Nature Inspired Food Production

Our current agricultural system is based on high throughput and high production levels at the lowest possible costs, while disregarding long term consequences for natural resources, the environment, animal welfare and the socio-economic position of farmers.

Nature inspired production methods may provide a more sustainable and resilient food system that contributes to long term food security.  Nature inspired food production requires the development of innovative production methods and production systems, as well as knowledge about the societal and institutional transformations that are needed for a transition to a more sustainable food system.

The unique broadness of Utrecht University enables scientists to work together from different disciplines to find solutions for this complex issue. Focus within this broad topic is laid on Nature Inclusive Agriculture, Circular Agriculture, Plant Based-protein tranisition and Mictrobiome research.

An example of food related research within Nature Inspired Food Production
Some of our experts within this theme:
  • Merel Soons - Biodiversity conservation and restoration, Land use.
  • Arjan Stegeman - Veterinary Epidemiology, Veterinary Public Health, Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases, Porcine Health Management.
  • Hens Runhaar - Steering towards more 'nature-inclusive' agriculture by public and private actors, reforming agricultural regime, uptake and upscaling of 'nature-based solutions' in urban areas.
  • Marko Hekkert - Transitions and innovations for a sustainable society, circular economy.
  • Jerry van Dijk -  Sustainable agriculture, agro-ecology and biodiversity conservation.
  • Ellen Moors - Governance emerging technologies, sustainable innovation.
  • Rens Voesenek - Plant responses to flooding and hypoxia, plant physiology.
  • Sjef Smeekens - Signaling function of sugars as crucial factors that determine plant growth.
  • Saskia Arndt - Animal behaviour, -welfare and -health.
  • Pita Verweij  and Marijke van Kuijk - Ecosystems Services
  • Jaco Appleman - Bioinspired Innovation