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Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences

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Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences
Former names
Welsh Plant Breeding Station
Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research
Institute of Biological Sciences
Institute of Rural Sciences
TypeAgricultural Sciences
Biological Sciences
Established1919
DirectorIain Donnison
Location,
AffiliationsAberystwyth University
Websitehttp://www.aber.ac.uk/en/ibers/

The Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) is a department of Aberystwyth University within its Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences, and is located in Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, Wales. It has a remit for teaching, research and business innovation in the area of bio-sciences, land use and the rural economy.

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Aberystwyth University

Aberystwyth University

Aberystwyth University is a public research university in Aberystwyth, Wales. Aberystwyth was a founding member institution of the former federal University of Wales. The university has over 8,000 students studying across three academic faculties and 17 departments.

Aberystwyth

Aberystwyth

Aberystwyth is a university and seaside town as well as a community in Ceredigion, Wales. Located in the historic county of Cardiganshire, Aberystwyth means "the mouth of the Ystwyth". Aberystwyth University has been a major educational location in Wales since the establishment of University College Wales in 1872.

Ceredigion

Ceredigion

Ceredigion is a county in the west of Wales, corresponding to the historic county of Cardiganshire. During the second half of the first millennium Ceredigion was a minor kingdom. It has been administered as a county since 1282. Ceredigion is considered a centre of Welsh culture and just under half of the population can speak Welsh according to the 2011 Census. The county is mainly rural, with over 50 miles (80 km) of coastline and a mountainous hinterland. The numerous sandy beaches and the long-distance Ceredigion Coast Path provide views of Cardigan Bay.

Wales

Wales

Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It is bordered by England to the east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, the Celtic Sea to the south west and the Bristol Channel to the south. It had a population in 2021 of 3,107,500 and has a total area of 20,779 km2 (8,023 sq mi). Wales has over 1,680 miles (2,700 km) of coastline and is largely mountainous with its higher peaks in the north and central areas, including Snowdon, its highest summit. The country lies within the north temperate zone and has a changeable, maritime climate. The capital and largest city is Cardiff.

Teaching

Teaching

Teaching is the practice implemented by a teacher aimed at transmitting skills to a learner, a student, or any other audience in the context of an educational institution. Teaching is closely related to learning, the student's activity of appropriating this knowledge. Teaching is part of the broader concept of education.

Rural economics

Rural economics

Rural economics is the study of rural economies. Rural economies include both agricultural and non-agricultural industries, so rural economics has broader concerns than agricultural economics which focus more on food systems. Rural development and finance attempt to solve larger challenges within rural economics. These economic issues are often connected to the migration from rural areas due to lack of economic activities and rural poverty. Some interventions have been very successful in some parts of the world, with rural electrification and rural tourism providing anchors for transforming economies in some rural areas. These challenges often create rural-urban income disparities.

Sites

IBERS is currently situated on two main sites. The main teaching activity takes place at the Edward Llwyd, IBERS and Cledwyn buildings on the university's Penglais campus and the majority of its research activities take place at the far larger Gogerddan campus, two miles to the North East of Aberystwyth, near Penrhyncoch and Bow Street.

Teaching

Taught undergraduate degree schemes offered by IBERS include those in Agriculture, Biology, Biochemistry, Ecology, Genetics, Marine & Freshwater Biology, Microbiology, Plant Biology, Veterinary Biosciences, Zoology and Equine Science. IBERS offers a range of taught postgraduate courses and, in partnership with Bangor University, offers a distance learning postgraduate programme in Sustainable and Efficient Food Production. The institute has approximately 1300 undergraduate students, approximately 150 postgraduate students, 70 full-time lecturers and a similar number of part-time associate-lecturers.

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Biology

Biology

Biology is the scientific study of life. It is a natural science with a broad scope but has several unifying themes that tie it together as a single, coherent field. For instance, all organisms are made up of cells that process hereditary information encoded in genes, which can be transmitted to future generations. Another major theme is evolution, which explains the unity and diversity of life. Energy processing is also important to life as it allows organisms to move, grow, and reproduce. Finally, all organisms are able to regulate their own internal environments.

Biochemistry

Biochemistry

Biochemistry or biological chemistry is the study of chemical processes within and relating to living organisms. A sub-discipline of both chemistry and biology, biochemistry may be divided into three fields: structural biology, enzymology and metabolism. Over the last decades of the 20th century, biochemistry has become successful at explaining living processes through these three disciplines. Almost all areas of the life sciences are being uncovered and developed through biochemical methodology and research. Biochemistry focuses on understanding the chemical basis which allows biological molecules to give rise to the processes that occur within living cells and between cells, in turn relating greatly to the understanding of tissues and organs, as well as organism structure and function. Biochemistry is closely related to molecular biology, which is the study of the molecular mechanisms of biological phenomena.

