auto_awesome_motion View all 1 versions
organization

Dept for Env Food & Rural Affairs DEFRA

Country: United Kingdom
93 Projects, page 1 of 19
  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: G0700612/1
    Funder Contribution: 63,771 GBP
    Partners: Dept for Env Food & Rural Affairs DEFRA

    Anticoagulant rodenticides have been used for control of rodents (principally rats and mice in the UK) for over 50 years. UK and European legislation requires that manufacturers of poison baits provide efficacy data, including how many rodents are killed by a new bait formulation. As a consequence a small number of procedures are carried out in the UK every year which necessitate allowing animals to die from anticoagulant poisoning. There is a lag-time, of 4-6 days, from ingestion of bait to death associated with all anticoagulant rodenticides. This project aims to identify behavioural or biochemical markers during that lag-time that can be used to predict death or survival and allow humane methods to be used for ending the experiment before the animals die.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: BB/I024283/1
    Funder Contribution: 115,069 GBP
    Partners: Dept for Env Food & Rural Affairs DEFRA, University of Southampton

    The increasing global demand for food, concerns over dwindling reserves of good quality phosphate rock and the climate-change impacts of fertiliser manufacture, fluctuating fertiliser prices, and the adverse environmental, social and economic consequences of phosphorus (P) pollution of water require the development of innovative and more sustainable solutions to the use and management of P on farms. Current systems of production rely on inputs of highly water-soluble fertilisers to maintain large reserves of background P in the soil. Recovery of applied P by crops is consequently low (<30%) and this inefficiency is not only wasteful of resources but also increases the risk of eutrophication through increased P loss in runoff from land. A peak in global phosphate rock production could occur within the next two decades whilst eutrophication is estimated to be costing the UK over £75 million per annum. A potential alternative and more sustainable strategy for P use in arable farming systems is to maintain a lower background of soil P but supplement this with more targeted P applications and/or by fertilisers that are more efficiently used, and/or fertilisers recovered from domestic or livestock wastewaters. We propose here that adoption of these more sustainable P use strategies will reduce growing costs and current dependence on elevated soil P-fertility, so will help to preserve finite global reserves of P and reduce export of P in runoff from land. In this proposal a multi-disciplinary, cross-industry research team will investigate and develop a new direction for P management that will improve P-use efficiency in arable crops, maximise recycling of wastewater P, reduce the pressure on rock phosphate reserves and minimise wider environmental impacts. Through multi-centre modelling, laboratory studies and field experiments we will compare and develop methods to improve P-use efficiency by (a) reducing the fixation of applied P by soils, (b) improving the accessibility of applied P to crops, and (c) improving the exploitation of soil P previously considered to be largely unavailable to crops. The magnitude of the economic and wider environmental benefits from maintaining lower soil P-fertility need to be quantified across a range of soil types and cropping systems. On completion, the project will deliver novel and profitable soil and fertiliser management strategies that will help farmers maintain the economic viability of their farm businesses and meet any future restrictions on P management under the Water Framework Directive. The project will have relevance across the spectrum of conventional, LEAF and organic farming systems and will involve overseas collaboration on what is internationally recognised as a key issue for sustainable farming and global food security. BBSRC funded project will develop mathematical models and optimisation techniques to describe phosphate movement and uptake by cropping systems.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: ES/K007440/1
    Funder Contribution: 98,745 GBP
    Partners: QMUL, Dept for Env Food & Rural Affairs DEFRA

    This project will fund a fellowship placement for a mid-career researcher to work for 9 months with the better regulation teams at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Environment Agency (EA). 'Better Regulation' is the UK government's approach to developing regulation that achieves the desired outcome while avoiding unintended consequences and limiting costs for companies, consumers and the taxpayer. For Defra and the EA, the challenge is to improve, simplify, consolidate and even remove environmental regulations, while achieving at least equivalent outcomes for the environment, society and the economy. Academic research can offer useful guidance on how to tackle this challenge through providing evidence on the impacts, costs and benefits of various approaches to environmental regulation. The project will enable a researcher who specialises in company responses to environmental regulation to provide their expertise to Defra and the EA. During the fellowship the researcher will (1) collate research evidence on the relationships between environmental regulation, innovation, firm performance and economic growth, and (2) consult these and other government agencies to develop an action plan for future research collaboration on better regulation for a sustainable economy.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/E018327/1
    Funder Contribution: 78,002 GBP
    Partners: Lancaster University, Dept for Env Food & Rural Affairs DEFRA

    The predominant activity in risk assessment is the modelling of physical hazards. Yet recent major risk events, such as the Sudan 1 food contamination scandal, show how important the social response can be in comparison to physical harm. Withdrawals of product, loss of reputation, reductions in trust, additional testing and inspection regimes, and so on can often be just as consequential as physical injury. Our main basis for understanding the social response to risk events is the Social Amplification of Risk Framework due to Kasperson et al (1988). But this remains a qualitative model, and is accepted even by its authors (for example Kasperson et al 2003) as a 'framework' for organising our general understanding rather than a theory that will predict or explain the social construction of risk in a definite way.Our aim is to determine whether, and investigate how, we can make the concepts which appear in social risk amplification models more precise and more quantitative. To do this we propose to explore a variety of techniques used in the discipline of epidemiology - on the basis of a number of apparent parallels. For example, notions of susceptibility and infection seem to be analogous to notions of sensitivity and concern, 'super-infectives' resemble certain social institutions such as the broadcast media, and the recrudescence of infection resembles the recrudescence of concern and 'ripple effects' found in risk amplification. The programme will involve applying a number of techniques to the various kinds of data we have about social response (for example the uptake of vaccinations), in the context of several recent case studies. We plan to assess how informative these are in the decision processes of our collaborator - the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/E018025/1
    Funder Contribution: 76,449 GBP
    Partners: Dept for Env Food & Rural Affairs DEFRA, University of Liverpool

    The predominant activity in risk assessment is the modelling of physical hazards. Yet recent major risk events, such as the Sudan 1 food contamination scandal, show how important the social response can be in comparison to physical harm. Withdrawals of product, loss of reputation, reductions in trust, additional testing and inspection regimes, and so on can often be just as consequential as physical injury. Our main basis for understanding the social response to risk events is the Social Amplification of Risk Framework due to Kasperson et al (1988). But this remains a qualitative model, and is accepted even by its authors (for example Kasperson et al 2003) as a 'framework' for organising our general understanding rather than a theory that will predict or explain the social construction of risk in a definite way.Our aim is to determine whether, and investigate how, we can make the concepts which appear in social risk amplification models more precise and more quantitative. To do this we propose to explore a variety of techniques used in the discipline of epidemiology - on the basis of a number of apparent parallels. For example, notions of susceptibility and infection seem to be analogous to notions of sensitivity and concern, 'super-infectives' resemble certain social institutions such as the broadcast media, and the recrudescence of infection resembles the recrudescence of concern and 'ripple effects' found in risk amplification. The programme will involve applying a number of techniques to the various kinds of data we have about social response (for example the uptake of vaccinations), in the context of several recent case studies. We plan to assess how informative these are in the decision processes of our collaborator - the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs.