How Protecting Wild Cousins of Our Crops Fights Food Insecurity, with Dr Nigel Maxted (Plants and Our Health #4)


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Close relatives of wheat, tomato and all other major crops still grow in the wild. However, human impacts are increasingly placing these species under threat. This week on Plants & Our Health we talk with Dr Nigel Maxted, Professor of Plant Genetic Conservation at the University of Birmingham, about turning research into policy and action, the importance of crop wild relatives and his global-scale efforts to protect them. Continuing on our theme ‘Plants on our Plates’, Nigel discusses how conserving the wild cousins of our crops is essential to global food security and future-proofing agriculture against climate change.

To dig deeper into Nigel’s fascinating work, check out his University of Birmingham website profile ( You can also email him at

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