UCL Institute for Global Prosperity


Soundbite: Are Cities the Farms of the Future?

1:00 pm to 2:00 pm, 14 March 2019


We are joined by Dr Jens Thomas, co-founder of Farm Urban and Post-Doctoral Researcher at the University of Liverpool, for a Soundbite.

Event Information

Open to





Annelise Andersen


Gavin de Beer LT
Anatomy G04
Gower Street

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Farm Urban are a Liverpool-based Social Enterprise focussed on using hydroponics and aquaponics to grow food within cities. New growing techniques and rapid developments in LED lighting mean that growing significant quantities of food in unused urban spaces such as basements and rooftops is now becoming possible. Farm Urban co-founder Jens Thomas will describe the company's journey from starting out building small-scale experimental farms, to becoming a multi-faceted company running educational programmes for schools, undertaking novel research in plant science and starting to build a commercial farm in the basement of a school in the heart of Liverpool. Jens will also look at the potential for urban farming and the barriers slowing its adoption

The speaker

Dr. Jens Thomas is a co-founder of Farm Urban and a Post-doctoral Researcher at the University of Liverpool. Following the completion of a degree in Physical Chemistry at Sheffield University, Jens won an international competition to undertake an editorial traineeship at the New Scientist Magazine and spent several years in scientific journalism and publishing before returning to academia. He spent 8 years working as a scientific software developer at Daresbury Laboratory, specialising in Electronic Structure codes, Molecular Visualisation and High-Performance Computing before leaving to complete a PhD at the University of Liverpool, where he currently develops software for Macromolecular Crystallography. Jens' background in academic research and computational science allows him to guide the technical and research aspects of Farm Urban.