Challenge Based Molecular Tracking (MolTrack) Molecules to Landscapes

Project Details


Immediate agricultural interventions are required to address net zero, dietary and biodiversity challenges to deliver opportunities for a stronger and resilient economy, a healthier fairer society and to meet many of our sustainable development goals. Our current food production systems have resulted in a reduction in bio-, agribio- and dietary diversity (as well as other environmental issues), ultimately leading to imbalances in dietary molecules, which has contributed to substantial amounts of the world's population suffering from both malnutrition and non-communicable disorders at enormous economic cost. Crop selection, agronomic practice, land management, food production and processing are key variables, as we need to make the best use of our land, while reducing emissions from agriculture, producing high quality nutritious food, protecting the environment, while taking into account circularity. In practice, however, the effect of change, particularly employing disruptive technologies is difficult to measure across the food supply chain and the impact on the key challenges difficult to assess. We propose that soil, crop, livestock and human health and disease can be monitored by molecular tracking of these key nutrients and other food-related molecules, allowing practices that optimise diversity. This completely novel approach will develop a research base and dataset as proof-of-concept, which aims to have wide application across a number of settings both nationally and globally. The anticipated outcome is the successful delivery of a 'proof-of-concept' model capable of predicting the effect of disruptive changes to the food supply system in terms of molecular diversity and flow. We will identify valuable datasets, necessary input parameters, important disruptive technologies, gaps and barriers and deliver a network capable of applying this model on both a national and global level to address a wide range of agri-food systems. This project could deliver benefits to farmers and landowners looking to diversify practice to effectively deliver on dietary, climate and biodiversity targets, food and drink businesses looking to capitalise on novel opportunities and deliver a fit-for-purpose food supply system, third sector organisations with interests in meeting dietary, climate and biodiversity targets, the UK and global research community by increasing UK research capability, as well as foster international collaboration, policy teams by proactively informing on valuable technologies to support policy targets and wider society by delivering on our dietary, climate and biodiversity targets.
Short titleM2L network
Effective start/end date1/07/2230/07/23

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.