Scientia Issue #129 | Achieving Agricultural Sustainability Through Innovation

Feb 10, 2020Issues

This critical issue of Scientia celebrates scientists who tackle one of the greatest challenges of our time: ensuring global food security and agricultural sustainability into the future.

The urgency of agricultural research cannot be understated. In one human lifetime, the population has tripled, from about 2.5 billion in 1950 to a whopping 7.7 billion today. In order to feed this burgeoning population, Earth’s habitats are continually destroyed to make way for more farmland, with disastrous consequences for Earth’s climate and biodiversity – both of which are in a state of crisis.

With about half of Earth’s habitable land already used for human food production, researchers are developing new ways to grow food more efficiently, rather than continuing to destroy the planet’s wilderness areas. Scientists are also working to identify more sustainable approaches to farming, so that nature can thrive alongside our crops and livestock.

To open this edition, we feature an exclusive interview with Dr Sue Nokes, President of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, who discusses how the Society accelerates research that aims to improve global food security and sustainability, particularly in the face of climate change and a growing population.

Our first section then showcases the latest innovations in crop science and horticulture. Here, we feature a diverse range of exciting projects, from enhancing the sustainability of berry production in Upper Midwest US, to developing microbial-based treatments to improve the drought tolerance of important crops.

Next, we focus on environmentally-friendly approaches to pest management, with a particular focus on controlling invasive insects. This research is particularly pertinent, as the widespread use of chemical insecticides to control insect pests has contributed to the worrying declines of beneficial insect species, such as bees.

Our final section in the edition focuses on animal production. Here, we highlight numerous promising projects that aim to make animal farming more ethical, sustainable and safe – from adapting cattle-grazed grassland to increase carbon storage, to finding viable alternatives to antibiotics for reducing the prevalence of common livestock diseases.


Contributions from





Published in the UK, by Science Diffusion ltd ISSN 2059-8971 (print) ISSN 2059-898X (online)




tweet us on twitter follow us on facebook


Meet The Team…

Nick Bagnall

Dr Nelly Berg

Dr Catherine Deeprose  

Mimi Jones


Brad Lange
Katja Kunka
Paris Allen
Mike King
James Phillips


Kelleigh Greene, MSc
Stephanie Rose, PhD
Sarah Wilkinson, BSc
Chris Harrison, PhD
Alex Reis, PhD
Ingrid Fadelli, BSc, MA
Kerri Agnew, PhD
Bryony Ravate, MSc
Flora Whitmarsh, PhD
Oliver Ellingham, PhD

Scientia Issue #129 Quick Flick