‘Food Systems, Natural Resources and Environment’: Signature theme success.

A steering team, comprised of Centre for European Agri-Environmental Studies economists, as well as academics from disciplines as wide KBS and SAC have successfully had their theme ‘Food Systems, Natural resources and Environment’ selected as one of the Universities three winning Signature Themes.

Signature Research Themes are a key part of the University’s strategy to further develop its global research profile. They bring together a wide range of ideas and approaches through cross-disciplinary collaboration, with the potential to highlight the cutting-edge and innovative research that goes on at Kent.

Many proposals were submitted by academics from across the University for the Signature Research Themes. A shortlist was presented to a University audience during a special selection event in September and a panel comprised of representatives from academic schools and professional services, as well as external experts from academia, industry, and research councils were involved in the final decision-making process.

Head of School Miguel Leon-Ledesma congratulated the team. “I think it’s very good news that we are heavily involved with one SRT and shows our strengths in that area. Well done!”

Agri-Economists Professor Sophia Davidova, Professor Iain Fraser, Dr Adelina Gschwandtner and Professor Alastair Bailey from CES were all involved in the submission, collaborating with the successful ‘Growing Kent & Medway’ project as well as the Eastern Arc, demonstrating the spirit that they aim to continue with – genuine cross-disciplinary collaboration and inclusivity across the board.

Davidova explained the importance of recognition from the university through this competitive procedure involving Interdisciplinary talent will really help research on these global issues. “We need to go broad. The theme, concentrating on food, allows us to merge the interrelated topics of food security, food production and sustainability.” She acknowledged the relevance of this approach for the UK, particularly at this time as we begin to disengage with the European Union “because they will always be our close neighbor -what they do there in terms of agriculture will always have an impact on what we do here.”