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Natural Resources Institute appoints food security expert

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Professor John PorterJuly 4, 2013. Food security expert Professor John Porter has been appointed to the university’s Natural Resources Institute (NRI), based at the Medway Campus.

The crop and ecosystem services specialist has accepted the role of Professor of Agriculture and Climate Change at NRI, which undertakes research, consultancy and training to support global food systems, sustainable development and poverty reduction in developing countries.

The Liverpool-born professor said he was privileged to take up his position, working alongside eminent professors including John Morton, a fellow co-ordinating lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

“I was delighted to have been given the opportunity to join the Institute, which has such a fantastic reputation around the world,” he said. “I was very pleased to take this role. It’s a great honour.”

Professor Porter, who also works at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, said he was keen to make a significant contribution to the work of the Institute during his two-year contract.

He said: “My experience is in crop physiology and, more recently, in the food systems of European cities, whereas NRI works predominantly further afield, in Africa and Asia.

“I’m looking forward to contributing my skills to the expertise at NRI in agroecology, and analysis of ecosystem services, to help build their Sustainable Agricultural Intensification Programme.

“This would include raising yields, maximising the use of renewable resources, reducing waste, shortening the food production chain, improving efficiencies and engaging more people in the food process.

“I’d also like to develop our e-learning output as I feel much of the research, studies and lectures NRI carries out would be of great interest to a wide audience of people involved with food production all over the world.”

Professor Andrew Westby, Director at NRI, said: “Professor Porter’s experience will undoubtedly help us develop new ways to meet the challenges food producers across the world are currently facing and in the future.

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