Agriculture and Environmental Management research


The Agriculture and Environment Management (AEM) research group specialises in agri-environmental science, water resource management and climate change adaptation/mitigation.

The aim of the group is to guide government and industry policy in the UK and overseas. AEM is one of three research groups affiliated to the Centre for Agriculture, Food and Environmental Management (CAFEM) research that sits within the Agriculture, Food and Veterinary Sciences (AFVS) REF Unit, established in 2011.

The Research Group’s work is based within the School of Life and Medical Sciences (LMS). It includes members of the Agriculture and Environment Research Unit (AERU) and other staff from the Geography, Environment and Planning Subject Group.

Recent outputs submitted to REF 2021 include papers on adapting to climate change in agricultural ecosystems, irrigation systems in India, impacts of climate change on glacial geomorphology, and monitoring and modelling Arctic and Himalayan ice loss.

students measuring a glacier
melting glacier

Research areas

There are a growing number of research students within this area and we can offer research provision supervision in a wide variety of topics including:

Research AreaSupervisors
Crop protection and environment, nutrients and crop nutrition Prof.Kathy Lewis, Dr.Doug Warner, Dr Andy Green,
Dr John Tzilivakis, Jemma Taylor
Agroecology, biodiversity and ecosystem   Prof.Kathy Lewis,  Dr.Doug Warner, Dr Andy Green ,
Dr John Tzilivakis
Agriculture and whole farm ecological impact measurement, climate change mitigation and adaptation Prof.Kathy Lewis,  Dr.Doug Warner, Dr Andy Green ,
Dr John Tzilivakis
Interactions between agriculture and the environment including impacts of soil management and grazing strategies Prof.Kathy Lewis,  Dr.Doug Warner, Dr Andy Green ,
Dr John Tzilivakis
Chemicals in food and feed Prof.Kathy Lewis, Dr John Tzilivakis
Pesticide composition, detection and monitoring Prof.Kathy Lewis, Dr Andy Green
Mountain irrigation and farming systems, aquatic ecology, and freshwater quality and monitoring Dr Ronni Edmonds-Brown, Dr Darren Crook, Dr Trevor Dube, Dr Gabriela Zemelka
Glaciology and glacier-climate dynamics Dr Phil Porter,  Dr Danni Pearce, Dr Alastair Curry,  Dr Olly Bartlett
Quaternary palaeo-environments and landscape changeDr Alastair Curry, Dr Poppy Harding
Periglacial and paraglacial systems, climate and hazards Dr Alastair Curry, Dr Olly Bartlett, Dr Phil Porter
Animal movement and grazing behaviour Dr Alla Mashanova


Research grants and granted consultancy income have recently been secured from the RCUK Global Challenges Fund, the European Food Safety Authority, Horizon 2020, the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, Natural England, Defra, and a number of Charitable Trusts and Foundations.

Some notable recent research funding successes include:

  • European Commission’s Joint Research Centre funded work on Ecological Focus Areas (EFAs). Prof Kathy Lewis, Dr John Tzilivakis and AERU
  • EU’s Horizon 2020, FRAMEwork: Farmers clusters for realising agrobiodiversity management across ecosystems. Dr Doug Warner and AERU
  • The Pesticide Properties Database (PPDB) and its application, 2010-2021. AERU
  • Defra, 2019-21: Development of a UK pesticide load indicator. Prof Kathy Lewis, Dr John Tzilivakis
  • European Food Safety Authority, 2019-21: Toxicological and environmental risks from chemicals in food packaging. Prof Kathy Lewis, Dr John Tzilivakis
  • European Commission, 2018-20: Providing support in relation to the identification of approaches and measures in action programmes under Nitrates Directive (91/676/EEC). Dr John Tzilivakis and AERU
  • Natural England, 2017-20: Establishing a field-based evidence base for the impact of agri-environment options on soil carbon and climate change mitigation. Dr Doug Warner and AERU
  • Global Challenges Research Fund, 2017-19: Building Resilience programme funded project Disaster Relief in Bhutan. Dr Frances Harris.


Research in the Agriculture and Environmental Management group is supported by the well-equipped state-of-the-art Science Building that houses cutting-edge research technologies and GIS capabilities, the Geosciences laboratory, the Physical Geography laboratory, and the Bayfordbury field station.

This includes onsite laboratories, an apiary, weather station, plant growth facilities, long-term habitat management schemes and detailed species records for botany, vertebrates, terrestrial invertebrates and aquatic invertebrates

Find out more about the Life and Medical Science facilities at the University of Hertfordshire.

Research degrees and post-doctoral fellowships

Applications are invited from candidates with good first degrees in environmental science, agriculture, climate, geoscience or other relevant disciplines to join projects as research students.

Projects are available for PhD and MSc by Research students in the areas mentioned above (but not limited to). Candidates from low and middle income Commonwealth countries can apply annually to the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission for a Commonwealth PhD Scholarship with support from AEM researchers.

In addition, we welcome Visiting Researchers and Postdoctoral Fellowships in the research areas above. We will gladly support and assist with fellowship applications to national and international research councils or charities.

The NFU Mutual Charitable Trust offers its annual Centenary Award, providing bursaries for postgraduate students in agriculture. The award provides annual bursaries of up to 75% of course fees for selected postgraduate students (Masters or PhD).

To learn more about the research degree programmes offered in agriculture and environmental management please visit the Doctoral College page.

We recommend that you discuss your proposed research with a member of academic staff of the Agriculture and Environmental Management Research Group before submitting your application. Please name the staff member when submitting your application.

For informal enquiries, please contact Dr Nicholas Troop, Psychology, Sport and Geography Research Degrees Tutor.

Download your application form. Please email application forms to Mrs Elizabeth Day, our research degrees administrator.