Hungry for answers to global food crisis


With climate change threatening world food supplies, Dr Nigel Maxted is on a quest to save our crops. Ben Goodwin learns more.

One of the biggest challenges facing humans over the next century will be the issue of food supply. With the world’s population expected to reach 9.6 billion by 2050 and weather patterns changing drastically, the food we eat is under threat. 

‘The varieties of crops that we have traditionally used have a very narrow genetic base,’ says Dr Nigel Maxted, Senior Lecturer in Genetic Conservation in the School of Biosciences. ‘Crops today have to cope with more challenging weather patterns than ever before and the conventional material used for breeding does not contain enough genetic variation to meet changing demands.