UK PlantSci 2013 opens today

16th Apr 2013

UK PlantSci 2013, the annual conference of the UK Plant Sciences Federation (UKPSF), kicks off today, 16th April, in Dundee. The two day conference will showcase the wealth of plant sciences undertaken in the UK, covering topics from conservation to crop improvement.

The UKPSF, a special interest group of the Society of Biology, organises UK PlantSci 2013 to provide all those working in the plant sciences with the opportunity to share their knowledge and expertise.

The conference’s broad-ranging programme includes sessions on 'Ecology, the Environment and Biosphere', 'Adapting to Environments', 'Plant Protection and Defence', 'Biology to Benefit Society' and 'Plants as Producers'. 

UKPSF Chair, Professor Jim Beynon, says: “This wide range of themes demonstrates the importance and diversity of plant science in the UK. The meeting will be attended by cell biologists, physiologists, ecologists, plant breeders, agriculturists and many more. Britain boasts strengths across the range of plant sciences, and UK PlantSci is designed to facilitate and enhance collaborations. We achieve most when we work together.”

Plant science is integral to meeting global sustainability challenges, and this year’s overarching theme is ‘Plant Science in a Changing World’. The conference will open with a keynote speech on ‘Feeding 10 Billion People on a Finite Planet’ by Professor Charles Godfray, Director of the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food at the University of Oxford.

Professor Godfray’s interests include how the global food system will need to change and adapt to the challenges facing humanity in the 21st century, and in particular in the concept of sustainable intensification and the relationship between food production, ecosystems services and biodiversity.

Dr Sarah Perfect, Vice Chair of UKPSF, says: “This is something that many aspects of plant science play a part in, and should set the scene for an interesting and productive meeting.”

Inspiring future generations will be another key topic of discussion, with presentations and a stand dedicated to education, outreach and careers resources. The meeting programme will also feature the launch of a new plant science careers leaflet, produced by the Society for Experimental Biology and the Gatsby Plant Science Summer School Project.

The UK Plant Sciences Federation is a special interest group of the Society of Biology which acts as an umbrella body for organisations and research groups covering all aspects of UK plant biology. 

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