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The Department of Science and Technology Studies, UCL is an interdisciplinary centre for the integrated study of science's history, philosophy, sociology, communication and policy, located in the heart of London. Founded in 1921. Award winning for teaching and research, plus for our public engagement programme. Rated as outstanding by students at every level.
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I am an ESRC funded PhD student at the departments of Science and Technology Studies (STS) and Geography at UCL. My supervisors are Prof Brian Balmer (STS) and Dr Sam Randalls (Geography).
In the academic year 2012-2013 I was Postgraduate Teaching Assistant for HPSC1017, Investigating Science and Society.
I am interested in urban food production and tend a small container garden on a North London balcony.
loss of plant genetic diversity among crops and their wild relatives has been
framed as a problem in need of concerted, international action since the 1970s
(Pistorius, 1997). Nowadays, the conservation and use of plant genetic
resources for food and agriculture is planned and regulated at the
international level, with the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources
for Food and Agriculture(PGRFA) (2004) and a Global Plan of Action (1996, 2010)
setting out how such natural resources are to be conserved and utilised.
The broad focus of this project lies in understanding how the framing of the conservation and use of plant genetic resources as a global concern is reflected in the practices of management of, and care for, the collections of PGRFA.
I am analysing documents and undertaking semi-structured interviews with a variety of participants interested in ex situ plant conservation in order to explore their views on this issue; and to identify what factors are considered important in the maintenance and safeguarding of gene bank collections into the future.
My current research interests include:
- Geographies of science, globalisation and global responses to environmental issues.
- Sociology of expectations; temporality and sociology of the future, particularly in the context of conservation, archives and biobanks
- Approaches to theorising value and values
- Applying STS to understanding agricultural research and innovation, food systems
26.11.13 Invited presentation: Environmental Knowledges Session 6:
Where the Wild Genes Are: Conservation and Use of Wild Relatives in the Adaptation of Crops to Climate Change.
11.02.13 STS Work in Progress Seminar:
On Wild Relatives, Synthetic Wheats and Going Back to the Future: Sociology of Expectations Approaches to Understanding Plant Genetic Diversity Conservation and Use
22.05.13 STS Research Day:
Promising Diversity: Seed Banks and Plant Breeding for Climate Change Adaptation
Previous academic and professional experience
Originally trained as a human geneticist to MSc level, I was led to STS by curiosity about the human and social questions raised by genetics and biotechnology. I returned to university in 2008 to study for an MSc in Science, Technology, Medicine and Society at the London Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine.
My previous research was concerned with tracking the relationship between the evolving legal definition of human admixed embryos and their acceptability to members of the British Parliament during the debates around the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act (2008). A summary of this work can be found here. It was awarded the Friends of the Wellcome Library Prize for Best LCHSTM MSc Dissertation in 2009 (ex aequo).
I have some practical experience of genetics lab work. Office-based posts have included a research assistant/communications officer role at the London IDEAS Genetics Knowledge Park and data management at the MRC's Clinical Trials Unit. I have over 2 years' experience with public engagement in a museum context. As a teenager I volunteered at a palaeontology museum, taking part in field and laboratory work.
Related to plant genetic diversity and gene banking
CGIAR (previously Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research)
Second Global Plan of Action (adopted 2011)
International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (entry into force 29.06.2004)
First FAO Report on the State of the World's Plant Genetic Resources (published 1996)
Page last modified on 13 aug 13 14:13 by Alasdair Tatam
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