Thursday 17th January. 7pm (doors 6.30pm). £4/£5

Seeds on Ice: Safeguarding our future food supplies - A talk by Dr. Geoff Hawtin

The genetic diversity of the worlds food crops is being rapidly lost, putting in jeopardy our future food supplies. How can international seed banks help?

Around the world, traditional farming relies on thousands of different varieties of crops. Each of these crops have adapted their own characteristics according to their niche. This vast array of variation provides the pool of genes that scientists need to enable them to breed better crops for the future – new varieties that are more productive, more nutritious or that can better withstand the ravages of climate change. However, this critically important genetic diversity is being rapidly lost, putting in jeopardy our future food supplies.

Dr. Geoff Hawtin has spent the last three decades working to conserve crop diversity. He will explain how his work with international seed collections, Kew Garden’s Millennium Seed Bank and the Svalbard Global Seed Vault (deep within the Arctic Circle) all give hope that we can stem the loss. If we are not successful, we risk severely limiting our options for feeding tomorrow’s world.

Dr. Hawtin is an agricultural scientist who specializes in agrobiodiversity, genetic resources, research management and international development. He has headed two international agricultural scientific research centres, one based in Italy and the other in Colombia, and was the founding director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, a fund to support genetic resources conservation, headquartered in Germany.

He has lived and worked as an agricultural scientist in East Africa, West Asia, Latin America and Canada and has served on several Boards of Trustees, including that of the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew.

Geoff has an MA and Ph.D  from Cambridge University, U.K., and was elected “correspondant étranger” of the Académie d’Agriculture of France. He has been awarded the Frank Meyer Medal for Plant Genetic Resources by the Crop Science Society of America, and was recently made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for “services to global agrobiodiversity conservation, subsistence livelihood enhancement and sustainable food programmes”.

He has authored or co-authored more than 100 scientific and technical publications and lives in Portesham, Dorset, UK.

Tickets for this event are available from Bridport LSi, Bridport Tourist Information Centre and EVENTBRITE (CLICK HERE)

Cost £5 for adults/£4 under 16’s.

This event is suitable for Secondary/Sixth form students.

The bar will be open for hot and cold beverages.