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The Food Security Doctoral Training Partnership

World-class research from 5 institutions covering the whole food chain

  • g2986 The University of Reading leads a consortium between the Universities of Reading, Lancaster, Southampton and Surrey along with Rothamsted Research.We provide doctoral (PhD) level training to postgraduates across the Food Security subject area with funding from the BBSRC.

  • The BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership in Food Security is the only DTP focussed solely on Food Security, giving our students some of the best resources, experience and skills for flexible careers in the bioscience industry.

  • Our partnership covers the whole food chain; from interactions between natural & man-made ecosystems through to the nutritional effects of food in humans. The partners have extensive track records in agri-food training & research, & deliver research training in the essential niche skills that are required to underpin the UKs capability.

  • Our partnership is uniquely placed to address the Food Security challenge. The partnership provides training for interdisciplinary bioscientists, securing essential niche skills while delivering preparing individuals for flexible careers in a highly topical context.

Research Themes

Crop Science

The crop science theme includes consideration of all aspects of the production of food crops in the UK, with an emphasis on crop genetic improvement, and designing crops and production … Continue reading

Agri Systems & The Environment

The Agricultural Systems & environment theme focuses on the challenge of feeding increasing numbers of people despite increased competition for good quality land and resources such as water, nutrients, labour and energy. … Continue reading

Diet & Health

The diet and health theme focusses on understanding the impact of food and dietary components on health, and food processing to maintain nutritional quality. The theme is led by Surrey, building on … Continue reading

Exploiting New       Ways of Working

This overarching theme of exploiting new ways of working capitalises on the strengths of the partners in complexity science and systems biology. Students learn to apply mathematical modelling techniques across a … Continue reading

Some of our students

Helen Metcalfe

I am investigating the causes of spatial and temporal variation in annual grass weeds in cereal crops. By studying weed populations in situ I shall determine the correlation between weed … Continue reading

Oliver George

My thesis focuses on plant-bacteria interactions, specifically the behaviour of E. coli O157:H7 on raw or minimally processed salad vegetables during growth. Several salad crops are being used as a … Continue reading

Skevoulla Christou

A second year PhD student, I am researching the impact of timed feeding on health in humans. My current focus is on molecular changes after timed feeding, and I will … Continue reading

Some of our PhD Projects

Molecular dissection of the genetic basis ofEscherichia coli O157 colonisation of the plan tEnvironment

Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) O157 is a serious human pathogen that has gained major press coverage over recent years because of its ability to colonise plants, be ingested by humans … Continue reading

Penny Hirsch / Martin Woodward

Improving wheat yields by phenotyping root function

With the British climate slated to become more unpredictable, there is a clear need to design crops for greater yield stability under adverse environmental conditions. Optimising plant root systems can … Continue reading

Dr Ian Dodd

Impact of prolonged maternal milk exposure on gutmicrobiota, brain development and behaviour

This project is a continuation of a successful on-going collaboration between Surrey (Kitchen, Bailey; behavioural neuropharmacology) and Reading (Saddy, Swann; Gibson, Chakrabarti metabonomics, gut microbiology). Early life environmental influences, such … Continue reading

Alexis Bailey / Ian Kitchen / Jonathan Swann