Solving world hunger: is it more than a beauty contestant’s pipe dream?
Eradication of hunger is one of the most significant global challenges. One billion people are considered malnourished despite food production being at the highest levels in history. Food insecurity exists “whenever the availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods or the ability to acquire acceptable food in socially acceptable ways is limited or uncertain” (Radimer, 2002). Human populations are increasing with estimates of more than 9 billion by 2050, while the negative impacts of climate change and variability, and land and and water degradation are simultaneously increasing. Australia also suffers from food insecurity with 5% of the population estimated as undernourished. Where did the innovations of the 1960s “green revolution” go wrong and what can be done now to meet existing and future challenges?
In this multi-disciplinary Grand Challenge, you will learn and apply concepts from animal and plant physiology, molecular biology, pathology, chemistry, entomology and ecology. You will do this by first investigating the scientific issues surrounding food insecurity including limits to production, and nutritional quality in crops, livestock and aquaculture. Then you will explore innovative and novel solutions to these issues, including the unique opportunity to interact and learn from leading scientists tackling issues of food insecurity every day. And who knows you might come up with a solution or two yourself?
NQB623 Ecosystem Sciences: Action Learning in the rainforest
Many scientists pursue research careers in academia, government or industry, and those who work in science outside research almost always require an ability to interpret data, coupled with an appreciation of the research method. This unit will build on earlier exercises involving data collection and analysis conducted during first year, experimental design and interpretation in second year, and specialist discipline knowledge gained throughout the course. These skills will be integrated and employed at an advanced level, providing you with the opportunity to build your problem-solving skills by identifying and researching a particular biological problem. The research will be conducted in groups, providing a further opportunity to demonstrate and refine your teamwork skills, as required in many professions.