BIO2030 - Food Security in a Changing World

General Unit Information

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Food security is defined as when all people at all times have access to enough food and a balanced diet. This depends on the production of food (agricultural yield), the availability of food (distribution, cost) and its nutritional value. Underpinning all food security are plants, whether eaten directly or consumed by stock animals.

This interdisciplinary unit will examine the factors that govern crop yields, e.g. how plants detect and respond to changing environments. The unit will also address the nutritional value of foods by exploring what is a balanced diet, how do we get it and its effects on animal physiology and health.

The United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a challenge to the global community to improve human well-being, while also conserving Earth’s natural resources and the vital ecological functions on which we all depend. Goal Two, zero hunger, is relevant to the unit alongside many other interconnected goals. Meeting food production goals in the face of climate change, requires new approaches to agriculture and land management. The strengths and weaknesses of different agricultural systems (e.g. organic, subsistence, greenhouses or broadacre farming) and the role GMOs, digital agriculture and robotics will be discussed. The unit will assist you to prepare for employment in food- and agriculture-related industries, with an awareness of sustainability principles and regenerative agriculture. A work integrated learning assignment incorporating a half-day off-campus field trip will be an option.


Students completing this subject will be able to:

  1. List the sustainable development goals and discuss how they relate to and interconnect with food security.
  2. Outline the ways in which plants detect and respond to changes in the environment and how this affects crop yield.
  3. Analyse and compare the environmental, economic and social value of different types of agricultural practice.
  4. Discuss how innovations in digital agriculture and biotechnology may impact future food production.
  5. Understand how changing food composition alters behavioural, growth and health outcomes in consumers.

Specific Unit Information

NamesProfessor Roslyn Gleadow
Office location18 Inn (Bld17), Room 231
Office hoursBy appointment - please e-mail
Technical Coordinator
NamesAgnee Amarnath
Office location25 Rnf (Building 18), Room 114 
Program for 2020
University Handbook EntryBIO2030- Synopsis, Assessment & Prerequisites
ScheduleBIO2030 - Teaching Schedule for 2020
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