Upcoming events

Future Food Seminar


Biophysical interactions at the root-soil interface governing plant growth 

Tino Colombi, Department of Soil and Environment, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Uppsala, Sweden. 

Thu 22nd September 2022
1pm - 2pm BST
A17, Plant Science Building, Sutton Bonington Campus, University of Nottingham  


Abstract: Plants and in particular roots are of crucial importance for the functioning of agroecosystems. Roots are essential for water and nutrient uptake and they fuel soil structure dynamics and biogeochemical cycles. Here, I will focus on biophysical interactions at the root-soil interface and their implications for whole plant growth. Using experimental data and theoretical considerations, I will show how soil physical properties such as mechanical impedance and aeration affect root growth, water and nutrient accessibility, and carbon partitioning in the plant-soil system. Moreover, I will highlight how root trait diversity and plasticity can be harnessed to improve plant growth and associated ecosystem functions of arable soil.  

Bio Tino Colombi received his MSc (2013) and PhD (2017) in Agricultural Sciences from ETH Zurich, Switzerland under the supervision of Prof. Achim Walter. In 2017, Tion moved to the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) in Uppsala, Sweden as a postdoctoral fellow in the group of Prof. Thomas Keller. Since 2020, Tino hold a researcher position at the same institution. In Tion’s research, he aims to uncover biophysical processes in the rhizosphere governing whole plant growth and how these processes can be harnessed to design sustainable cropping systems.  

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Future Food Symposium 2022

Nottingham Contemporary - Weekday Cross
14 - 15/09/2022
Registration URL
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Join us for two days discussing the future of food systems. This conference is open to early career researchers and PhDs, as well as academics.

Conference themes include:

  • Computer driven innovation
  • Net Zero food systems
  • Healthy diets
  • Regenerative agriculture
  • Alternative proteins
  • Cultivated meats

Confirmed speakers for the event are:

Dr Tania Dottorini

Professor Paul Wilson

Dr Louise Ander

Professor Sacha Mooney

Professor Andy Salter

Professor Ramiro Alberio


Past events

Future Food seminar series

5 April 2022 - 'Genomics of rice ecology' - Rafal Gutaker, RBG Kew 

28 September 2021 - 'Roles and perception mechanisms of signaling peptides during plant immunity (and beyond)' - Cyril Zipfel - Professor and Chair of Molecular and Cellular Plant Physiology, Institute of Plant and Microbial Biology, Zürich-Basel Plant Science Center, University of Zürich

21 April 2021 - ‘The history of science and the future of food: two lessons from the conservation of crop diversity’ - Helen Anne Curry, Senior Lecturer in the history of science and technology at the University of Cambridge

25 February 2021 – ‘Ancient DNA from lake sediments’ - Katharina Dulias, Postdoctoral researcher at the University of York

2 February 2021 – ‘The genetics of cocoa’ - Pathmanathan Umaharan, Professor of Genetics at the University of the West Indies, Director of the Cocoa Research Centre, Trinidad and Honorary Professor of the Future Food Beacon 

16 December 2020 – ‘The ups and downs of root-shoot communication in planta’ – Ian Dodd, Professor at Lancaster University

30 November 2020 – ‘Vascular transcription factors guide plant epidermal responses to limiting phosphate conditions’ – Bert de Reybel, VIB Group leader and Associate Professor at Ghent University

24 November 2020 – ‘Consumer appetite for alternative proteins’, Chris Bryant, PhD from the University of Bath

4 November 2020 – ‘The last step is the hardest: lignin and suberin formation in the cell wall’ – Niko Geldner, Professor at the University of Lausanne

14 July 2020 – ‘Mining algae for human health: bioactive compounds produced by Euglena’ – Ellis O’Neal, Nottingham Research Fellow

26 May 2020 – ‘Food, Cultural Inheritance and Belonging’ - Richard Vytniorgu, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Nottingham


Food Tales public lecture series

26 February 2020 – ‘Doing things differently: can a small bakery contribute to big changes in our food system?’ Kimberley Bell, Small Food Bakery, Nottingham

23 October 2019 – ‘What is wrong with our food system?’ - Professor Graziano da Silva, outgoing Director-General of FAO and Special Ambassador to the Global Panel on Nutrition. You can read the press release trailing this high-profile event before watching the video of the talk

 15 October 2019 – ‘How can we better navigate the complexity and misinformation around food?’ The Angry Chef, Anthony Warner. Press release here


Innovation Challenge

14 August 2018 – Pitch event

26 April 2018 - Launch event




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