Agri Food and Water research theme

A research cluster within the Centre for Research in Biosciences (CRIB).

Theme overview

The Agri Food and Water theme has the overarching aim of studying the effects of humans, pathogens, processes and climate on managed and unmanaged ecosystems. Our research centres on mitigating microbial and chemical risks across the food supply chain, developing novel technologies and interventions to reduce food waste and understanding how improvements in food production and processing and can help ensure human health. We also focus on the mechanisms and effects of plant disease on agricultural and broadleaf hosts, the signalling and hormone pathways used by plants in response to the environment.

Additionally, there is an emphasis on the characterisation of waste and surface waters and nutrient cycling in aquatic systems. Using cutting-edge molecular techniques, analytical chemistry methodologies, novel food processing technologies, social science and management strategies, we aim to confront significant global challenges to ensure access to healthy and sustainable food and clean water while protecting our natural resources.

Academic staff

Dr Sam Bonnett

Senior Lecturer in Environmental Science

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Dr Heather Macdonald

Senior Lecturer in Molecular Microbiology

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Dr Pete Maxfield

Senior Lecturer in Environmental Chemistry

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Dr Aimee Oxley

Senior Lecturer in Conservation Science

Dr Aimee Oxley is an interdisciplinary applied conservation scientist with experience of researching and working with people and wildlife to improve human-wildlife coexistence, focusing on crop-foraging wildlife in the rural tropics. Using natural and social sciences methods, she investigates wildlife responses to human activities and human perceptions of and behaviour towards wildlife. She explores drivers of resilience for people dealing with crop-foraging animals, including fear and safety, livelihoods and wellbeing.

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Dr Freya Radford

Senior Lecturer in Environmental Science (Marine)

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Professor Darren Reynolds

Professor of Health and Environment

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Professor Angelina Sanderson Bellamy

Dr Stephanie Sargeant

Senior Lecturer in Environmental Science

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Dr Mark Steer

Associate Professor of Conservation

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Dr Alexandros Stratakos

Associate Professor of Sustainable Agri-Food Production

Dr Alexandros Stratakos focuses on developing innovative technologies and strategies to improve the safety, quality and sustainability of the food chain, using state-of-the-art methods like molecular microbiology, cold plasma and 3D printing. By collaborating with stakeholders, including industry, we co-create solutions to reduce foodborne pathogens, valorise food waste, and create medical-specific foods. Our aim is to translate our research into practical applications for industry, government agencies, and consumers.

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Professor Neil Willey

Professor of Plant Science

Professor Neil Willey's research focuses on plants and ionising radiation, including the uptake and effects of radioisotopes in agricultural and natural ecosystems; and hydroponic systems and urban farming.  He was a member of the TREE (TRansfer-Exposure-Effects) consortium, a multi-institutional radioecological research programme funded by NERC, the Environment Agency and Radioactive Waste Management. He is currently on the 'Microbial-Hydroponics (Mi-Hy)' project, an EU-funded project developing sustainable hydroponic systems.

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Dr Andrea Wilmshurst

Senior Lecturer in Maths Supporting Science

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Dr Ian Wilson

Senior Lecturer in Molecular Genetics

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