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Complexity Research

There is a growing demand for agricultural raw materials for food, feed and fuel, leading to competition for resources at local, regional and global levels. The agriculture faculty of the University of Bonn has the ideal combination of expertise from agriculture, nutrition and food sciences and geodesy to develop scientific solutions to answer this demand. The current research of the faculty is organised into two core areas: • Agricultural Systems, Sensing, Analysis and Management • Food and Nutrition Interlinking these two core areas is the interdisciplinary research area From Molecules to Function: Crop – Livestock – Human. Closely orientated to the research goals of the faculty are the 9 professorship positions, which are set until 2013.

Agricultural Systems, Sensing, Analysis and Management

The rising demand for food and energy is increasing the pressure for the sustainable use of limited resources. In this research area, we are developing new management methods, from sensor networks to agricultural systems modelling. The basis required for this is the deeper understanding of the functions of the individual subsystems - from micro to macro level. With this knowledge, complex agricultural systems can be studied, evaluated and adjusted for future developments.

Food and Nutrition

The goal of this research area is the development and establishment of nutritional concepts for the maintenance of human health and the reduction of risk of chronic diseases. Factors that are considered and evaluated include gender, age, genetics, lifestyle and environment. The functional properties of food ingredients are explored on the cellular and molecular level. Findings serve as a basis for technological advancement in the production of 'functional' foods.

From Molecules to Function: Crop – Livestock – Human

This research area uses molecular methods to investigate the genetically-determined metabolic functions in crops, livestock and humans. Complex cellular processes influence both the composition of plant and animal products as well as the metabolism of dietary components in humans and animals. Understanding these complex interactions at the genetic and functional level provides the basis for molecular food-design. Object-orientated data analysis (bioinformatics, statistical genetics, nutritional epidemiology) provides the methodological underpinning of these function-orientated disciplines.

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