Knowledge for a sustainable world

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The Natural Resources Institute (NRI) of the University of Greenwich is a leader in natural resources research, promoting efficient management and use of renewable natural resources in support of sustainable livelihoods. Research is primarily focused on developing and emerging economies. NRI's presence and research partnerships in developing countries, and its training and capacity building programmes, provide the platform for the Institute to develop and disseminate key technologies and knowledge. This has resulted in substantial impact at farmer and community level, and has made significant contributions to the international research community. Much of the work also involves interaction with the developed world where it is equally applicable.

Our Research Groups report to two units of assesment, Agriculture, Food and Veterinary Sciences and Anthropology and Development Studies. Further information including group members, projects and publications can be found below.

Impact is central to everything NRI does. Below you can find examples of our Impact Case Studies.

An important constituency within all of our Research Groups are our Early Career Researchers (ECRs). We have an active ECR Network that aims to develop skills, promote inter-disciplinarity and foster a collegiate research environment for those at an early state in their research careers.  The ECR Network’s agenda is set by the ECRs themselves and seeks to be inclusive and focussed on maximising career potential. 

Our Research and Development work is also organised to address thematic challenges. Contact Professor Ben Bennett for more details.

Agriculture, Food and Veterinary Sciences

NRI researchers address challenges and opportunities relating to the spectrum of activities from food production to consumption, with a focus on low- and middle-income countries particularly in sub-Saharan Africa but increasingly also on those related to the UK. At the primary production end of the scale this includes a particular emphasis of the vectors of disease of people, livestock and crops. Our work post-harvest concentrates on durable and perishable crops to, reduce losses, enhance financial and/or nutritional crop value, improve storage and preservation, improve food processing technologies, ensuring food safety and quality management and, address food loss and waste – all with the ultimate aim of improving the livelihoods and nutritional status of vulnerable, less advantaged populations.

The Chemical Ecology Group works on the identification and use of naturally-produced chemicals for control of pests, particularly in the developing countries.

Climate change and biodiversity loss are two of the biggest global challenges in the coming decades, primarily due to their impacts on the provision of ecosystem services.

The Food Systems Research Group addresses challenges and opportunities relating to the spectrum of activities from food production to consumption.

The work of the Pest Behaviour Group ranges from laboratory-based research to analyse the basic physiology and behaviour of pests and vectors through field-based studies of pest behaviour and ecology to translational research where knowledge of pest behaviour is used to develop innovative control technologies.

The Plant Health Group’s research focusses on reducing yield losses caused by pests and diseases through application of integrated natural and social science approaches. Fundamental research to understand complex plant-virus-vector interactions are focussed on providing critical components needed to generate impact through improved and sustainable control measures.

Anthropology and Development Studies

NRI social scientists are committed to researching major questions about how households and communities in the global South escape from poverty, how they make themselves more resilient to external trends, and how they can be helped by governments and their policies, civil society, market actors, and international agencies. We research these questions in projects we design and lead ourselves, and in collaboration with colleagues from the biophysical sciences, in NRI and beyond.

Our research addresses poverty and vulnerability, and how poor people themselves, governments, the private sector and civil society can help overcome them

Impact Case Studies

NRI undertakes interdisciplinary research to improve lives and sustain our planet. We generate new knowledge and insights, carrying out our work together with our global partners and the communities we aim to support, to ensure our research has sustainable impact. From the concept stage to implementation and assessment, delivering real impact is intrinsic to our research projects and programmes, and encompasses our whole research environment organised into interconnected Research Groups and Development Programmes. As part of UKRI’s exercise to assess the impact of research outside academia, we submitted seven impact case studies in REF2021, the UK’s system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. In this section, you will find summaries of our impact case studies with contact details of the lead academic.

Early Career Researcher Network (ECRN)

The network allows ECRs to come together, to enhance their research and wider development skills in a dynamic and highly multidisciplinary working environment that strives for a vibrant and inclusive culture of research excellence.