Media Coverage

IGFS in the headlines

Find out which of our stories have been gaining local, national & international news coverage

Nov 2019

Agrifood facing "severe headwinds"

The biggest hitter media-wise for November so far was coverage of our George Scott Robertson Memorial Lecture, delivered by Lord Mark Price, a former UK Government Trade minister and also the former MD of Waitrose supermarket.

In his address, entitled UK Food Systems - Adapting to Change, Lord Price delivered a stark warning to farmers & food producers, saying everything they knew about the agrifood landscape in UK and Ireland was "about to change". 

Pre-event (from Oct coverage):

Downtown Radio, news bulletin, 9 Oct (1:02:50mins in), 9 Oct

Farming Life, 12 Oct

Ulster Grocer, 1 Nov (page 5)


Irish Farmers’ Journal, 7 Nov

BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Radio Foyle, Good Morning Ulster, 7 Nov

BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Radio Foyle, Evening Extra, 7 Nov

BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Radio Foyle, Farm Gate, 9 Nov

BBC Radio Ulster, Farming Matters, 12 Nov

Farming Life, 13 November

Irish Farmers’ Journal, 14 Nov


Pine Martens’ adaptable diets (research by PhD student Joshua Twining), 9 Nov, 13 Nov,

Irish News, 14 Nov

Belfast News Letter, 14 Nov (hard copy only)


Can DNA survive every environment on Earth (featuring comment by Dr John Hallsworth), 14 Nov



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Oct 2019

Major funding awards

This month there was great interest in the news that Professor Jayne Woodside and Dr Brian Green had each been awarded highly prestigious funding for international nutrition research in the shape of US-Ireland Awards. The story did very well in internal comms and social media but was also picked up by some external outlets, expand out to see the details

Read more to see what else got published in October

Jayne Woodside/Brian Green research (US-Ireland awards)

Public Health Agency NI, 10 Oct

Belfast News Letter, 11 Oct (hard copy only), 14 Oct


Lord Mark Price to deliver GSR Memorial Lecture

Downtown Radio, news bulletin, 9 Oct (1:02:50mins in), 9 Oct

Farming Life, 12 Oct


Manmade noise interfering with birdsong (Dr Gareth Arnott)

This item was previously covered in June 2019

RTE Radio 1, Mooney Goes Wild programme, 14 Oct


Heart-Healthy Diet & Brain Function link (Dr Claire McEvoy research)

This item was previously covered in April 2019 (Brunei news website), 04 Oct





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Sept 2019

Something fishy

Media coverage for September was dominated by news of the genome sequencing of the wild brown trout - research carried out by a team co-ordinated by the Sanger Institute, which included Professor Paulo Prodohl. See below for highlights and read more to get full coverage and other items of IGFS making headlines this month

EurekAlert!, 4 Sept

Alpha Galileo, 4 Sept

DNA Brown Trout: cont.

Physics.Org, 5 Sept

Sanger Institute, 5 Sept, 5 Sept

World Fishing & Aquaculture, 11 Sept

Institute of Fisheries Mgmt, 13 Sept

Envirotec magazine, 23 Sept (Nigeria), 23 Sept (blog), 23 Sept, 24 Sept, 24 Sept, 24 Sept

The Irish Examiner, 8 Oct (hard copy only), 8 Oct, 8 Oct


Food Fraud after Horsemeat (TV; Prof Chris Elliott)

Defenders UK, BBC One, 9 Sept


Invasive Species (TV; Prof Jaimie Dick)

10 Things To Know About …, RTE 1, 10 Sept


IGFS-OFC event - ‘Growing A Healthy Society: Role Of Food’

Farm Week, 18 Sept

Farming Life, 21 Sept

The Hippocractic Post, 23 Sept

Seeker News, 25 Sept

Ulster Grocer, 19 Sept

Farm Week, 9 Oct


Mycotoxin threat in Animal Feed (quotes Prof Chris Elliott)

Irish Examiner, 30 Sept



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Aug 2019

Happy chicks

The IGFS hit for August - traditionally a quiet month for media - was Dr Mary Baxter's fascinating think-piece for The Conversation website, Finding Signs of Happiness in Chickens, which got great traction on social media, as well as being picked up elsewhere. Read more to see what else from IGFS was getting attention this month, 1 Aug, 2 Aug

Debate around eating less meat and more plants (quotes Prof Nigel Scollan)

The Daily Telegraph, 08 Aug


Goldsmiths Uni bans beef from campus in order to meet carbon-neutral target (quotes Prof Chris Elliott)

Farmers Weekly, 13 Aug


Parallel beef supply chains & food safety (by Prof Chris Elliott & Prof Moira Dean)

New Food Magazine, 13 Aug


How to cook rice safely (quotes Prof Andy Meharg)

NewsBeezer, 17 Aug


Effect of microplastics (Prof Chris Elliott; Dr Cuong Cao)

this item was previously covered in June 2019

FoodSpark, 14 August


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July 2019

Slow and steady ...

Dr Julia Sigwart certainly won the media-coverage race with her research indicating that the scaly-foot sea snail is now considered endangered, published in Nature. It went on to receive widespread international and national media coverage - too numberous to list here - 220 items, and still trickling through - but including The Conversation, Forbes, The Smithsonian, BBC World Service, The Times, The Daily Mail and International Business Times India. 

