Irish Plant Scientists’ Association Meeting (IPSAM) is back up and running in 2023 with a meeting held on 26th and 27th June.
AFBI and Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) had the privilege of co-hosting this event which brings plant scientists from all over Ireland together to provide a forum for research postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers presenting their findings to promote their future research careers.
The island of Ireland has a vibrant and wide-ranging community of researchers in the plant sciences spanning phytopathology, plant genetics and genomics, ecology, plant phenology, horticulture, forestry, soil-plant interactions, and rhizosphere science. IPSAM’s primary focus is to provide a forum to share research in the plant and crop sciences among the research community, particularly for early career scientists, across the island of Ireland and to foster future collaborations with industry stakeholders.
The ‘Irish Plant Scientists Association’ was initiated in the early 1970s by Matt Harmey, a former Professor in University College Dublin (UCD), and Eric Simon the former Professor of Botany in QUB. The two met at a conference near Wageningen in the Netherlands and regretted that, although close geographic neighbours, they had to go to the Netherlands to discuss common interests. They resolved to establish a common forum for all botanists on the island of Ireland and this resulted in the establishment of the first ‘Irish Botanists Meeting’. These meetings were held annually until 2020 when covid regulations necessitated a two-year break.
Dr Jim McAdam, who retired from AFBI in 2018, was invited to speak on his agroforestry work which has been ongoing since 1988. This work is an interesting example of how sustainable land use and profitable agriculture can coexist to the benefit of the public. The theme of sustainably feeding the island of Ireland ran through many of the sessions at the conference, where researchers were excited to present new techniques in plant sciences which can improve lives across the country.
The future of IPSAM looks promising with researchers from all aspects of plant scientists enthusiastically planning upcoming collaborations. As Professor Fiona Doohan (UCD) told the attendees “You have to look to the past, to develop new technologies which will feed the future”.
Notes to editors:
AFBI’s Vision is “Scientific excellence delivering impactful and sustainable outcomes for society, economy and the natural environment”.
AFBI’s Purpose is “To deliver trusted, independent research, statutory and surveillance science and expert advice that addresses local and global challenges, informs government policy and industry decision making, and underpins a sustainable agri-food industry and the natural and marine environments”.
AFBI’s core areas:
- Leading improvements in the agri-food industry to enhance its sustainability.
- Protecting animal, plant and human health.
- Enhancing the natural and marine environment.
- Soil Nutrient Health Scheme Zone 2 uptake 19 September 2023
- AFBI is seeking your views on veterinary medicine use across NI’s farms 13 September 2023
- Haemonchosis in sheep in Northern Ireland 12 September 2023
- New AFBI Podcast channel launched 01 September 2023