Our Environment theme combines research in Life and Environmental Systems, Sustainable Technologies, Business Governance and Policy, and Food and Nutrition. Our work in these areas delivers solutions needed to address a wide range of contemporary environmental challenges which affect us all at the personal, community, regional and global level. Our research activity aligns with three broad and overlapping areas.
In Life and Environmental Systems we bring together expertise in analytical chemistry, biology, cell science and systems biology, and sustainable development, to investigate a wide range of areas related to our environment and how it affects our health and daily lives. Our research includes focussed areas such as bacterial adaptation and antibiotic resistance, the complexities of anti-cancer drug action and drug resistance, exploring fat accumulation in different mammals to inform human obesity models, and the development of finger-print and drug identification forensic technology.
In Sustainable Technologies, Business Governance and Policy, we draw upon our breadth of academic and industrial expertise in water and wastewater technology, as well as sustainable development, business governance and policy. Our research focusses on the development of new solutions for communities, industry and business, and involves working closely with various stakeholders in the local community and with overseas collaborators.
Our Life and Environmental Systems and Sustainable Technologies researchers are also involved in the Scottish Research Pool known as SAGES (Scottish Alliance for Geosciences, Environment and Society) are co-leaders of the ‘Landscape Form, Use and Change : a Dynamic Earth’, ‘Transformation in Society and Environmental Policy’ and ‘Carbon and Biochemical Cycles: Sustaining Life’ themes.
In Food and Nutrition, we focus on the relationship between food, health and the environment. We develop new food products with enhanced health benefits, and we aim at contributing to a circular economy by recovering and utilising bioactive compounds sourced from food industry waste. We are focusing also on food chemistry, and in particular the Maillard reaction, aiming to mitigate production of harmful chemicals during processing. The team has extensive expertise on the optimisation of alternative extraction and processing methods, particularly ultrasound and high pressure processing. In our Consumer experience laboratories we focus on establishing factors affecting acceptability of foods and beverages, and extensively consult for businesses looking to ensure their products are well received. We interact with local industry through our business arm called FIA (Food Innovation at Abertay).
The new research offers an insight into the exposure of animals to microplastics