Agriculture and the Environment


This theme encompasses:

  • all aspects of Animal Welfare and productivity for farmed/managed animals. It can include environmental impacts of such livestock including water quality, as well as any concerns relating to downstream food chain issues such as microbiological safety and food quality.
  • anything to do with plants including plant physiology, genetics and development. It includes both model and crop species and all aspects of crop breeding, productivity, crop protection (pathogen and pest management). In addition, all aspects of soil as a major resource (ecosystem services) including soil formation, function, health and includes the impacts of agriculture on the environment and environmental protection.

Research Theme Champion

Prof Dan Bebber

Dan jdan_bebberoined Exeter in January 2013 as a Senior Research Fellow, studying the global distributions of crop pests and pathogens in collaboration with Prof. Sarah Gurr and the organization CABI. Before this he was Head of Climate Change Research at Earthwatch, based in Oxford. Here he managed research at five field centres, in the UK, USA, Brazil, China and India, where the relationship between forest management and climate change was being investigated.

His doctorate considered the influence of El Nino-related droughts on forest regeneration in Borneo, and he has research experience in reduced-impact silviculture in Canada, sustainable harvesting of medicinal plants in India and Nepal, and the biology of woodland fungi in the UK.

Examples of past research theme events

  • Exhibition stall in Einstein's Garden, Green Man Festival - to raise public awareness of the importance of plants, pollinators and ‘plugging yourself into a greener world’
  • Coding camp, Devon - sharing knowledge and experience of R programming for data analysis and graphics
  • Society for Experimental Biology (SEB) conference, Seville - international conference focusing on animal, plant and cell biology, with all students having the opportunity to present their work
  • Riverford Organic Farm visit, Devon - discussions with the founder (Guy Woodford) about organic farming and the future of UK farming, with a behind-the-scenes tour

You can read further information about some of these events on our news page: