Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Security


Our interdisciplinary research focusses on three key themes. These are ‘Agri-Food Systems Innovation’, ‘Food, People, Planet’ and ‘Data-Driven Innovation'.

As a research-intensive institution, The University of Edinburgh is committed to research that is pioneering in terms of its originality and distinctiveness, significance and rigour. Through our research and its impact, we are producing transformative solutions to the multidisciplinary global challenges of today and the future. Our research is changing the world, making lives healthier, safer, more resilient and more fulfilled. Our vision is to inspire today’s brightest researchers to make a major impact on global society, and to become the leaders of tomorrow in Agriculture Science and Food Security.

Our collective strength is in applying systems thinking and data skills to investigate challenges and opportunities in agriculture, food and environmental security. We are uniquely placed, with skillsets and partnerships that arch across agri-food supply chains and beyond, in both the Global North and South. Our research, which underpins our teaching, is in three interconnected themes:

Research themes diagram


Research projects from the Global Academy.

Agri-Food Systems Innovation

Transformation of global agri-food systems is central to achieving food and environmental security. We investigate and promote innovation in complex food-supply systems – including appropriate new technologies - to deliver sustainable, healthy diets, to drive the transformation towards resilient, fair and sustainable food systems, and to support growth in the wider bio-economy.

Food, People, Planet

Human health and wellbeing are inextricably linked with animal, crop, soil and environmental health. Our agri-food systems are putting an increasing burden on the environment and affecting ‘planetary health’. We investigate agri-food system innovations most likely to improve human health and wellbeing and wider planetary health.

Data-Driven Innovation

Advances in data science, communication-, sensor- and earth observation-technologies are driving a ‘fourth revolution’ in agriculture. Data-Driven Innovation is a cross-cutting theme, supporting our work in the Agri-Food Systems Innovation and Food, People, Planet themes.

Postgraduate Research Admissions

Feeding the world’s growing population well - while protecting the natural systems on which we all depend - is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity.

One Health FIELD Network

Food Security Intelligence and Evidence-based Interventions for Local Sustainable Development in Fragile and Conflict-affected States

Jameel Observatory

The Jameel Observatory for Food Security Early Action has been created to help tackle the growing threat to people in the world’s drylands posed by the increasing severity and frequency of climate-related disasters.

 Global Academy projects

Funder Title/Weblinks Lead Academy Researcher
UKRI (GCRF-BBSRC) LegumeSELECT: Science-driven Evaluation of LEgume Choice for Transformed livelihoods Prof. Liz Baggs (Principal Investigator)
UKRI (ESRC) DOSA - Diagnostics for One Health and User Driven Solutions for AMR Prof. Dominic Moran (Co-Investigator)
UKRI (ESRC) Chicken or Egg: Drivers for Antimicrobial Resistance in Poultry in India (DARPI) Prof. Dominic Moran (Co-Investigator)
UKRI (ESRC) Does AMR in livestock contribute to AMR in people in NE India? An interdisciplinary study Prof. Dominic Moran (Co-Investigator)
UKRI (BBSRC) Environmental and Economic Impacts of Improved Antibiotics Stewardship in Poultry Systems Prof. Dominic Moran (Principal Investigator)
NERC Towards environmental reconciliation in Páramo land in Boyacá: resolving ecosystem trade-offs in post-conflict spaces Prof. Dominic Moran (Co-Investigator)
NERC How does the Paramo capture and store water? The role of plants and people Prof. Dominic Moran (Principal Investigator)
UKRI (BBSRC) Developing a conceptual framework to improve understanding of AMR in livestock systems: translating research into policy and practice Prof. Dominic Moran (Co-Investigator)
NERC Cocoa; future yields across West Africa Dr Jon Hillier (Co-Investigator)
NERC International: Integrating globally-recognised sustainability metrics for tropical perennial crops in a one-stop shop Cool Farm Tool Dr Jon Hillier (Principal Investigator)
NERC Soils Research to deliver Greenhouse Gas REmovals and Abatement Technologies (Soils-R-GGREAT) Dr Jon Hillier (Co-Investigator)
Scottish Government EPIC Centre of Expertise on Animal Disease Outbreaks Prof Lisa Boden (Deputy Director)
Scottish Funding Council Food Security in Fragile and Conflict Affected States Prof Lisa Boden