21st Century Plants for Global Wellbeing

Speaker: Dr. Gary Martin (Global Diversity Foundation)

Time: 5.30pm

Date: Thursday, December 4th

Venue: Danson Room, Trinity College

Sponsored by the Trinity College Scientific Society

Refreshments will be provided.

It is widely recognised that plants – as primary producers – are the basis of life itself, but which species will provide our food and medicine in the 21st century? Some scientists focus on more efficient production of economically significant crop plants. They engage in genetic manipulation to create new forms of life that promise to feed the world and provide novel pharmaceutical products. Other researchers explore more effective use of a wider range of plants, including species that are used locally, but are not yet exploited globally. All embrace new analytic and predictive approaches such as next generation genetic sequencing, metabolomics and exploration of chemical space in a phylogenetic context to gauge the nutritional and medicinal potential of botanical species and varieties.  This talk will explore how these approaches can be triangulated with ethnobiological methods to contribute to food sovereignty, public health and global food security. 

About the Speaker:

Gary Martin has been the Director of the Global Diversity Foundation since its inception in 2000. Gary was a lecturer in the School of Anthropology and Conservation at the University of Kent from 1998 to 2011 and a Fellow of the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society from 2010 to 2012. Since 2011, he has been the Director of the Global Environments Summer Academy and is the creator of the incipient Global Environments Network. Twice a Fulbright scholar, he has a PhD in anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley and an undergraduate degree in botany. His applied research and teaching on conservation and ethnobotany has taken him to more than fifty countries over the last thirty years.

Download the poster for this talk.