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Cambridge Global Food Security

An Interdisciplinary Research Centre at the University of Cambridge

Studying at Cambridge


Modelling for Food Security

Testing the water

16 Oct 2013


A new online tool enables users to assess not only how much water we use and for what, but also how we can mitigate future scarcity.


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The convergence of Mathematics, Evolution and Food Security

In the new journal eLife, Williams, Johnston, Covshoff and Hibberd report a new mathematical approach that provides a theoretical understanding of how one of the most complex traits in biology evolved. They studied the highly efficient C4 photosynthetic pathway that allows increased crop productivity, and developed a model based on Bayesian inference to predict how it evolved. The approach could be used to understand the appearance of other remarkable traits such as the eye, and will impact on strategies being taken to increase Food Security.


Bioscience boost to battle ash dieback

08 Mar 2013

New computer models will help to monitor and predict the course of the disease.

Initial ISI-MIP simulation showing the effects on vegetation productivity at the highest emissions scenario (reduction: red to yellow; increase: green to blue)

Modelling impacts of a warming world

03 Oct 2012

A community-driven modelling effort aims to quantify one of the gravest of global uncertainties: the impact of global warming on the world’s food, health, vegetation and water.

The Foreseer tool is based on Sankey diagrams, where the width of each line is proportional to the quantity of resource

20 Jul 2011

An online tool will help users predict trade-offs between the global commodities of energy, water and land.


Modelling the root of crop disease

11 Jul 2011

Mathematical modelling is an important weapon in the armoury against crop disease, as plant epidemiologists demonstrated when they turned their sights on root madness in sugar beet.

Wheat stem rust

Defending crops with maths

18 Mar 2011

A mathematical toolkit could dramatically reduce crop losses from pests and pathogens, helping to safeguard future food security.

People specializing in this area

Academic Staff

Dr Matt Castle

Modelling spread of plant disease

Dr Richard Fenner

Maintenance and rehabilitation of water industry buried infrastructure assets, and also in water and wastewater treatment processes.

Foreseer - industry funded research into mining the inter-relationships between water, land and energy issues

Professor Chris Gilligan

Analysis of factors that influence and control invasion, persistence and variability of disease and other organisms using a combination of experimentation and modelling. 


  • Future demands for energy, land, water
  • Consequences of competing demands on land and sea for food, biodiversity, water, energy, climate stability