Professor Dr John R Porter
Associate professor Jakob Magid
The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University (KVL), Copenhagen has a dual role of education and research and is the only such institution in Denmark with about 3500 students and 1500 staff. Because of international evaluation, it is expanding its focus to include more inter-disciplinary activities and initiatives. Current research areas within the Department of Agricultural Sciences include biosystems engineering, bioclimatology, plant nutrition, organic agriculture and plant fibre technology. The Department is in the process of modernizing its research and education by recognizing that future European land management will focus on the provision of ecosystem services to society rather than food production alone.
Professor Dr John R Porter is Professor of Agroecology within the Department of Agricultural Sciences of the KVL. His research interests are crop physiology and modelling to elucidate the effects of climatic variability on risks to agroecosystems and the development of combined food and energy producing systems and multi-disciplinary research in organic agriculture. He has over 75 refereed publications out of a total of about 160 publications and has contributed to seven EU research programmes (EPOCH, CLAIRE, CROPCHANGE, ESPACE-Wheat, MODEXCROP, CLIVARA, IMPETUS) in the past. He chairs the international Agroecology and Production Systems Focus of the International Geosphere Biosphere Programme. H was elected President of the European Society for Agronomy in 2002 and was awarded the Dr Heinrich Baur Prize for pioneering research in agroecology by the Technical University of Munich in 2001. In 2003, he was joint winner of the Bertebos Prize for research by the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry and was runner-up for the Japan Prize 2004 in the category of food production based on ecosystem concepts. In 2003, following his award of the Bertebos Prize, Professor Porter organized a seminal conference on agro-ecosystem services (www.ksla.se). Professor Porter argues that farming in the rich developed world has to change from being a production industry to become a service industry. This means that farming’s bioregulatory, eco-supporting and cultural services have to be identified, measured and raised in value in order that the support that society gives to farming is in equitable balance with the overall services that society receives from cultivation of the land. Such radical new thinking is required to rescue agriculture from its present state in the rich world and to offer poor world farmers the chance to produce and market food for a fair price and thereby to allow their rural communities to become richer and thus healthier.