William Erskine

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Timor-Leste is among the world’s youngest and poorest countries. It suffers from seasonal food insecurity and has the third-highest stunting rate globally. Previously inadequately documented, this paper summarises recent advances in understanding household food security in Timor-Leste and the multifaceted approaches being used to overcome it. Information(More)
Boron (B) toxicity is increasingly being recognized as a problem in arid areas of West Asia, where lentil is widely grown. This study investigated whether or not: (1) phenotypic variation of B-toxicity tolerance exists at the seedling stage in lentil, (2) such variation persists to affect adult performance, and (3) there is geographical diversity in(More)
We propose herein a novel single seed descent protocol that has application across a broad phenotypic range of pea genotypes. Manipulation of key in vivo growing conditions, including light, photoperiod and temperature, combined with precocious in vitro germination of the embryo at full physiological maturity substantially shortened the pea lifecycle. We(More)
Lentils play a major role in the food and nutritional security of millions, particularly among low-income Asian families, because of the high protein content of their seed. As is the case for many pulses, lentils play an important role as a rotation crop, enhancing soil fertility and providing other environmental services in production systems. While its(More)
Weed management is a critical issue in the production of narrow-leaf lupin (NLL) (Lupinus angustifolius L.). The gene pool has limited herbicide tolerance, early vigour or short season productivity, hampering conventional breeding approaches. Previous transformation of NLL used the bar gene encoding tolerance to the herbicide glufosinate, for selection.(More)
Factors related to adoption of new agricultural technologies have been given increasing attention, especially in developing countries where such technologies offer opportunities to increase food production. One of the most immediate ways to improve food production significantly is through the adoption of high yielding varieties of food crops, but rates of(More)
A hypothesis is proposed whereby weedy vetch (Vicia sativa L.) seed moved with seed of the cultivated lentil (Lens culinaris Medikus) as a tolerated weed during the spread of the lentil from the Fertile Crescent in the Near East to its current distribution. As a result, selection occurred in vetch weeds for a reduction in dormancy/hard-seededness, increased(More)
Many rural households in the developing world are subject to chronic seasonal food insecurity. Often cited among coping strategies is foraging for wild foods. This study was to understand the role of wild food in household food security in Timor-Leste. Information on wild food use comes from three sources: a) a longitudinal study of food consumption among(More)
Understanding the role light quality plays on floral initiation is key to a range of pre-breeding tools, such as accelerated single-seed-descent. We have elucidated the effect of light quality on early flowering onset in cool-season grain legumes and developed predictive models for time to flowering under the optimised light conditions. Early and late(More)
Timor-Leste is a small, poor and predominantly-agricultural nation of less than 1 million people. Most families suffer from chronic food insecurity practising food rationing 1–6 months of the year. The small size of Timor-Leste, its recent birth as a nation and conflict history, together with little previous research on staple crops make it a unique(More)