“Research in UCC’s School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences (BEES) is punching at a global level in one of the hottest fields in science – Plants for food,” reports Professor John O’Halloran. “The impact of Plant and Forest research at UCC is double the global average and we are actively delivering on the Government’s agenda for research translation and commercialisation.” This was the outcome of an independent analysis of institutional productivity using the citation-based research evaluation tool InCites.
This research, according to Professor O’Halloran, will help resolve the food energy trilemma where delivering more food from less land, which now competes with energy crops, may have major environmental consequences. “With global populations growing rapidly, there are huge risks of food shortages and enormous environmental damage, and so we need new sources of food and higher yielding crops,” he says. The School of BEES has a long and distinguished history of research excellence in the areas of Plant Science, Forestry, Aquaculture and Fisheries, and these have the potential to support food and energy demand in sustainable ways.
BEES conducts research in Plant Science including the development of better and novel crop plants and the sustainable control of plant pests and diseases. The School is also committed to the innovation agenda and the generation of new wealth. Gourmet Marine is a recently established aquaculture company and is a BEES spin-out, one of the first in the marine food sector. The School is also advancing further research in sustainable Plant Biology, Forestry, Fisheries and Aquaculture.