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Taking a global view

This was the first meeting in the series and the aim of was to take a global view of pressures and drivers of land use change and to help lay the foundation for the rest of the year.

Ariel Brunner, the Head of EU Policy at BirdLife International travelled over from Brussels to help us to start to think about how biodiversity connects to the other elements of this topic. He joined Tina Barsby, the CEO of the National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB) in Cambridge who focused on food security and agriculture and Paul Dupree, Professor of Biochemistry in the Department of Biochemistry who discussed his research into the development of sustainable biofuels that do not adversely affect the food chain.

To help to set the scene for their introductions, they sent us some background reading and you can see it by following the links on the right.

Paul Dupree and his group identified and studied the genes for two enzymes that toughen wood, straw and stalks. Their results can be used in crop breeding programs to make non-edible plant material that requires less processing, less energy and fewer chemicals in order to convert it to biofuels or other renewable products.

Read an article about this on the University News website