Bristol and Kyoto Plant Sciences come together
1 October 2014
An exciting relationship is developing between plant scientists in Bristol and Kyoto Universities as a consequence of the Bristol-Kyoto Partnership. Last week, the University of Bristol welcomed 15 academics and PhD students from Kyoto University to a scientific workshop involving plant biologists from the two universities. Whilst the workshop included scientific presentations, the main focus was a variety of types of networking events designed to develop and cement scientific connections between academics in the two institutions. An agreement was also signed between Prof. Simon Hiscock, Director of the University of Bristol Botanic Garden and Prof. Minoru Tamura of Kyoto University Botanic Garden, which will lead to a sharing of knowledge and materials between the two gardens. The workshop was held in the brand new £56m Bristol Life Sciences Building.
Highlights of the workshop included a tour of the Bristol Botanic Garden, plenary seminars from Prof. Keith Edwards (Bristol) and Prof. Ikuko Hara-Nishimura (Kyoto), and a reception that was attended by the Pro-Vice Chancellors for Research and International Affairs, Prof. Nishan Canagarajah and Prof. Nick Lieven. The workshop has given rise to multiple new scientific collaborations and a plant sciences PhD student exchange programme.
Prof. Hiscock said, "This was a great opportunity to fly the flag for the dynamism of plant sciences and botany at our two great Universities. At a time when other Universities in the UK have cut back on plant biology Bristol is investing in it, and this has been welcomed and embraced by our international partners at Kyoto, where plant biology is a premier scientific subject - a bright botanical future beckons for our partnership."
Dr Antony Dodd, who co-ordinated the workshop with Prof. Hiscock, said, "The remarkable degree of overlap between the plant science research interests in Bristol and Kyoto, combined with the enthusiasm of Bristol and Kyoto academics and PhD students towards the recent workshop, will underpin sustainable and productive plant biology research in our two Universities."
The University of Bristol and Kyoto University formed a strategic relationship in 2008, which has culminated in two large Bristol-Kyoto Research Symposia, one in Bristol in 2013 and one in Kyoto in 2014.