We use our knowledge of entomology, ecology and plant biology to determine the impacts of new technologies on ecosystems.
As technologies, such as nanotechnology and biotechnology, are developed there is a strong need to understand how they may affect our health and our environment. For existing technologies where regulations are in place, specific research is required to provide regulators with the best information for assessing risk and making decisions as new products are developed. For emerging technologies, regulations to safeguard our health and environment are still being developed. Scientific research to understand the toxicity of products based on these technologies, and the ways in which non-target organisms might be exposed to them, can provide a sound basis for new regulations.
Plant & Food Research scientists use their expertise in assessing the impacts of agricultural and land use practices to develop methods of testing new technologies and identifying how they behave when introduced to the environment. Using this knowledge, regulatory bodies can make sound assessments of risk for new technologies and ensure safety of products based on these technologies.
To assess the impacts of new technology on the environment, our scientists undertake a range of experiments, including:
- Interactions with and movement through soil
- Absorption by plants
- Impact on insect and other invertebrates when ingested
- Potential movement through food chains.