Genetics

Genetics

Genetics is the study of genes, genetic variation, and heredity in organisms. It is an important branch in biology because heredity is vital to organisms' evolution. Gregor Mendel, a Moravian Augustinian friar working in the 19th century in Brno, was the first to study genetics scientifically. Mendel studied "trait inheritance", patterns in the way traits are handed down from parents to offspring over time. He observed that organisms inherit traits by way of discrete "units of inheritance". This term, still used today, is a somewhat ambiguous definition of what is referred to as a gene.

Marine biology

Marine biology

Marine biology is the scientific study of the biology of marine life, organisms in the sea. Given that in biology many phyla, families and genera have some species that live in the sea and others that live on land, marine biology classifies species based on the environment rather than on taxonomy.

Microbiology

Microbiology

Microbiology is the scientific study of microorganisms, those being unicellular, multicellular, or acellular. Microbiology encompasses numerous sub-disciplines including virology, bacteriology, protistology, mycology, immunology, and parasitology.

Veterinary medicine

Veterinary medicine

Veterinary medicine is the branch of medicine that deals with the prevention, management, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, disorder, and injury in animals. Along with this, it deals with animal rearing, husbandry, breeding, research on nutrition, and product development. The scope of veterinary medicine is wide, covering all animal species, both domesticated and wild, with a wide range of conditions that can affect different species.

Zoology

Zoology

Zoology is the branch of biology that studies the animal kingdom, including the structure, embryology, classification, habits, and distribution of all animals, both living and extinct, and how they interact with their ecosystems. The term is derived from Ancient Greek ζῷον, zōion ('animal'), and λόγος, logos.

Horse

Horse

The horse is a domesticated, one-toed, hoofed mammal. It belongs to the taxonomic family Equidae and is one of two extant subspecies of Equus ferus. The horse has evolved over the past 45 to 55 million years from a small multi-toed creature, Eohippus, into the large, single-toed animal of today. Humans began domesticating horses around 4000 BCE, and their domestication is believed to have been widespread by 3000 BCE. Horses in the subspecies caballus are domesticated, although some domesticated populations live in the wild as feral horses. These feral populations are not true wild horses, as this term is used to describe horses that have never been domesticated. There is an extensive, specialized vocabulary used to describe equine-related concepts, covering everything from anatomy to life stages, size, colors, markings, breeds, locomotion, and behavior.

Bangor University

Bangor University

Bangor University is a public university in Bangor, Wales. It received its Royal Charter in 1885 and was one of the founding institutions of the federal University of Wales. Officially known as University College of North Wales, and later University of Wales, Bangor, in 2007 it became Bangor University, independent from the University of Wales.

Research

IBERS has three research themes: Animal and Microbial Science, Environmental Impact and Genome Diversity. The institute has a state of the art translational genomics facility and is home to the BBSRC National Phenomics Centre.

Plant Breeding

IBERS has active breeding programmes for forage and amenity grasses, forage legumes, grain legumes, oats and miscanthus.

History

IBERS' history is one of a complicated series of mergers.

University College of Wales (UCW)

The University College of Wales (UCW) opened in 1872 with classes in biological sciences starting in 1874. Its department of Agriculture opened in 1891.[1]

Welsh Plant Breeding Station (WPBS)

The Welsh Plant Breeding Station was established in 1919 under the guidance of Sir George Stapledon. This was possible due to an initial donation of £10,000 from Sir Laurence Philipps, 1st Bt., with a further £1,000 for the following ten years.[2] The WPBS was initially based at Alexandra Road in Aberystwyth as a department of UCW, with land at Penglais Farm and Frongoch Farm.[3] The station moved to new premises on Penglais hill in 1939, since renamed Aberystwyth University's Cledwyn building and housing various service departments of the university. The institute was subsequently moved to Plas Gogerddan, near Bow Street, in 1955 when it was officially opened by the Queen.

Grassland Research Institute (GRI)

The Grassland Improvement Station was established at Drayton, near Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire, England. In 1949 it moved to a new site at Hurley, Berkshire and was renamed the Grassland Research Institute (GRI). GRI acquired the North Wyke site in Devon in 1981.[4]

Welsh Agricultural College (WAC)

In 1970, the Welsh Agricultural College (WAC) was founded in Llanbadarn Fawr, near Aberystwyth. WAC merged with the Agriculture department of UCW in 1995 to form its Institute of Rural Sciences.

Animal and Grassland Research Institute (AGRI)

In 1985, GRI and the National Institute for Research in Dairying were merged to form the Animal and Grassland Research Institute (AGRI).[4]

Institute of Grassland and Animal Production (IGAP)

WPBS ceased to be part of UCW in 1987 as part of restructuring of the Agricultural and Food Research Council funded research. The WPBS facilities at Gogerddan and Bronydd Mawr and the AGRI sites at Hurley and North Wyke were combined with parts of the Poultry Research Centre at Roslin to form the Institute of Grassland and Animal Production (IGAP).[5]

Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research (IGER)

Further restructuring took place three years later with cessation of pig research and the transfer of the poultry department to the Institute for Animal Physiology and Genetics Research at Roslin. The remaining part was Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research (IGER) retained the facilities at Gogerddan, North Wyke and Bronydd Mawr as well as the Hurley site which closed in 1992.[6] At the same time farm facilities at Trawsgoed were acquired.

Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS)

In April 2008, IGER merged with Aberystwyth University's Institute of Biological Sciences and its Institute of Rural Sciences to form the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences, one of the largest departments for the life-sciences in the UK.

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Aberystwyth University

Aberystwyth University

Aberystwyth University is a public research university in Aberystwyth, Wales. Aberystwyth was a founding member institution of the former federal University of Wales. The university has over 8,000 students studying across three academic faculties and 17 departments.

George Stapledon

George Stapledon

Sir Reginald George Stapledon FRS was an English grassland scientist and pioneer environmentalist.

Laurence Philipps, 1st Baron Milford

Laurence Philipps, 1st Baron Milford

Laurence Richard Philipps, 1st Baron Milford, was a British peer. He was a founder and chairman of the shipping company Court Line.

Baronet

Baronet

A baronet or the female equivalent, a baronetess, is the holder of a baronetcy, a hereditary title awarded by the British Crown. The title of baronet is mentioned as early as the 14th century, however, in its current usage it was created by James I of England in 1611 as a means of raising funds for the crown.

Bow Street

Bow Street

Bow Street is a thoroughfare in Covent Garden, Westminster, London. It connects Long Acre, Russell Street and Wellington Street, and is part of a route from St Giles to Waterloo Bridge.

Hurley, Berkshire

Hurley, Berkshire

Hurley is a village and rural civil parish in Berkshire, England. Its riverside is agricultural, except for Hurley Priory, as are the outskirts of the village. The Olde Bell Inn adjoining the priory is believed to date from 1135.

Welsh Agricultural College

Welsh Agricultural College

The Welsh Agricultural College (WAC) was established in Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, Wales, in 1970. In 1995 it merged with Aberystwyth University.

Llanbadarn Fawr, Ceredigion

Llanbadarn Fawr, Ceredigion

Llanbadarn Fawr is a village and community in Ceredigion, Wales. It is on the outskirts of Aberystwyth next to Penparcau and Southgate. It forms the eastern part of the continually built-up area of Aberystwyth. It holds two electoral wards, Padarn and Sulien which elect a Ceredigion County Councillor each and several Llanbadarn Fawr Community Councillors. At the 2001 census its population as a community was recorded at 2,899, increasing to 3,380 at the 2011 census.

Trawsgoed

Trawsgoed

Trawsgoed is both a community and an estate in Ceredigion, Wales. The estate is 8 miles (13 km) southeast of Aberystwyth, and has been in the possession of the Vaughan family since 1200. The Vaughans are descended from Collwyn ap Tangno, founder of the fifth noble tribe of North Wales, Lord of Eifionydd, Ardudwy, and part of Llŷn, who had his residence on the site of Harlech Castle.

Directors of the institute

Welsh Plant Breeding Station

  • Sir George Stapledon 1919–1942
  • T.J. Jenkin 1942–1950
  • E.T. Jones 1950–1958
  • P.T. Thomas 1958–1974
  • J.P. Cooper 1975–1983
  • R.Q. Cannell 1984–1987
  • J.L. Stoddart 1987

Institute for Grassland and Animal Production

  • J. Prescott 1987–1988
  • J.L. Stoddart 1988–1990

Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research

  • J.L. Stoddart 1990–1993
  • Chris Pollock 1993–2007
  • Mervyn Humphries 2007–2008

Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences

  • Wayne Powell 2008–2014
  • Mike Gooding 2014–2019
  • Iain Donnison 2019-

Source: "Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, March 14th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Institute_of_Biological,_Environmental_and_Rural_Sciences.

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References
  1. ^ Davies, Russell (2008), "Landmarks in agricultural, biological and land-based studies at Aberystwyth", IBERS Knowledge-based innovations, Aberystwyth: IBERS
  2. ^ Thomas, P.T. (1969), "Fifty years progress at the Welsh Plant Breeding Station", Jubilee Report of the Welsh Plant Breeding Station, Aberystwyth: University College of Wales
  3. ^ Valentine, J. (2009), "90 Years of the Welsh Plant Breeding Station", IBERS Innovations, Aberystwyth: Aberystwyth University, vol. 9
  4. ^ a b Humphreys, Mervyn (2007), "Director's Introduction", IGER Annual Report, Aberystwyth: AFRC
  5. ^ Stoddart, J.L. (1986), "Director's Report", Welsh Plant Breeding Station Annual Report, Aberystwyth: University College of Wales
  6. ^ Stoddart, J.L. (1989), "Director's Introduction", IGAP Annual Report, Aberystwyth: AFRC
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