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Programmes Plants

Plants for the 21st Century Institute
The Plants for the 21st Century Institute was established in 2010 with funding from the Oxford Martin School and our grant ended in March 2015. The Institute's Director, Professor Liam Dolan, remains actively involved with the School as an Oxford Martin Senior Fellow.

Project Description

What are we doing?
We generate scientific resources and information that will enable policy makers, conservation biologists, multinational companies and individuals to use land in a way that will maximise crop outputs and protect ‘hotspots’ of species diversity.

Why is it important?
Ensuring food and fuel security around the world in the 21st century is a major challenge that requires innovative research in plant sciences.

How are we different?
We are unique in the way we bring together three pinnacles of food security: improving crop production, promoting species conservation, and protecting forested land. The research data and insights from these programmes will alleviate global food security concerns by enabling more informed decision-making by the world’s leaders and opinion-formers.

Research themes

Conservation: aims to provide innovative ways to capture, analyse and publicise the large volumes of plant diversity data that are needed to underpin conservation and wider environmental action. 

Crops: aims to increase crop yields and thereby alleviate global food security concerns.

Trees: investigates how forests respond to both natural and human inflicted disturbance and uses the data obtained to inform policies for sustainable management.