The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are an important framework for CUHK to organise its research enterprise. Life Sciences Professor Lam Hon-ming’s research into climate smart soybean cultivation on marginal land is impacting multiple SDGs – from ending hunger, to improving nutrition and food security, to halting and reversing climate change, restoring degraded land and promoting gender equality. As Director of the State Key Laboratory of Agrobiotechnology at CUHK, he is also leading groundbreaking experiments in space.
Around the world, there are over 390,000 plant species known to science. That makes it challenging for scientists to study them. A systematised database is important to provide an insightful reference for plant identification, ecological surveys and conservation. A research team from CUHK has developed a first-of-its-kind 3D and high-definition open database of authenticated fruits and seeds voucher specimens in herbarium archive, allowing researchers, teachers and students to explore, rotate and magnify lifelike 3D models of plant species – just like holding the real thing in their hands. It is a template for botanists and herbaria worldwide to establish their own 3D databases and help revolutionise our approach to studying a key part of the natural world.