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Students bombard agricultural conference

For two days students from seven different life science universities and faculties throughout Europe met at Wageningen University, the Netherlands to discuss the future of agriculture, and whether our present and future practices are enough to feed a growing planet

From 21-22 October Bachelor and Master’s students from the Faculty of Life Science took part in the third annual Euroleague for Life Sciences (ELLS) Scientific Student Conference at Wageningen University, the Netherlands.

This year’s conference theme posed the question “Can agriculture feed the world?” Three thematic topics tried to answer the difficult question during the parallel sessions of the conference: Innovation and Technology, Economy and Society, and Ecology and Ethics.

Topics like bioremediation, dietary patterns of quinoa producers in Bolivia, physical characteristics of suckling pigs, and land use changes in Nepal attempted to address the future of agriculture from various angles and scientific standpoints.

Act now

As the global population quickly reaches seven billion, agriculture becomes increasingly important:

»These people demand both quality and quantity of food. This is an issue we must solve. The globe will be very unstable without food security,« affirmed ELLS Chair and Dean of the Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Per Holten-Andersen.

The students attending the conference also had their own ideas about how to address the pressing issue of increasing agricultural production:

»Technology can help to implement agriculture in places that currently have no production. For example, it can help people in areas where rain does not exist,« commented recently graduated Agricultural Development MSc student, Santiago Santos Valle. His research investigated the collection of water condensation from fog for irrigation purposes in the driest areas of Northern Chile.

Cleaning up

At the end of the conference awards were handed out for the best oral presentations and poster presentations. The University of Copenhagen’s Faculty of Life Science managed to take home a total of seven awards! Each of the best oral presentations was awarded €800.

In the category of Economy and Society, Lasse Englyst Olsen and Christopher Münke from the Department of Agriculture and Ecology won first prize for their oral presentation on “A Dual System: Subsistence Farming and Diversified Cash Cropping Reducing Vulnerability in Sarawak, Malaysia.”

From the Ecology and Ethics section Eskild Hohlmann Bennetzen took first prize for his oral presentation on “Analysing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Agricultural Crop Production Using the Kaya-Porter Identity.” Sarah Herrmann won first for her poster presentation and Sharif Mukul won third place.

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