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The Research Field Podcast

The Research Field is Teagasc's monthly research podcast for everyone interested in agriculture, crops, the environment, food, forestry and rural development research in Ireland.

Presented by Sean Duke, science journalist, with regular contributions from Catriona Boyle, science and communication outreach officer with Teagasc, the podcasts will get out and about and talk to researchers in their various fields.

The Research Field is available on Google Podcasts, Apple PodcastsSoundcloudStitcherSpotifyTuneIn or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Episode 12

Food consumers today want fresher, healthier and additive-free foods that also last longer on the shelf.

Dr Elena Inguglia is a researcher based at the Teagasc Food Research Centre in Ashtown who is developing new technologies to satisfy consumer demands.

Here, Elena describes how some of our foods are currently processed, and how these processes might be improved for the consumer.

Episode 11

Ian Short, forestry research officer, describes plans to increase planting of broadleaf trees in Ireland. Twenty-nine percent of the forest estate in Ireland is broadleaf (195,000 ha). The main broadleaf species present are birch, ash, alder, oak, beech and sycamore, predominantly planted within the last three decades and as single-species blocks. Ian talks about the management of the oak stand at Teagasc Head Office, Oak Park and the threats of diseases and pests to tree health. Ian also talks about the Ash restructuring project and the benefits of planting forestry for farmers.

Episode 10

Oliver Sheridan, forestry researcher with Teagasc Ashtown, discusses the commercial development of Birch in Ireland. Oliver describes the efforts underway at Teagasc to improve birch and incorporate lessons from Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. He talks about the historical importance of birch, and how it can add diversity to Irish forestry and the landscape.

Episode 9

Maeve Henchion, a researcher at the Teagasc Rural Economy Development Programme and the BioOrbic SFI Research Centre was involved in the identification of Ireland's bio-economy priorities. She describes how waste products, such as blood, can be converted into valuable pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, and how grass can be developed as a crop for human consumption.

Episode 8

Genetics can provide Ireland with the means to reduce the emissions from, and increase the productivity of, our national dairy herd.

This will be more important than ever as the dairy industry comes under pressure from the Covid-19 crisis.

Sinead McParland, a quantitative geneticist at Teagasc Moorepark, describes how this can be achieved and incorporated into the Economic Breeding Index.

Episode 7

One way to tackle crop disease is to breed new varieties that have genes that make them resistance to disease. This takes time, and it can take up to three years to breed and grow new disease resistant crops using traditional methods. Dheeraj Rathore - a researcher at the Teagasc Crops Research Centre in Oak Park - describes here how “speed breeding” technology developed at NASA is enabling him to more rapidly grow disease-resistant crop varieties.

Episode 6

Drones and observational satellites are helping farmers to make better farm decisions, such as when to cut silage, or when soil conditions are right for planting crops.

Stuart Green, a remote sensing scientist based at Teagasc Ashtown, is harnessing earth observational data to help farmers plan more efficiently, which in the current crisis, is more important than ever.

Episode 5

The first of two special episodes from the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition in Dublin in January 2020.

Kaye Burgess - a molecular microbiologist based at Teagasc Food Research Centre in Ashtown - describes her work helping to develop a range of farm practices that can combine to minimise antimicrobial resistance.

Luis Lopez-Sangil - a soil scientist based at Teagasc Johnstown Castle - talks about how soil can provide us with a win-win of reducing carbon emissions and improving soil quality and crop yields.

André Brodkorb - a food chemist based at the Teagasc Food Research Centre in Moorepark - talks about his work developing laboratory models that simulate human digestion to add value to foods and reduce environmental impacts.

Episode 4

The cost and environmental gains farmers can achieve from growing clover are described by Deirdre Hennessy.

Research into the welfare of pigs across the Irish pig industry is detailed by Laura Boyle.

Sinead McCarthy outlines the complexities and subtle nuances of achieving a sustainable and healthy diet outlining the impact of removing food groups from our habitual diet and explains that food substitutions to improve environmental credentials may not always result in a healthy diet.

In events, find out about Teagasc at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition and the upcoming National Tillage conference. In news, find out about the Teagasc researchers who feature in the 2019 Web of Science Highly Cited list. Also, the Teagasc researcher who received the Early Career Researcher of the Year Award at the 2019 Science Foundation Ireland Science Awards.

Episode 3

Karen Daly describes how Irish soil science was born in medieval Johnstown Castle with funds from the US Marshall Aid Plan.

Daire O hUallacháin illuminates the extent of the decline in Irish biodiversity from abandoned Aran Islands farms to the mainland dairy farms.

Irish river systems are under pressure from excess nutrients and climate impacts. Per Erik Mellander describes some of the findings from monitoring of diverse Irish river systems over 10 years.

Find out about the upcoming plans for Teagasc’s ‘Festival of Farming and Food’ this Science Week. Diarmuid Sheehan, Kieran Jordan, Kieran Meade and Rob O’Hara feature in news.

Episode 2

Anne Kinsella, based at Teagasc's Rural Economy and Development Centre discusses the issue of inter-generational farm transfers.

Donagh Berry, Director of the VistaMilk SFI Research Centre, talks about producing milk by design - using science - for a range of consumers.

Orla O'Sullivan, based at the Teagasc Food Research Centre, Moorepark, discusses the new foods being developed that promote gut health and combat disease and illness.

Episode 1

Geraldine Duffy speaks to Sean Duke about how the ‘One Health’ concept, which links animal and human health researchers, is improving food safety. Geraldine talks about the major research trends in food safety, some of which appeared at an international One Health conference held in Teagasc Ashtown Conference Centre.

Luiza Wasiewska is a Walsh Fellow PhD candidate from Poland working between Teagasc and the Tyndall National Institute. Luiza spoke to Sean Duke about her research into a new, reliable, faster, easier-to-use biosensor to detect pathogenic E. coli, as well as her passion for science communication.

The 11 compartment research glasshouse at Ashtown was built a few years ago to assist industry to do research that can answer their most pressing problems. Michael Gaffney brought Sean Duke on a tour of the computer-controlled facility.

Acknowledgments: Signature tune 'Inspirational Outlook' by https://scottholmesmusic.com/