On Friday 31st March at 11:00 CEST we are delighted to welcome Professor Duncan Cameron to INRAE to discuss his research with us.

Dunc (Duncan) Cameron is the professor of Environmental Sustainability at the University of Manchester. He is an environmental microbiologist/biological chemist and his research seeks to understand how soil microbes enhance plant nutrition and health in the context of sustainable agriculture and global food security. He has held prestigious UK and international fellowships including a Royal Society University Research Fellowship along with international fellowships in Germany and Australia.

Dunc active in science policy and for example he gave evidence at the UN climate negotiations in Paris in 2015 and again in Marrakesh in 2016. Prior to this, his applied research saw Duncan win the World Economic Forum’s “Young Scientist Award (40 under 40)” in 2013. Duncan’s work is highly interdisciplinary and international. As examples, he co-leads the Healthy Soil, Healthy Food, Healthy People consortium, part of UKRI’s “Transforming UK food systems” programme, developing sustainable methods of fish farming in Australia and with historians to understand the socio-cultural impacts changing diets in India. Most recently Duncan has worked with the UNHCR to develop hydroponic farms with refugees from the Syrian conflict in Jordan, raising £250K in donations to launch the Desert Garden for which he and his colleagues won the 2020 Green Gown and was the subject of a recent award-winning documentary.

Dunc is a passionate science communicator working with painters, sculptors, musicians and performance artists to develop (and perform in) artworks and stage shows that explore food security and environmental sustainability for both adults and children and having performed in local and national festivals including the Cheltenham Science Festival. In 2017, Duncan and his team won the Royal Society Colin Pillinger award for public engagement.

Dunc is physically disabled, he suffers from the neurological disease Cerebellar Ataxia and is a full time wheelchair user. Dunc is gay and he is committed to increasing the visibility of LGBTQI+ people.


The title of his talk will be:

Decoding the secret language of soils: chemical signalling in the rhizosphere and its effects on plant health.

“Despite the staggering technological achievements of agriculture, we owe our entire existence on this planet to a six-inch layer of soil and the fact that it rains”.  The soil is the foundation of most terrestrial life on the Earth yet soil as a resource and its staggering complexity is often ignored, undervalued and underappreciated, non more so than the amazing array of organisms that make soil their home. The soil is a repository of information as well as an information super highway where signals are exchange between the soil organisms including plants, animals and microbes. These, usually chemical, signals have been hard to detect and to decode but advances in analytical methodologies, both biochemical and statistical, now allow us to eaves drop on these conversations as never before. Here I have select some examples of how soil organisms communicate with each other and the wider consequences of those conversations for soil ecosystems.

The talk will be presented in english and will be recorded.

So save the date, register for the seminar and look forward to seeing you all soon.
Please do not hesitate to forward to colleagues you think may also be interested in attending.

When: Mar 31, 2023 11:00 Paris 

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Look forward to catching up with everybody.

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