AgriFood Matters is an exciting new podcast series developed by the UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science featuring leading academic staff at UCD in the area of Agriculture, Food Science and Human Nutrition.  

Hosted by Seán Duke, Journalist at the Irish Times, this monthly podcast will examine topical issues such as Sustainability, Biodiversity, Inclusion, Food and Health, Innovation, Crop Sciences, Agricultural Economics, Humanitarian Action and much more and is available for download on ITunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Breaker, Pocket Casts and RadioPublic.


In this episode, Professor Lorraine Brennan discusses her work on precision nutrition designed for the individual and how this approach, in future, might radically change the nutritional advice given to people, and how it’s given. We also visit UCD Rosemount Environmental Research Station where we talk to Yorkshirewoman Dr Saoirse Tracy who discusses her passion for soil science, and how research into the soil can improve human nutrition.


In this episode we speak to Professor Fiona Doohan, a Professor of Crop Science at UCD, who illustrates the process of producing healthy foods from crops which are resilient, sustainable and local through the story of oats. Fiona’s work centres on innovations which address disease control and improve the diversity of crop production while aligning with the EU green deal objectives of reducing fertilizer and pesticide use. Identifying and producing crops which thrive in different regions in Ireland to meet the huge human and animal feed demand is a significant challenge, but so is ensuring that these crops are economically sustainable. Professor Michael Wallace, a Professor of Agriculture and Food Economics in the School of Agriculture and Food Science at UCD will share his insights of the tillage sector from an economic perspective and how agricultural and environmental policies impact the farmer..


In this episode, we hear from two women in agricultural academia. One, working in dairy production, is starting out on her career journey, while the other, who is working in agricultural extension and innovation has built up decades of professional experience, at home, and overseas. Dr Zoe McKay completed her PhD in 2018. During her doctorate Dr McKay was based at UCD Lyons Farm. In 2020 she was appointed assistant professor of Dairy Production at the UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science. Dr Monica Gorman, a lecturer in Agricultural Extension and Innovation at UCD, is a Wicklow native who grew up on a family farm. She worked in Tanzania and Sudan with Oxfam and Self Help Africa before returning to academia at UCD in 2013. We’ll also have a regular slot with Julie Dowsett who brings us up to date each month with what’s happening at the School. Today, we’ll discuss some of the courses and options that are on offer at the UCD School of Agricultural and Food Science.


In episode 2 you will hear about innovation in Irish agriculture and food production. Dr. Edel Kelly, researcher in Agribusiness and Rural Development at UCD will provide an overview of the innovation challenges facing agriculture in Ireland right now, and in future years. You will also hear about one particularly exciting Irish innovation from Professor of Animal Nutrition at UCD, John O’Doherty, who has been investigating the use of seaweed as an alternative to existing feed source in pigs in order to reduce over-use of antibiotics in pigs. Julie Dowsett will bring us up to date with the very latest research and activities of interest to the public taking place at the UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science .


This first episode discusses sustainability in agriculture; and the drive towards practicing agriculture and the production of food in a more environmentally-friendly way. Featuring Prof. Alex Evans, Dean of Agriculture and Head of School and Tommy Boland, Professor of Ruminant Nutrition and Sheep Production at UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science.