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Cambridge Global Food Security

An Interdisciplinary Research Centre at the University of Cambridge

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George Crane

George Crane

PhD student

Co-Chair of Cambridge Food Security Forum

University of Cambridge


George Crane is a PhD student split between NIAB and the University of Cambridge, studying an ancient and widespread symbiosis between land plants and beneficial root endosymbionts, the arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi. 

The importance of AM fungi to plant nutrition is known to be considerable, but is overlooked, and largely unknown in broad field agriculture. George’s project considers the impact of certain farm practices, including the use of cover crops, on AM fungal abundance and diversity, and the effect this has on crop growth and yield. The project makes use of long term NIAB experiments, such as the New Farming Systems trial at Morley, Norfolk, as well as collaboration with farmers through an Innovative Farmers Field Lab. A further collaboration with FERA’s Big Soil Community has provided a large scale platform to assess factors which may alter AM fungal communities, and the effect this can have on soil health, and yields across the UK.

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