Discover research projects taking place at the Institute for Sustainable Food. Our interdisciplinary approach addresses the entire food system by incorporating the work of natural and social scientists.
Plant production and protection
Our work includes the impact of climate change on agriculture, the dynamics of weeds, pests and diseases, the molecular biology of plants, and soil biology.
Translational and transformative
Our teams translate research into real-world applications and work to facilitate knowledge exchange with agri-businesses and policy-makers
Experts from the Institute for Sustainable Food are working to understand the fragility in our supply chains and collaborate on ways to improve food security for all.
The local as a site of food security resilience in the times of pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has already significantly impacted on the UK’s food system. This project, led by Dr Anna Krzywoszynska, looks a what can be learned from this, to bolster the food systems resilience.
Action Against Stunting Hub
Professor Bhavani Shankar leads the food systems work package of this £19M collaboration. This work focuses on investigating the food environments faced by households in the study sites to improve diets and help alleviate stunting.
Feeding the world with foam
The Desert Garden project is a unique project born out of innovative science and is giving families displaced by war the opportunity to grow fresh food in the desert using discarded mattresses.
The natural environment
Harnessing and integrating disease suppressive microbes and synthetic soils for sustainable, low input horticulture
This £1.5 million grant from the BBSRC will help our experts led by Professor Duncan Cameron, Institute director, to understand how beneficial bacteria protect plants’ health – in a similar way to gut bacteria in humans.
Signals in the soil: Real-time and Continuous Monitoring of Phosphates in the Soil
This new £1.8m research project led by the University of Sheffield is supporting the development of sensors to detect phosphate in soil, to help farmers increase their crop yield and reduce fertiliser use.
The hidden potential of urban horticulture
Research led by Dr Jill Edmondson found that growing fruit and vegetables in just 10 per cent of a city’s gardens and other urban green spaces could provide 15 per cent of the local population with their ‘five a day’.
Hydroponic growing in an abandoned school
In Sheffield, the team has set up an urban foam farm in an abandoned primary school and is working to increase access to fresh produce in a food desert, and train the community to grow food locally using this soil-free system.
Sheffield: Resilient city
Teams from the Institute for Sustainable Food are working on low impact agriculture in urban spaces, building mini-farms in old shipping containers — with the first prototype opening in 2020. This approach, funded by the Higher Education Innovation Fund Impact Accelerator Account, British Council and the Global Challenges Research Fund, addresses the entire agrifood system
Agri-Environmental Governance Post-Brexit
The UK’s decision to leave the EU is seen by the government as an opportunity to reform UK agricultural land policy. Researchers from Sheffield and Reading will work with farmers, stakeholders and Defra to develop a model for co-designing the new post-Brexit Environmental Land Management system.
Business as usual ‘no longer an option’ for Europe’s food system
The Evidence Review Report, A sustainable food system for the European Union, provides an evidence base for the scientific opinion of the European Commission’s Chief Scientific Advisors. The working group was led by Professor Peter Jackson, Director of the Institute for Sustainable Food at the University of Sheffield.
STFC Food Network+
The University of Sheffield led network brings together more than 750 international and multidisciplinary researchers from across the agri-food sector to work with experts from STFC’s research facilities, all with the aim of solving some of the world’s greatest food sustainability challenges.