11 November 2015 13:25

Soil Scientists from the UK and China are meeting this week to discuss how they can work together to help improve food security.

The 25 researchers will be at the Guangzhou Institute for Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences between 10 to 12 November to identify key research priorities for future collaboration.

Professor Nick Ostle of Lancaster University is co-hosting the event.

He said: “Global soils, which support all human life, are under pressure to deliver food, fibre, fuel and more. Improved scientific understanding is needed to ensure the sustainability of this crucial resource. International science partnerships are needed to explore, develop and apply new science that can contribute to this.

“UK and Chinese researchers will develop ideas and make plans to improve scientific understanding that underpins soil sustainability. Key areas for discussion include: Soil and Food Security, Soil Biodiversity and Function and Soil Sustainability in a changing world.”

Researchers from the Lancaster Environment Centre have been collaborating with the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) for more than decade. Their history of joint working has enabled researchers in the UK and China to work together on pressing environmental challenges. Lancaster University Environment Centre/CAS collaborations include persistent organic pollutants in Asia, air, water and soil quality in China, and natural resource management.

It also paved the way for the China-UK innovation deal the Lancaster China Catalyst Programme.

This work is funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and the EU.