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Lancaster scientist is cream of the crop

Professor Steve Long Professor Steve Long

A scientist who is helping find urgent solutions to the need to feed growing global populations under climate change has been elected to one of the world’s most distinguished scientific organisations.

Steve Long FRS, Distinguished Professor in Crop Science, is a researcher at Lancaster University’s Environment Centre and the University of Illinois. Described by Reuters as, one of the world’s “most influential scientific minds”, Professor Long’s work aims to radically improve the sustainable productivity of crops.

He is one of 100 new members recently elected to the National Academy of Sciences of the USA who - along with 25 foreign associates - were selected in recognition of their ‘distinguished and continuing achievements in original research’. Membership of the Academy is considered one of the highest honours that a scientist can achieve in the United States. The Academy serves as adviser to the Nation on science and was established through a Congressional Charter and approved by President Lincoln. 

Professor Long joined Lancaster University in 2016. His team in the Lancaster Environment Centre brings together experts in molecular crop physiology, mathematical modelling, and climate change to address food security. Their research focuses on increasing crop productivity and sustainability through manipulation of photosynthesis.

He said: “This was a complete, but very welcome, surprise. This recognition would not be possible, but for exceptional colleagues in Photosynthesis research in Illinois and Lancaster. It reflects the world leadership in photosynthesis at the two Institutions, at a time when improving photosynthetic efficiency is promising to be transformative in addressing the challenge of global food supply under climate change.“

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is a private, non-profit society of distinguished scholars. Established by an Act of Congress, signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863, the NAS is charged with providing independent, objective advice to the nation on matters related to science and technology. 

Scientists are elected by their peers to membership in the NAS for outstanding contributions to research

Nearly 500 members of the NAS have won Nobel Prizes and just 2,347 members along with 487 foreign associates make up the academy.

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The LongLab is supported by many public and private partnerships, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, the UK Government's Department for International Development, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy.

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