AgriFood Matters is an exciting new podcast developed by the UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science featuring leading academic staff at UCD in the area of Agriculture, Food Science and Human Nutrition.
Hosted by Seán Duke from the Irish Times this monthly podcast will examine topical issues such as Sustainability, Biodiversity, Inclusion, Food and Health, Innovation, Crop Sciences, Agricultural Economics, Humanitarian Action and much more and is available for download on iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcast, Breaker, Pocket Casts and RadioPublic.
13. Animal Reproduction
In today's episode, we will hear from two researchers, working at the cutting edge of the science of animal reproduction, who were both inspired by the late UCD Professor of Animal Husbandry, Ian Gordon, who died in 2021.
Professor Pat Lonergan is investigating precisely how the embryo in cattle communicates in utero with the mother, with a view to delivering insights that can provide competitive benefits for the Irish dairy and cattle industry.
Professor Trudee Fair is researching all the factors required to develop a healthy ovum, in animals, and her role leading a major EU research consortium called Eurova which brings together specialist egg, or ovum, biologists from all across Europe.
12. Food Waste
In Ireland, we generate more than one million tonnes of food waste every year, while globally It is estimated that food waste generates about 8% to 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
In this episode we talk to two researchers at the UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science who are working on ways of reducing food waste.
We'll hear from Nigel Brunton has been working on developing new technologies to tackle food waste arising from specific industries, such as cider brewing and potato production.
We will also hear from Ajay Menon, a post-doctoral researcher interested in developing technologies that turn food waste - which might otherwise end up in landfill - into valuable reusable resources, such as gas.
To comment on the show, or make content suggestions please send an email to Seán Duke, Presenter of AgriFood Matters - email@example.com
11. Digital Agriculture
This episode features researchers working in precision agriculture, or digital agriculture - where new technology can be used to improve soil quality and crop productivity by working out the right intervention needed in the right place at the right time to give targeted interventions.
Professor Kevin McDonnell will discuss how he is developing new technologies and methods to help farmers at home and abroad reach their challenging production and sustainability goals.
Dr Mary Harty, a soil health researcher interested in soil health, describes how digital technology is providing farmers with ways to protect their soil, reduce costs and improve their crop yields.
10. Examples of Vitamin D research
Vitamin D has been found to have an important role in the immune function of both animals and humans. It is a concern that levels of Vitamin D have been found to be low in both animals and humans in Ireland.
Two researchers from the UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science will give us insights into their research about the vitamin, one from the animal, and the other from the human perspective.
Dr Kieran Meade is an animal immunologist who will share the important research on cattle he has been doing with an aim to improve health and yields and reduce the use of antibiotics at the farm level.
Dr Aifric O’Sullivan is a nutrition lecturer in UCD and is investigating why there are so many people in Ireland at risk of Vitamin D deficiency, whether there are some groups in society who are especially at risk, and what can we do about it?
9. The Story of Bees
This episode looks at the essential role of insects in agriculture, specifically as pollinators.
We will talk to Dr Dara Stanley an entomologist based in the UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science with a special interest in the interaction between pollinating insects and plants. Dara has recently received two very prestigious awards, in October she received The British Ecological Society Early Career Award and last month she was awarded Science Foundation Ireland’s Early Career Researcher of the Year.
Dr Brian Tobin is a Forestry lecturer in the School with a lifelong interest in honey bees and is the beekeeper on campus, and he’ll be telling us about the fascinating life in the hive. Although UCD is based in a city, there is a significant space on campus called Rosemount Environmental Research Station where staff and students can investigate the interactions between soil, plants, and insects such as research honey bees, bumblebees, and the many species of solitary bees and hoverflies which are responsible for pollinating plants and providing us with food.
In this episode, we talk about biodiversity, which ia especially topical given the recent UN Climate Change Conference, 2021 held in Glasgow.
A recent Bord Bia survey found that consumers really did want to make a difference in making lifestyle and buying changes and yet biodiversity is not yet on consumers’ radar in terms of making purchasing decisions.
We caught up with two researchers from the UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science to tell us about the research they have done leading to really impactful changes in Irish farming and Irish landscapes.
Helen Sheridan discusses her research into finding animal feed substitutes for perennial rye grass, which can lead to less intensive farming practices, which is good news for biodiversity in Ireland.
Barry John McMahon, meanwhile, describes how investigating the interaction between agricultural systems and bird populations and help to address the serious problem of loss of bird species, and other species, here in Ireland and around the world.