WUN’s legume research – a lynchpin to global food security

WUN’s Legume Network is building a global reputation for research excellence – paving the way for pulses to be embraced as crucial allies in the fight against climate change, hunger, obesity and other threats to world health.

In 2018, the network was awarded a sustainability grant from WUN to bolster its efforts to secure large-scale, transnational funding to establish a centre of excellence and associated nodes of research.  “Large-scale funding will ensure we tackle major challenges in legume biology as a unified world-leading academic community of excellence, driving WUN bioscience forward in this key area,” says PI Associate Professor Michael Considine (UWA). 

WUN’s Legumes Network comprises dozens of leading scientists across 12 institutions from five continents. Since its launch in 2015, the number of papers published relating to legumes and climate change has tripled from under 20 to more than 60 per annum – many connected directly to the network.  (Click through to full story.)

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CROP-FS tackles gritty issues of global food security

The WUN-sponsored project Crop-FS (Climate-resilient open partnership for food security) is a consortium of 24 highly reputed international researchers engaged in conducting cutting-edge research to develop climate-resilient crops, microbial communities, and soil amendments for improving crop productivity under extreme environments. 

PI Prof Om Parkash (UMass Amherst) explains that since its launch in 2016, the consortium has grown exponentially with more than 14 universities and institutions across five continents now involved. (Click through for full story)

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New consortium to bring interdisciplinary insights on climate-induced migration

While disasters and environmental factors have always been important drivers of migration, even more people are expected to move as they face the projected impacts of climate change, including more extreme weather events, changes in water quality and availability, and interactions with conflict. 

A recent ruling of the UN Human Rights Committee, which stated that people cannot be sent back to countries where climate change impacts place them in immediate danger, was treated by many commentators as a landmark protection for environmental migrants. As Professor Andreas Neef (University of Auckland) explains in this feature, the reality is more complex. Recipient of a 2020 WUN Research Development Fund award, a WUN member consortium will advance interdisciplinary research into climate-induced migration. It aims to help improve policies through a better understanding of the complex drivers of migration and displacement associated with climatic changes.  Click through for the full story.

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Mobilising around mobility: unique WUN collaboration to study wellbeing and sustainable transport

How do individuals weigh up the options of different modes of transport? Do they value speed, accessibility, cleanliness, health, or cost when choosing how to get around? What choices are available and how might this change? Funded by a 2020 Research Development Fund grant, this new WUN Interdisciplinary Research Group brings the power of five key institutes to the challenges—and benefits—of promoting greater use of sustainable forms of mobility, with their associated outcomes for health and wellbeing.  Click through for the full story.

 

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Trauma, climate change, and maternal health: increasing impacts, trans-generational effects

Stressors and traumas such as violence and abuse, the effects of poverty, and the experience of emergencies or disasters have a major impact on the health of pregnant women and their children.

As the impact of climate change multiplies the threats, understanding why and how we can make effective and early interventions is paramount.

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Climate and shock: resilience in food production systems after COVID-19

As the coronavirus pandemic spreads, interruptions to public services and the imposition of social distancing have had major impacts on global agriculture and food supply. Professor Mark Eisler of the WUN supported Global Farm Platform discusses likely impacts of the crisis and the potential for rebuilding systems in more environmentally and economically sustainable way. 

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