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.    


Kairsty is an Agricultural Systems Modeller at the Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC). 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.

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Group Members

Jake Bishop

Lecturer in Crop Science and Production at the University of Reading.

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.

Andy is a Team Leader at the Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), Edinburgh. My research interests revolve around integrated pest management (IPM) in arable and horticultural crops. Development of pest management approaches for the control of insect, slug and nematode pests of crops encompasses a wide range of techniques and novel methods, and research I have been, and am currently involved in, utilises semiochemicals, visual attraction, trap cropping, biofumigation, biological control (including biopesticides), and induction of crop natural defences.

My research into the physiological responses of pests and their predators to semiochemicals (e.g. pheromones,  host-plant attractants, repellents) and visual stimuli (e.g. colour) using techniques such as electroantennography, electroretinography, coupled with behavioural studies, aims to develop novel pest management strategies that can be incorporated with existing methods of crop protection.

Nematode pests of arable crops (particularly potatoes) are also of interest, and research is ongoing into developing damage thresholds and  IPM programmes for their control.

I am also involved in evaluating the impact of climate on the distribution of pests and disease, with modelling of the potential changes in distribution due to climate change.

​Naomi is a senior ecologist at Fera, specialising in the impacts of agri-environment schemes and changes in agricultural management on plant communities, habitat condition, wider biodiversity and other environmental issues.

Naomi has 25 years' research experience including management of multidisciplinary, collaborative studies. She has managed many recent evaluations of agri-environment schemes and related initiatives including current projects evaluating the new Countryside Stewardship, assessing the role of advice on HLS agreement set-up, monitoring of Entry Level Stewardship and the impact of ETIP advice and the evaluation of voluntary measures implemented under the Campaign for the Farmed Environment.

Her recent research has included studies which combine ecological and wider environmental survey with socio-economic issues such as farmers' attitudes to, and understanding of, agri-environment policies and their implementation. Other areas of research include management of weeds (detrimental and beneficial) in arable systems.

Syed Shah

I did my PhD in 2012 from the University of Aberdeen and the University of the Highland and Islands, Scotland. My research was on a very old landrace of barley called Bere barley in Orkney. After completion, I joined a distributor as researcher and as an agronomist providing agronomy advice to growers in the south and south-west. I  have been in the agricultural industry for the last seven years. Currently I am working as a  regional agronomist for NIAB TAG. I am passionate about crop research and finding ways to improve crop and soil health/soil biology. My research objectives are finding ways to reduce our reliance on chemical use without comprising crop yields by  improving the efficiency chemicals and fertiliser inputs. Currently I am researching on new fungicides, herbicides, bio-stimulants, micro-nutrients,  protected urea, cover crops and flea-beetle control

Kate Smith

William Smith

Will is a senior trials manager at NIAB, with particular focus on the control of key arable weed species. He has recently started a PhD at the University of Lincoln looking at optimising the use of inter-row cultivations for black-grass control in narrow row crops. He is interested in developing agricultural systems that achieve sustainable weed control, whilst remaining productive and profitable.

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AAB Office:

The office staff are working remotely and can only be contacted via email. In the case of any urgent issues, please contact Carol at 02476 999484

Warwick Enterprise Park, Wellesbourne, Warwick CV35 9EF. Tel: +44 (0)2476 999486.

Carol Millman: (Executive Officer, Conference Organisation & Planning, Food and Energy Security Editorial Office, Annals of Applied Biology & Advertising)
Alberto Vitale: (AAB Office & Finance Manager, Social Media, Website and General Enquiries)

Bernadette Lawson: (Aspects of Applied Biology & DPV Sales, Accounts, Conference Bookings, Membership)
John Andrews: (Conference Administration, Aspects of Applied Biology Editorial Queries, Newsletter)
Carol Millman: (Food and Energy Security Editorial Office, Membership, Website & Newsletter)

Registered Charity No: 275655

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