The research work is funded by the research councils, the European Commission, UK charities, government agencies and industry. There are more than 200 research and technical staff and 150 research students. There are 200 research projects with major programmes in plant science, biochemistry, genetics, food science, microbiology, biotechnology, animal physiology, nutrition, and crop science. The campus is well equipped for research ranging from genomics, proteomics and metabolomics to field scale trials to study environmental factors on the growth of crop plants. There is an automatic weather station, field sites for micrometeorology and laboratories with facilities for gas chromatography, atomic absorption analysis, and a major suite for flavour chemistry. There are extensive growth room and glass house facilities that provide a range of controlled environments to study crop growth and development and the production and analysis of transgenic plants.
The campus also houses the Nottingham Arabidopsis Stock Centre, (the European Centre for Arabidopsis genetic resources). The Tropical Crops Research Unit has a suite of controlled-environment glasshouses in which conditions such as temperature, atmospheric moisture and carbon dioxide concentration can be controlled by a central computer whilst crop stands are able to grow in a natural soil. An arboretum, consisting of about 1.5 hectares and containing over 300 trees and shrubs, many of which are unusual species, provides both an amenity and a scientific and educational resource.
There are extensive, modern, well equipped laboratories containing a wide range of analytical equipment, stable isotope mass spectrometers, radioisotope suites, tissue culture rooms, and molecular biology equipment. Research in biotechnology is supported by a capillary DNA sequencer and genomics, and proteomics equipment, for plant, animal and microbial investigations. In addition, an animal metabolism unit is used for studies on cattle, sheep, pigs and poultry as well as laboratory animals.
Research is also conducted into the nutritional quality of plant and animal products for man. The new £7.5m purpose-designed Plant Sciences building houses state-of-the- art genomics equipment and controlled environment facilities to study the growth and development of plants. The Food Sciences Building contains modern equipment for the physio-chemical analysis of food and food structure, including mass spectrometry, high speed preparative and analytical ultra centrifuges, instruments for studying X-ray and light scattering, NMR and an extensive array of rheological techniques.
The Food Microbiology laboratories are fully equipped to carry out modern molecular and microbial techniques and include proteomic equipment and an ACGM Category 3 laboratory available to the school for genetic manipulation work. Specialised imaging equipment, including a photon video imaging system, is used in the development of novel approaches to microbiological research. Investigation of fundamental principles of food structure, flavour chemistry and safety has resulted in major links with industrial partners.
Facilities for animal physiology include laboratory animal accommodation, a surgery, and a suite of rooms with provision for physiological studies including work with radioisotopes.
The National Centre for Macromolecular Hydrodynamics, based within the Food Sciences Building, contains some of the best facilities for analytical ultracentrifugation in Europe. A business arm of the National Centre and also sensory evaluation facilities are located in a separate building.
Sutton Bonington campus has its own hall of residence, sports centre and social amenities, student guild and wide range of clubs and societies. The campus benefits from state-of-the-art teaching and research facilities dedicated to the study of biosciences, including purpose-built plant and food science buildings; many specialised laboratories; a 24-hour learning resource centre; university farm and a new dairy centre.
We have an Information Services Learning Resource Centre (ISCRA) comprising a suite of computer resource areas, which is open 24-hours per day via the University smart card. All PC workstations are connected to the University’s data network, and through Joint Academic Network (JANET) to the Internet.