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Horticulture for a sustainable future

Horticulture for a sustainable future

Home » Past webinars » Horticulture for a sustainable future

In this webinar, a panel of experts from CAT, National Botanic Garden of Wales and the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences at Aberystwyth University explored how horticulture can help boost biodiversity and create sustainable food systems, and what careers in this vital field can look like. 

The recording was made 31 March 2021 at the time of the live webinar.

Horticulture, biodiversity and sustainable food systems

Growing plants can be an enjoyable pastime and good for health and wellbeing. But can those skills be used to defend biodiversity, support sustainable food production and create a better world for future generations?

Hosted by CAT’s Head of Graduate School, Adrian Watson, this webinar explored whether horticulture can be a rewarding and purposeful career that can help us address the global challenges of our time. Adrian was joined by Will Ritchie, Curator of Horticulture at the National Botanic Garden of Wales and Professor Iain Donnison, Head of the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences at Aberystwyth University (IBERS).

Will focused on the international botanic garden community’s conservation programmes, combating the current crises of climate change and biodiversity loss. Closer to home, Will discussed projects aimed at conserving the Welsh flora, highlighting the collaborative efforts of conservation practitioners and the critical role horticulturists play in preserving Wales’ biodiversity.

Iain’s talk focused on how horticulture can provide us with a more varied and nutritionally valuable diet. In addition, he describes the horticulture work taking place at IBERS and how its cutting-edge research programme can help us build a sustainable future for people and the environment.


More Online Events and Webinars

From practical building tips to in-depth explorations of how we can rise to the climate emergency, our newly developed webinars, online short courses and online events cover a wide range of topics relating to sustainability.

More dates and events are being announced regularly. If you see anything you like make sure you book quickly as we are regularly booking out.

To see what online events are coming up click here

Meet the speakers

Adrian Watson

Adrian Watson is Head of CAT’s Graduate School of the Environment. Before joining CAT, Adrian worked as Head of Division of Chemistry and Environmental Sciences at Manchester Metropolitan University, following spells lecturing across a range of disciplines from Analytical Chemistry to Environmental Health. His research experience is as an environmental chemist specialising in the assessment of air quality and its impacts such as health, particularly at urban and indoor scales.

Iain Donnison

Professor Iain Donnison is Head of IBERS, at Aberystwyth University. He has a PhD from Cardiff University, and a BSc in Horticultural Science from Reading University. Iain is a Professor of Plant Science with a specialisation in grasslands and sustainability, on which he has worked for more than 25 years. He leads a BBSRC Core Strategic Programme grant on Resilient Crops, and is Director of the pan Wales BEACON Biorefining Centre where academics in Aberystwyth, Bangor, Swansea and South Wales Universities are working with companies in Wales to develop products from plants. He is a Company Member of the Annals of Botany, the charity which runs the world’s oldest plant science journal (the Annals of Botany), and also one of its newest (inSilico Plants).

Will Ritchie

Will is the Curator at the National Botanic Garden of Wales with responsibilities for horticulture, development of the living collections and Waun Las National Nature Reserve. Will was previously Curator at Glasgow Botanic Gardens and has worked in botanic gardens and universities in the United Kingdom, the United States and Oman. Will trained at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and gained a BSc (Hons) in Horticulture with Plantsmanship. In 2012 he completed an MSc programme in Horticulture at the University of Arkansas, specialising in breeding and taxonomy.


CAT students in a futuring workshop

Graduate School of the Environment

Gain the skills and knowledge to help address environmental change on one of our flexible postgraduate courses.

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