Food and Energy Security
© John Wiley & Sons Ltd and the Association of Applied Biologists
All articles accepted from 15 January 2013 are published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. All articles accepted before this date, were published under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License.
Edited By: Professor Martin Parry, Rothamsted Research
Online ISSN: 2048-3694
It would have been easy to decline joining the board of editors of FES, considering my current involvement with other very demanding journals including Annals of Applied Biology, which is also published by Wiley-Blackwell. Editing manuscripts and a journal is time consuming and requires 110% commitment; so if one is not prepared to give 110%, then don’t take on the job. Nevertheless, I have to admit that it was an easy decision to accept the invitation for some very strong reasons. Through my previous experience of working with Martin for Annals of Applied Biology I can say with assurance Martin’s experience, competence as Editor and researcher, and leadership will be a driving force for the success of FES. The team of Editors that Martin is putting together are first class! As an AE, I will contribute by handling manuscripts in the fields of amino acids metabolism and the responses of plants to abiotic and biotic stress. Working with Wiley-Blackwell is another guarantee of success – its editorial team is very efficient, quick and reliable, so the journal could not be in better hands.
FES is a new face with new ideas and proposals. We don’t need just another journal and if I may steal a quote from the Star Trek series, let us go “where no journal has gone before!”
"Ricardo Azevedo has isolated enzymes involved in lysine metabolism in cereal crops, including two bifunctional enzymes, and characterized several maize endosperm mutants for distinct aspects of lysine metabolism."
I am motivated professionally by an enduring interest in plant science that underpins both drought resistance and yield development and my current post as a senior academic at Lancaster University presents a considerable professional challenge. I operate in a research area which is of global significance and much of my professional engagement is with researchers and practitioners who work in parts of the world where our research can make and has made a real difference. In the last five years in particular, it has become increasingly clear that plant science and plant scientists have a crucial role to play in ensuring sustained and adequate availability of food to increasing numbers of needy people.
My motivation in accepting the post of AE with this journal is a strong feeling that the science community can 'make a difference' in areas where the challenges faced by humankind are most significant. Journals are one of the things that help us establish a community of researchers which can work to good effect. In the food security area in particular it is important to pull together cross disciplinary interests to add value.
In 2009, work led by Professor Davies won Lancaster University a Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education. The prize was for the development of water saving techniques for agriculture which have helped farmers in some of the driest regions of the world. Professor Davies has helped develop new understanding of how plants react to stress which has now been exploited by the agriculture industry.
I am currently a Plant Biology Professor at Lanzhou University in China and serve as the Dean of the School of Life Sciences. My research has mainly focused on biological functions of plant receptor-like protein kinases and brassinosteroid (BR) signalling transduction. One of my greatest achievements in science was to identify BAK1 as the co-receptor of the BR receptor, BRI1. Using activation tagging genetic screening, my lab also identified a number of genes involved in BR signalling transduction, control of BR biosynthesis and metabolism. We are currently elucidating the specific mechanisms of these genes in regulating these processes.
“Before serving as the dean of School of Life Sciences, Lanzhou University, Jia Li was a tenured associate professor at the University of Oklahoma, USA. He obtained his Ph.D. at Virginia Tech in 1995.”
The world population has just surpassed the seven billion mark and is very likely to increase by two more billion in the next 20 years. Food security is the number 1 concern to cope with the non-stopping increase. In the past half century agricultural scientists have played a major role in increasing the food production by innovative research and technology development. This has led to more than tripled food production increase in many parts of the world. I believe such effort is needed more than ever before the population increase ceases. Food and Energy Security should provide a place for such effort to be publicised.
Over the last 25 years Zhang’s team have been working on the water stress problem to the plants. The team has found that plants can effectively communicate to their shoots about soil drying in their root zone. Such ability to regulate water loss from their leaves has been exploited in an irrigation approach where water can be saved without much reduction in yield of many crops.