Knowledge for a sustainable world

This is not just any cabinet: it contains NRI’s historical insect specimen collection, which Dr Sarah Arnold describes in a new video.

Katie James has a degree in Environmental Science from the University of Greenwich and is currently a PhD student at NRI. Between school and university, she did “a bit of everything” until realising that the natural sciences were “actually a thing”, and could be the gateway to a fulfilling career. Katie took five minutes out of her day to sit down with NRI Communications Officer Linden Kemkaran to chat about how it all began, and her determination to give something back.

Jessica Sanders graduated from the University of Greenwich in 2018 with a first class degree in Geography BSc (Hons). She trained to be a teacher but found the pull of university life too strong, and now works at Greenwich’s Medway campus as an Employability Officer. Jessica took five minutes out of her day to talk to NRI Communications Officer, Linden Kemkaran about her love of Geography, her passion for dancing and what it’s like to be back in student-land…

Stephen Doso Jnr graduated from NRI in 2013 after taking a Master's Degree in Sustainable Environmental Management (now Global Environmental Change). Studying at the University of Greenwich brought him to Europe for the first time and while it wasn’t all plain sailing, he persevered and ended up gaining a Distinction. Stephen took five minutes out of his day in Ghana to have a Skype call with NRI Communications Officer, Linden Kemkaran and talk about how NRI made him “up his game” and how this now stands him in good stead for his career.

Friday 13th might be considered unlucky for some, but it proved to be exceptionally auspicious for two students at the Faculty of Engineering and Science heat of the annual Three Minute Thesis – 3MT – competition.

Mature student Purity Hrisca wanted to progress up the food industry career ladder so she studied at NRI for a Master’s in Food Safety and Quality Management. A self-confessed “foodie”, Purity admits she’s come a long way from her childhood dream of being a news anchor or an air hostess. Now with an MSc under her belt, Purity took five minutes out of her day to Skype with NRI Communications Officer, Linden Kemkaran, to talk about her ambition to empower people through teaching them how to cook from scratch.

With many of us now unexpectedly confined to our homes, our priorities are changing fast. The absence of a daily commute and a desire for fresh air means that gardens and balconies have taken on a new importance, in that overnight, they have become the only truly safe and accessible outdoor spaces for many people.

Mark Parnell is a veteran of NRI. He first donned his lab coat in 1990 to work as an invertebrate pathologistwent on to complete the first Masters course in Sustainable Agriculture run by NRI and is now NRI’s Commercial Manager. A childhood dream of being a weatherman almost became reality, but he turned down the Met Office to pursue a career in biological sciences. Mark took five minutes out of his day to Skype with NRI Communications Officer, Linden Kemkaran, about what he’s learnt during his 30 years at NRI and how, if given the opportunity, he wouldn’t change a thing.

NRI’s Professor of rats, Steve Belmain, is part of a team recently awarded £2 million to investigate rat control and management and to reduce the transmission risk of several rodent-borne diseases, particularly plague, leptospirosis and typhus.

Gloria Adeyiga left Ghana for the first time in 2009 to study in the UK at NRI, for her Master’s in Natural Resources Management. A big believer in gender equality, Gloria now spends her time back in Ghana working on land restoration and encouraging more women to become actively engaged and share their expertise. Gloria took five minutes out of her day to Skype with NRI Communications Officer Linden Kemkaran to describe how she is making a difference.

Bernard Essel came to NRI in 2015 to study for an MSc in Sustainable Environment Management. Originally from Ghana, he grew up with a fascination for technology and a dream of becoming a civilian airline pilot. Bernard took five minutes out of his day to Skype with NRI Communications Officer, Linden Kemkaran, on how he now spends his days flying, but not quite in the way he’d imagined.

Technology development carries a great deal of risk. Processes are often lengthy and resource intensive, with the chance that even after substantial investment, the final prototype may not operate as intended. NRI has embarked on an exciting new partnership with Latin American-based innovative software provider, ESSS – Engineering Simulation and Scientific Software, and CADFEM – ESSS’s partner in the UK. It heralds a new era in which NRI scientists will be able to test prototype agri-processing machines virtually, before going to the expense and effort of building them.

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