Food Security

Main content

Feeding a growing world population, while social, economic, and environmental conditions are changing in parallel, is one of the greatest challenges of our time.

Long term experiment comparing the conventional, organic and biodynamic cultivation in Therwil, BL (Photo: Astrid Oberson)
Long term experiment comparing conventional, organic and  biodynamic crop cultivation in Therwil, BL (Photo: Astrid Oberson)

Climate change, soil degradation and scarce resources, combined with a growing world population, make it increasingly difficult to generate sufficient quantities of high-quality food and animal feed. Process- and system-oriented approaches are therefore being used to gain a better understanding of agroecosystems and improve the ways in which food is produced, thus enabling food production to be intensified sustainably. Other important research topics include the resilience of agricultural systems, optimising the use of genetic resources, developing integrated production and distribution systems for food and animal feed, and analysing influential socio-economic factors that are important for introducing these new systems.

The research carried out at the Department of Environmental Systems Science contributes to understand and develop smart solutions for the current and predicted food insecurity around the world. The researchers follow a systems approach that takes into account food production, processing and consumption, with a focus on the interactions among soil microorganisms, plants, animals and the food system boundary conditions. These boundary conditions include environmental conditions, political as well as socio-economic aspects. Changes in the way we produce and use food and feed are urgently required, in order to improve food systems outcomes, i.e., food and nutrition security, environmental health and social well-being.

Participating professorships

Agricultural Economics and Policy

Prof. Robert Finger

Animal Nutrition

Prof. Michael Kreuzer

Animal Physiology

Prof. Susanne Ulbrich


Prof. Consuelo De Moraes

Climate Policy

Prof. Anthony Patt

Crop Science

Prof. Achim Walter

Ecosystem Management

Prof. Jaboury Ghazoul

Grassland Sciences

Prof. Nina Buchmann

Land-Climate Dynamics

Prof. Sonia I. Seneviratne

Molecular Plant Breeding

(former Forage Crops Genetics)
Prof. Bruno Studer

Plant Nutrition

Prof. Emmanuel Frossard

Plant Pathology

Prof. Bruce McDonald

Soil Chemistry

Prof. Ruben Kretzschmar

Soil Protection

Prof. Rainer Schulin

Sustainable Agroecosystems

Prof. Johan Six


Associated research groups

Analysis and Forecasting (MeteoSwiss)

Prof. Christof Appenzeller

Animal Genetics

Dr. Stefan Neuenschwander

Environmental Chemistry (Eawag)

Prof. Juliane Hollender

Ethology and Animal Welfare

Dr. Edna Hillmann

Evolutionary Ecology

Prof. Christoph Vorburger


Competence centres and technology platforms

Genetic Diversity Centre

Dr. Aria Minder

World Food System Center

Dr. Michelle Grant

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Tue Jun 27 09:30:01 CEST 2017
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