quantitative genetics of plants (Sunday, 24 February).
The vacancy is for 2 years. Interested applicants should send a CV with the contact information of 3 references and a motivation letter to
Further details

· The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Interpretation Manager (Tuesday, 5 February, Noon).
Further details

· AlgaeCytes Limited
Focuses on developing and commercialising algae derived bioactive ingredients. The company is in the process of developing scalable demonstration units for the production of high value chemicals such as omega 3 oils from algae. Opportunities exist for a number of laboratory based junior and senior scientists experienced in growing, harvesting and extracting products from algae. The company is also looking for bioprocess engineers for the management and running of photobioreactors. Contact: for further details.

· Cambridge Science Centre:
Science Communication (Friday, 8 January).
Further details

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Cambridge led Public Debate on Global Food Security

Debate 2: Smallholder Farming and the Future of Food

500 million smallholder farmers support over 2 billion people, yet for many, their future looks increasingly uncertain.

What is the way forward for smallholders and for the future of food?

London. 28 January 2013, 7 pm

More information

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

News: December

The UK Plant Sciences Federation (UKPSF)

is conducting a survey of the UK plant science community to gather views on the major challenges for this sector, and its current capacity for meeting these challenges. Survey participants may be involved in research, industry, education, outreach, policy, or end-users; however they must work in the UK or be associated with a UK-based organisation.
Don’t miss the opportunity to voice your views and help shape UK policy and funding strategy in support of plant sciences: The survey can be completed here: before 18 January 2013.

ADAS new projects:

Members of CPPS may be interested in a number of projects on nutrition of horticultural crops funded by HDC.

The first is to look at the nitrogen and phosphorus nutrition of sweet corn, a high value crop, much of which is grown on the south coast of England. This is a two year project starting in Spring 2013. The work was actually due to start a year earlier, but had to be deferred due to the very wet weather in the spring of 2012. We have also won a project to look at nitrogen nutrition of over wintering leeks, where growers perceive there is demand for this major nutrient by the crops in the winter. Leeks are unusual in that unlike most of the other crops we work with, they accumulate much of their biomass during the winter when days are short and light levels low. These projects build on the success of our recent work on quantifying nitrogen requirements of field vegetable crops, and particularly understanding the factors influencing nitrate accumulation in leafy salad crops. All of these projects have been managed from ADAS Boxworth. Contact for further information: Richard Weightman (

Staff changes at ADAS:

Goodbye: To Zoe Rutterford who has worked with ADAS since 2010. Many of you will know Zoe, who formerly being a PhD student with NIAB and the Department of Plant Sciences, is going to return to managing the family farm, from the start of 2013. We wish Zoe all the best in her future career.

And hello: ADAS has recently taken on another round of graduate trainees who will undertake a two year period of training, leading to consultant positions. Key staff based at Boxworth and whose expertise may be of interest to CCPS members include:

  • Rebecca Carter; working in the Agriculture and Farming Systems sector. Prior to joining ADAS Becky studied Animal Science with ‘Accreditation in Nutrition’ at the University of Nottingham and was the secretary of the Agricultural Society from 2011-2012.
  • Amy Gimson; working in the Sustainable Food and Farming sector. Before joining the graduate scheme, Amy was involved in a HGCA bursary project investigating height and yield genes in winter wheat within the Crop Physiology team. Her degree in Plant Sciences from the University of Cambridge involved a particular focus of the vitamin requirements of various algae for biofuels.
  • Tim Boor; joins the Plant Pathology team, having just completed a BSc in Crop Science at the University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington. Although coming to ADAS straight from university, Tim has completed a range of placements, ranging from work in the logistics department of a large seed company based in Lincolnshire, as well as for Sentry Farms.
  • Elizabeth Hudson has joined the Crop Physiology team. She comes to ADAS after completing her Natural Sciences Degree in Biology and Chemistry from Durham University. Liz is working on a range of projects looking at crop nutrition, utilisation and use of co-products from the biofuels industry.
  • Lizzie Dobson; is part of the Horticulture sector team and is also based at our Boxworth Office. At university she studied Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge, specialising in plant science and taking a particular interest in plant physiology and water relations. Lizzie will be focusing on protected edible crops.
  • Sarah Mayne; working as a Crop Pathologist at Boxworth, she has previous experience working for ADAS as part of the Field Team which she enjoyed greatly. Prior to this Sarah carried out conservation work both in the UK and USA dealing with land management & invasive weed removal after graduating from Hertford College, Oxford with a degree in Biological Sciences.

A one-stop-shop for plant science questions:

From today people will be able to question researchers directly on any aspect of plant science that comes up in public discussion, from one simple portal.

Plant research is central to decisions about future energy, land use, wildlife, environmental protection, pest problems, nutrition and food safety. People care a lot about these subjects but get frustrated by conflicting stories and research reports and find that information is rarely in a form that responds to their questions. Now, leading research institutions and learned societies across the UK have come together to make themselves available in a public panel, where people can put down questions and opinions for response.
Panel members have been nominated by: BBSRC, the Biochemical Society, Genetics Society, James Hutton Institute, John Innes Centre, Rothamsted Research, Society of Biology, Society for Experimental Biology, National Farmers Union, Society for General Microbiology, UK Plant Sciences Federation and Royal Horticultural Society. Questions can be sent via Twitter: @senseaboutsci #plantsci, or email:
Contact: Frances Downey, 020 7490 9590