The environmental challenges facing our planet have never been more acute. SEFARI research helps to show how we can protect and restore our natural capital – our soils, biodiversity and ecosystems – and develop effective ways to manage the land and water to improve environmental condition. SEFARI works to better understand how biological, chemical and physical processes can allow us to tackle climate change, adapt to changes coming our way, and build a more resilient and well-functioning environment.
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Climate and the Environment
7 Apr 2020
How can we safeguard biodiversity through values and governance?
Despite many initiatives to safeguard biodiversity, recent analyses and reports show that biodiversity continues to decline at the global level.
1 Apr 2020
Diversity in the Mix: The benefits of biodiversity for sustainable crop production
We are currently facing three major global challenges: climate change, biodiversity loss and the development of sustainable food production systems. Ideal solutions to these challenges would be ones that deliver win-wins, addressing at least two of these simultaneously.
6 Mar 2020
Environmental Indicators: Nature Showing Us the Bigger Picture
The Scottish Government is currently responding to a multitude of grand and complex environmental challenges, such as biodiversity loss and climate change. But how do we know if these responses, or the money spent on delivering them, are having the desired effect?
2 Mar 2020
Peatbog restoration in Scotland – How to care for Cinderella
In this project we looked at what makes people care about peatland restoration. Peatbogs are important because of their ability to store carbon, regulate water flows and provide a home for rare species of plants and animals. Nevertheless, peatbogs are often described as a hard-to-love ‘Cinderella habitat’.
22 Jan 2020
Connecting research and management needs for the Cairngorms National Park
The following case study summarises work delivered as part of a recent SEFARI Fellowship with the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA).
10 Dec 2019
Protecting Potatoes - Scotland's Story
Since the emergence of late blight (Phytophthora infestans) in the 1840s this disease has presented a major challenge to the potato industry, with annual losses estimated to be £55 million in the UK.
27 Aug 2019
Infrared Spectroscopy – Helping to Protect Scotland’s Soils
Infrared (IR) Spectroscopy is a versatile analytical technique that can characterise a wide variety of different sample types e.g. from drugs and plastics to soil and minerals.
21 May 2019
Long-term warming of the River Spey
River temperature influences biogeochemical processes and aquatic ecology. Sustaining cool river temperatures in Scotland is essential for aquatic ecology (including the habitat and health of Atlantic salmon (Salmo Salar) and brown trout (Salmo trutta).
20 Mar 2019
Learning By Doing: Understanding and Managing for Ecological Resilience
Our natural environment is facing threats from a range of environmental drivers, including climate change, invasive non-native species, novel pests and diseases, over-exploitation, and pollution.
6 Mar 2019
Climate Change and Parasitism – Breaking the Cycle
This case study will summarise ongoing research on Teladorsagia circumcincta, one of the most common and economically important endemic parasites to control in sheep in the UK.
27 Feb 2019
Socioeconomic and biodiversity impacts of driven grouse moors in Scotland
In May 2017, the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform announced commissioning of “research into the costs and benefits of large shooting estates to Scotland’s economy and biodiversity”1. The focus of the Cabinet Secretary’s announcement was ‘driven grouse shooting’.
28 Jan 2019
Breeding to Reduce Methane Emissions from Beef Cattle
Beef production is very important for Scotland's economy (economic output of £851 million in 2017) and for providing the high quality and iconic, ‘Scotch Beef’ brand.
8 Oct 2018
Governing Scotland’s natural resources: are our policies sufficiently joined -up?
Decisions about natural resources need to balance multiple interests and goals in order to safeguard Scotland’s economic, social and environmental prosperity. However, many existing policies for the environment focus on separate problems, such as pro
14 Aug 2018
Citizen Science: How to Investigate Pests and Diseases Under Climate Change
We have created a state-of-the-art, and free to download, desktop app to provide climate change risk assessments for crops pests and diseases in the UK that anyone can use.
24 Jul 2018
Protecting our soil and securing the way ahead
A large proportion of the Scottish strategic road network in the Highlands is vulnerable to landslides.
22 Feb 2018
Assessing the impact of tree diseases on the wider environment
Recently there has been a rapid increase in the spread and number of non-native tree pests and pathogens around the world. Traditionally the impact of tree diseases and pests has been assessed in terms of their impact on forestry and the loss of wood products.
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22 Mar 2023 - 09:10
Wild plants and urban greenery…my experience at the RBGE
Delivering a sustainable food system is one of the key challenges of our generation and requires ambition to think beyond traditional production models.
31 Jan 2023 - 16:45
Healthy environment, healthy milk: Explore our virtual farm tour
Fineview, a dairy farm managed by the Clark family in Dumfries and Galloway, is part of the innovative First Milk dairy cooperative which aims to deliver healthy fresh milk on sound environmental principles.
23 Nov 2022 - 09:45
Meet Scotland’s leaders in biodiversity conservation science
Alexandra Davey introduces a project highlighting the scientists working to combat the biodiversity crisis in Scotland and around the world – from early-career researchers right through to senior scientists.