Association of Applied Biologists
AAB - President
Cropping and the Environment
The Group aims to develop a range of innovative meetings and events tackling key topical and strategic issues in the areas of crops and cropping systems; weed, vegetation and nutrient management and wider agri-environment issues. 

Recent subjects of conferences organised by the Group include:  What makes an alien invasive? – risk and policy responses, Agri-Environment Schemes: where do we go from here?, Measuring and Marketing the Environmental Costs and Benefits of Agricultural Practice, Biomass and Energy  Crops.


The Group is also responsible for delivering the Crop Protection in Southern Britain meeting.


We welcome ideas for conferences or other activities from AAB members; please forward these to the Group via the AAB office.   


I look forward to meeting you at one of our conferences soon.    

Rob Carlton

I run a business focused on sustainable agriculture and with a focus on climate change, resource management and pesticide stewardship. I am particularly interested in management of arable soils in order to protect the environment and manage water resources whilst maintaining productivity. I aim to combine good science with common sense to determine how land resources can best be utilised to meet the needs of society.


Group Members
Nigel Boatman

Nigel is Science Leader in the team with interests in environmental impacts of agriculture (especially in relation to biodiversity) agri-environmental policy and evaluation, and agricultural land use issues. He has extensive experience in the evaluation of agri-environmental schemes.

Ken Davies

I was the weed and vegetation management specialist for SAC but since retiring a few years ago have since undertaken a range of consultancies. I now limit myself, including some free work for an agricultural charity! My R & D and advisory/ consultancy interests over the years range from all aspects of weed management in both conventional and organic systems to more general vegetation management. I have covered all cropping, horticultural and grassland situations in my time along with non-agricultural situations. My ongoing input to AAB CATE hopefully brings some experience and is of considerable interest to me.

Andy Evans
Andy works at SRUC, Edinburgh.  Further details about Andy will be available shortly.
John Purslow
JP Agronomy Limited.  Further details about John will be available shortly
David Stock
Dr David Stock Syngenta Fellow, Head of Weed Control Biology Originally I qualified in Pure & Applied Biology at Oxford University in 1984, followed by a PhD at Bristol, sponsored by Shell, to investigate the impact of surfactant structure on pesticide delivery. I have worked within the Crop Protection industry since 1991. Throughout this time, the main focus of my work has been around enhanced biodelivery of pesticides and Adjuvant Technology. This has involved both fundamental research in-house, in addition to funding projects with Universities and Institutes both within the UK and on an international basis. Historically I have been involved in biodelivery research from within Formulation groups in the Crop Protection industry. However, since July 2012 I have returned to a Biology based role, leading the Weed Control Research Biology group in Syngenta.
Elizabeth Stockdale
I have been involved in a wide range of research projects connected with the study of nutrient cycling in soils and with the environmetnal impact of farming systems. At the smallest scale I have used isotope dilution techniques to investigate mineralisation, immobilisation and nitrification processes. The understanding gained has been used to develop modelling approaches to predict soil nutrient cycling at soil, field and farm scale and to guide fertiliser recommendation systems. I have also maintained a strong link to organic farming and carried out some research into nutrient cycling (N, P, K) in organic famring systems.


Elizabeth is also the Honorary General Secretary for the Association.
Jonathan Storkey
The background to my research is the function of plants adapted to arable landscapes in terms of their impact on crop production (weeds) and support of farmland biodiversity. I am working towards sustainable management strategies that reconcile these two functions by focussing on the plant traits that determine the response of a weed community to external drivers and its effect on crop yield and higher trophic groups. A success of the work so far has been to identify a functional group of annual weeds that combine a relatively low competitive ability with the crop with a high value for biodiversity. Red Dead-nettle (right) is an example of such a species that could potentially be tolerated in crops as part of subsidised agri-environment schemes.
Peter Taylor

Peter is the AICC representative on the CATE Group.  He is an arable crop consultant on all aspects of crop husbandry and profitable cropping systems. Group trials, computer field recording with analysis and technical meetings in conjunction with Jamie Mackay Agronomy Ltd.

Kairsty Topp
My research interest lies in understanding the impact of changes in farm management in cropping / grassland systems on the environment, and in how an understanding of these issues can inform economic and social models of the farming system.

Alongside colleagues, my research addresses the global warming potential of different management systems, mitigation and adaptation strategies for farming systems, and tools to compare the sustainability of different farming systems.  I work closely with colleagues from SCRI and other European countries to develop these tools that will be crucial in the assessment of the environmental impact and economic resilience of farming systems.

Current areas of work focus on N2O emissions from grasslands and arable rotations, the assessment of the GWP of crop/arable systems at the Scottish regional level, the development of tools to aid in the assessment of, and how crop/arable systems impact of the environmental and economic sustainability of farming systems.  I also have an interest in developing methods to assess how crop morphology impacts on weed and diseases in cereal crops, and understanding the affects of management and climate on a long-term rotation.

Consider joining the AAB