Climate Change, Water, and Agriculture: A Case Study on Tea workshop – February 16th

Our research group is hosting a one-day workshop on climate change, water, and agriculture. The workshop will take place at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University’s downtown Boston campus at 145 Harrison Avenue, Boston, MA 02111 in the Sackler Building in Room 218.

The goal of the workshop is to share findings and exchange ideas between our research team and others working in the areas of climate science and food quality. In addition to brief presentations by our research team, the workshop will feature a seminar by Dr. Ellie Biggs who leads a tea and climate project in India.

If interested in attending this workshop please contact Rebecca Nemec Boehm at

Below is a tentative schedule for the workshop.

10:00am – 11:00am: Opening Remarks and Seminar: Dr. Ellie Biggs, Department of Geography and Environment at the University of South Hampton

11:00am – 11:15am: Presentation 1: Dr. Corene Matyas, Department of Geography at University of Florida

11:15am – 11:30am: Tea Tasting: Dr. Selena Ahmed, Sustainable Food and Bioenergy Systems Program, Montana State University and Nicole Kfoury, Department of Chemistry, Tufts University, Rebecca Nemec Boehm, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University

11:30am – 11:45am: Consumer interest and willingness to pay for tea product attributes: Dr. Sean Cash,Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University

11:45am – 12:00pm: Presentation 3: Dr. John Duncan, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University

12:00pm to 1:00pm: Lunch with workshop attendees

1:00pm – 2:30pm: Transferability and exchange of methodologies (climate science methods, hydrology, economic modeling, Geographic Information Systems, social surveys, and secondary metabolite chemistry)

2:30pm – 3:30pm: Exploring future collaborations: Funding and integrating findings for applied solutions

Tea Workshop Flyer 02 16


Talking Tea and Climate at the Ethical Tea Partnership Meeting

Co-PI Selena Ahmed met up with Dr. Ellie Biggs of the UK / India tea and climate project for a joint talk, Towards Climate Smart Tea Systems, at the Ethical Tea Partnership Meeting TEAM UP 2015 in London. While in the UK, Selena was invited by Ellie to give a presentation on Tea and the Taste of Climate Change as part of the Geography and Environment Seminar Program at the University of Southampton.

Slides for the interactive presentation at TEAM UP 2015 can be viewed at the following link:

Drs. Orians and Stepp featured on

Drs. Orians and Stepp of the Tea and Climate Change project were recently featured in an article on The article, entitled, “Climate Change Poses a Brewing Problem for Tea” discusses how climate change is a affecting tea production and quality in China. Many experts on tea production are also quoted in the article.

You can read the full article here. Also, the original Climate Central article has been re-posted by Green Bizz and Quartz, and referenced in an article featured on Grist.

Our tea project featured in Science


Science 29 May 2015Vol. 348 no. 6238 pp. 953954

Our tea project is featured in the May 29th Science magazine in a news article on climate effects on tea quality written by Christina Larson. The news brief is also covered in the May 29th Science podcast where Christina Larson is interviewed on tea and climate. Writer Larson accompanied investigator Selena Ahmed in the field in Xishuangbanna of Yunnan Province this past March during the spring tea harvest and spoke with tea farmers. She also interviewed other members of our tea including investigators Sean Cash, Colin Orians, and Wenyan Han.

Here are links to the Science feature and podcast followed by Christina Larson’s summary.

News feature:


Summary: The complex mix of phytochemicals responsible for the taste of tea may be far more sensitive to climate than the yields of commodity crops. An ideal place to study the relationship is China’s Yunnan province, known for an oxidized and fermented black tea called pu’er, one of the country’s most prized and already being touched by climate change. Earlier this year, scientists embarked on a 4-year project that examines the linkages among climate, tea quality, and farmer livelihoods. What they find could have implications for scores of other crops, from coffee to chocolate to cherries, whose taste and value also depend on local climates.

Here is a PDF of the complete story Science-2015 Tea and climate-2