The Future of Food Symposium Presented by Anoushka Williams

A panel discussion presented by BBC’s Anoushka Williams, in collaboration with the MERL, explores some of the dangers facing our planet and food supply and asks how policy makers, big business, farmers, and consumers can work together to develop sustainable strategies for the future of food production and consumption.

The panel will include:

Dr Natalie Masento
Dr Natalie Masento is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at University of Reading. As a chartered psychologist Natalie works on interdisciplinary research applying a psychology perspective to food, nutrition and health. Her research projects include explored the consumer perspective on food waste behaviour and creating exciting methods such as games and interactive books to communicate and empower consumers about healthy eating and lifestyle.

Dr John Hammond
John is a Crop Scientist in the University of Reading’s School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, where his research focuses on plant-soil interactions, in particular, how plants obtain nutrients from the soil and adapt to changes in their environment. He obtained his PhD in Crop and Plant Sciences from the University of Nottingham in 2004 and has conducted research on vegetable, fruit and arable crops working at Universities in the UK and Australia. At the University of Reading, John is responsible for their research on Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems.

Andre Dornelles – PHD researcher

Andre is a 2nd year full-time PhD researcher at the University of Reading, working as a joint-PhD between the School of Biological Sciences and Henley Business School, funded under a CAPES Brazilian scholarship. His work is investigating different mechanisms that ‘lock-in’ global food systems into unsustainable, unhealthy or inefficient trajectories through a holistic, interdisciplinary lens. Currently, he is working on a manuscript about transformation archetypes in the global food system (~120 countries) and their social and environmental outcomes from production to consumption. His MSc on Epidemiology and Diagnosis Methods (Public Health) examined the health impact of ultra-processed food consumption and the accuracy of anthropometric tools to screen dyslipidemia in low-income school-aged children and adolescents from Brazil; and he has experience working as a private Nutritionist and as a Nutritionist from SUS (Brazilian Unique Health System).

Dr Martin Chadwick
Martin is working in the Food and Nutritional Sciences department at The University of Reading.
His expertise is in plant metabolomics and plant breeding, looking at the natural chemistry of plants and how it influences flavour, shelflife, and nutrition. This is done by chemical analysis techniques in the lab, and by sensory analysis trials with our panel of trained taste experts. He uses this information to alter the chemistry of the plants through conventional breeding techniques (not GM!), or by altering the growing conditions, or by altering the supply chain after harvest. This in turn can improve the flavour, disease resistance, and nutritional value without relying on pesticides or processing, it can reduce waste in the supply chain, and improves the quality of plant products used in food processing.


  • Price: FREE but ticketed
  • Tagline: What are some of the big food issues in today’s world?
  • Run time: 90 mins


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