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Research

We are at the cusp of a global revolution in food production systems. Climate change, a growing global population, consumer dietary shifts, biodiversity loss, and unstable consumer trust are key drivers of this change.

The sustainability of the Northern Irish agri-food systems will require a fresh transitional approach where key organisations such as Queen’s and AFBI need to pool resources to guide and support those working to reduce emissions, increase sustainability, protect biodiversity, and improve local and global nutrition. Most recently the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of resilient food systems and the links between health, ecosystems, supply chains, consumption patterns and planetary boundaries.

With a wealth of experience in the fields of research and education aligned with agriculture, the environment and the food system, the Alliance has the skills and resources required to positively impact a wide range of stakeholders as well as society at large.

Pressures placed upon natural resources and our environment because of the need for greater food production have led to a need for innovative and cost-effective solutions. These solutions will be reliant upon a combined approach to research – harnessing the power of technological advances.

Through the Alliance, Queen’s and AFBI will combine their key research and innovation strengths in data and digital analytics, environmental science, animal and crop production, food safety, food processing, product development, policy and economics to develop innovations resulting from inter-disciplinary synergies.

The Alliance's Science Group will focus their resources on the following core areas of research: Agri-Food Systems and Nature-Based Solutions. These areas of study will be underpinned and informed using data and enabling technologies. 

Agri-Food Systems

Led by Prof Sharon Huws (Queen's) and Dr Steven Morrison (AFBI) with support from Prof Eric Morgan (Queen's), Dr Simon Doherty (Queen's), and Prof Ilias Kyrizakis (Alliance) this research cluster focuses on the following research areas:

  • Livestock Production
  • Animal Health
  • Animal Welfare

Alongside AFBI and Queen's colleagues cluster members also contribute to research relating to Food Safety & Quality and Food for Health.

As many Alliiance researchers work on interdisciplinary projects its members have expertise and experience in the areas of Carbon Net Zero/Climate change, Plant/Soil Science, Marine Science and Parasitology.

To find out more about the Agri-Food Systems Cluster please contact the Alliance's Project Manager.

Prof Sharon Huws discusses joint Queen's and AFBI research focused on methane mitigation in ruminants.

Dr Steven Morrison demonstrates the facilities ultised by researchers working to reduce ruminant methane emissions and highlights the impact of the Queen's and AFBI Alliance.

Nature-Based Solutions

Led by Prof Mark Emmerson (Queen's), Prof Jenny McKinley (Queen's) and Dr Donnacha Doody (AFBI) this research cluster focuses on the following areas of research:

  • Circular Bioeconomy
  • Precision Agriculture
  • Marine and Coastal Science
  • Biodiversity

As many Alliiance researchers work on interdisciplinary projects its members have expertise and experience in the areas of Carbon Net Zero/Climate change, Plant/Soil Science, Marine Science and Parasitology.

To find out more about the Nature-Based Solutions Cluster please contact the Alliance's Project Manager.

Prof David Rooney discusses the work of the Bryden Centre and collaboration across Queen's, AFBI and Industry

Dr Chris Johnston outlines the important research being carried out by scientists across the two organisations