Read more to see what else caught the zeitgeist in July


Brown trout welfare (Prof Paulo Prodohl)

Galloway Gazette, 7 July

Food labelling (TV; featuring Prof Chris Elliott)

BBC 2 TV, Horizon programme, 8 July


Spice authenticity (quotes Prof Chris Elliott)

Sunday Business Post, 21 July

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June 2019

Twitter storm

The big hit for this month was Dr Gareth Arnott's research into birdsong and how it may be being disrupted by manmade noise pollution - this garnered 44 items (and counting) of local, national and international coverage, too much to list, including the Guardian, BBC Radio 4, the Irish Times, the Daily Mail, BBC Inside Science and CBBC Newsround

Also making headlines this month was the launch of the AgriPlas lab at IGFS. Read more to see all details of this and other stories

AgriPlas launch

Farm to Fork agriculture-news programme – syndicated to more than 170 radio stations across USA – 26 July

FarmingUK, 21 June

Farmers Weekly (UK-wide), 2 July

BBC Radio Ulster, Evening Extra programme, 17 June (1.20.10 mins in):

BBC Radio Ulster, Good Morning Ulster programme, 17 June (12.20 mins in): 

AMR Insights, 24 June

Downtown Radio breakfast news, 25 June (1.02.50 mins in):

Farming Life, 22 June

Farm Week, 27 June (front-page lead story) hard copy only, PDFs attached

Irish Examiner, 27 June, hard copy only

Belfast News Letter, 22 June, hard copy only


Plastics and effect on human health (Prof Chris Elliott, Dr Cuong Cao) Australia, 14 June European Commission awards half a million pounds to tackle problems posed by plastics

Sync NI, 13 June QUB research to investigate the health effects of plastics

AlphaGalileo, 13 June New Queen’s University research to tackle plastics, one of mankind’s greatest threats to existence

Packaging South Asia, 13 June Queen’s University Belfast to assess damage caused by nano plastics and microplastics

East Coast FM, 13 June Plastics coverage

BBC Northern Ireland, 13 June Plastics research mention


InvestorIdeas, 11 June New Queen's University research to tackle plastics, one of mankind's greatest threats to existence


Allergy Conference (Prof Katrina Campbell)

MIL (NZ) website, 27 June


Kew Gardens report on animal & plant species degradation (Dr Neil Reid)

BBC Radio Foyle, One O’Clock News, 11 June, interview & commentary Dr Neil Reid (26mins in): 


Seafood safety (Prof Chris Elliott)

BBC Radio 4, You & Yours programme, 7 June (27:15 mins in)

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May 2019

Annual Lecture

By far the biggest media story IGFS generated in May was its Annual Lecture, delivered by Sir Tim Smit of the Eden Project. Interest in what Sir Tim had to say was huge, not least because of plans to creat a 'mini Eden' in Northern Ireland. The item gained 85 news stores in local and national press, including,, BBC Radio Ulster, BBC Radio Foyle, the Belfast Telegraph, the Irish Farmers' Journal - and the whole of the front page on the Derry Journal!

Read more to see what else caught the media imagination in May, including the Balmoral Show

Jellyfish research (Dr Jon Houghton)

this item was previously covered extensively in March/April 2019 and Autumn 2018

The Irish Times, 4 May


Horsemeat scandal (Prof Chris Elliott)

BBC Radio 4, You & Yours programme, 6 May (1:07mins in)


Balmoral Show (featuring discussion on farming sustainability, in which Prof Nigel Scollan is contributor)

RTE Radio 1, Countryside, 18 May (37 mins in)


Balmoral Show (featuring AFBI-QUB Breakfast, comments by Prof Nigel Scollan)

Farm Week, 3 June

Farming Life, 25 May, digital copy no longer available

  • 17 more items of regional coverage including Ballymoney and Moyle Times; Dromore Leader; Portadown Times and Ulster Star


Play in piglets research (Dr Gareth Arnott)

this item was previously covered in April 2019

BBC Radio Foyle, Mark Patterson Show, 29 May (1:03hr in): 


GENIUS network funding news (Prof Jayne Woodside), 21 May


Project Daire (Prof Jayne Woodside)

Derry News, 27 May, hard copy only


WeValueFood workshop (event), 28 May

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April 2019

Food for thought

A big-hitter this month was Dr Claire McEvoy whose research into links between a heart-healthy diet and brain function in middle age was covered internationally, picking up over 50 items of coverage including the New York Times,, EurekAlert!, BBC Radio Foyle, the Daily Mail, Scottish Herald & The Sun.

Meanwhile, Professor Andy Meharg's ongoing research into arsenic in rice - specifically, the discovery that parboiling could reduce arsenic levels - scooped over 150 items of coverage including BBC Radio Foyle, AOL, Yahoo!, ScienceDaily, EurekAlert!, Newswise, Daily Mirror & NDTV India. Read more for other mentions of IGFS

Jellyfish providing shelter for smaller fish (Dr Jon Houghton)

this item was previously covered in March 2019

Pet Business World, 24 April Jellyfish seen in new light


QUB Ag-Tech Symposium (Veganism V. Meat debate - Prof Nigel Scollan quoted)

Irish Farmers' Journal 06 April (hard copy only)

Belfast News Letter, 06 April (hard copy only)


Play in piglets research (Dr Gareth Arnott)

Farming Life, 20 April (hard copy only; digital version no longer available)

Agriland, 21 April,

Pig World, 23 April,

Pig Progress, 26 April

Food & Farming Futures, 25 April

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IGFS in the headlines

If you would like to explore the potential for media coverage of your research, contact IGFS Comms Officer Una Bradley on