Crop Science Centre

Driven by impact, fuelled by excellence

one year on since our launch

Crop Science Centre Director

It has been a year to the day since the Crop Science Centre launched with the aim of improving resilience and equity of productivity in global agriculture. Professor Giles Oldroyd FRS, Russell R. Geiger Professor of Crop Science at the University of Cambridge and Inaugural Director of the Crop Science Centre, reflects on a remarkable year:

"Since then [launch], the centre has changed dramatically from an empty building with a team of four people working remotely attempting to make the space operational, to a thriving and diverse working environment with 49 members of students and staff. We have also had six students working with us over the summer and we even have our first faculty member spending a sabbatical with us.

For me, one of the highlights of the year was welcoming three new Crop Science Centre research fellows and one Royal Society Research fellow. I am thrilled to be supporting young scientists to develop their research careers in crop sciences. These appointments have brought focus to our research areas, with research groups working on Sustainable Crop Nutrition, Cereal Symbioses, Crop-Parasite Interactions, Crop Immunity and Crop Breeding Technologies.

Despite the efforts getting operational at a time of significant restrictions on access to the laboratories, we have still managed to progress our science and impact agenda. In particular our first field work and establishing our new glasshouses with speed breeding capability, that massively increases the pace of crop genetics. We also have a number of publications on our science that you can read about further on this website.

We are currently busy working on new infrastructure for bioimaging and crop transformation, new opportunities for training in crop sciences at masters and PhD level and working on our first GM field trials that we hope to have in the ground by next year.

When I look back at where we were a year ago today I am amazed at how much we have achieved and I am excited about the impact we can have on making sure that everyone on this planet has access to affordable food, grown in the most sustainable manner."