Adegbola Adesogan will lead the new Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences’ Food Systems Institute at University of Florida. ( Photo and logo courtesy UF/IFAS; graphic by Amy Sowder )

University of Florida researchers at the newly created Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences’ Food Systems Institute will work on economically and environmentally sustainable solutions to feeding the world.

“This institute brings together global engagement with what we call systems thinking — addressing world hunger by researching how every part of the field-to-fork process affects every other part. It’s a search for how to deliver the most abundant, nutritious and affordable food possible for the greatest number of people,” Jack Payne, former leader of the UF-IFAS, said in a news release.

Payne, who retired July 12, led UF-IFAS for 10 years, establishing the Institute for Sustainable Food Systems (ISFS) in 2015 and helping develop the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development.

The Food Systems Institute combines the two initiatives, including faculty and projects associated with each, according to the release. It is led by Adegbola Adesogan, professor of ruminant nutrition in the department of animal sciences.

Institute for Sustainable Food Systems scholars focus on food safety, environmental science, aquaculture, soil science, genetics and economics. In January, the first Future of Food Forum invited scientific, industry and policy leaders from around the world. 

“One additional advantage of the Food Systems Institute is that it combines the livestock, public health and nutrition and social science expertise of Innovation Lab faculty with the crops, fisheries and aquaculture, soils and systems expertise of ISFS faculty,” Adesogan said in the release.

The faculty are successful at acquiring multimillion-dollar grants to address issues affecting food systems and publishing their findings, he said.

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