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Prof Alistair Stott

Group Manager
Future Farming Systems

Research interests 

I head SRUC’s Future Farming Systems Research Group. Our research interests are driven by the need to understand and facilitate change in farming systems, not just in Scotland but throughout the world. Change is essential as farming adapts to climate change, population growth and diminishing stocks of the resources on which agriculture depends.

To understand change it is necessary to look at the whole system. For example, reduced use of antibiotics in agriculture demands many other changes in farming practice to protect animal and human health, animal welfare, food security, farm incomes and the carbon footprint of agriculture. Coping with these complex interactions requires interdisciplinary modelling approaches that capture the scientific details of the main processes concerned alongside the economic aspects that govern farmers’ reactions to change.

Facilitating change requires that complex research outcomes are delivered to farmers in ways that allow them to make the right decisions needed for sustainable food production. Developments in precision agriculture and associated big data applications are increasingly able to address this need. I therefore work with ‘Agrimetrics’ the world’s first Big Data Centre of Excellence for the whole agri-food industry to bring disparate datasets together in support of sustainable agriculture.


Selected research projects

  • Scottish Government’s Centre of Expertise in Animal Disease Outbreaks. (2016-21) 
    EPIC. PI on Topic 5 Advice on the Implications, Risks and Opportunities Presented by Local, National and International Economic, Agricultural and Legislative Developments

  • Scottish Government’s Strategic Research Programme (2016-21)
    RD 2.3.11 Trade-offs between productivity and sustainability - Lead

  • STFC Agri-tech in China Network+ (2016-21)
    Facilitate development of UK satellite technology to aid Chinese farming.

  • bbsrc LoLa project. The BUG consortium Building Upon the Genome (2015-20)
    Genomics to develop novel interventions to control endemic GI parasites

  • Agrimetrics Ltd. Agri-tech Centre of Innovation.
    Member of Executive Management Team


I teach Economics of Animal Health and Welfare on the MSc in Applied Animal Behaviour and Welfare at the University of Edinburgh. Also teach a module on better decision making for the International MBA in Agribusiness at Warsaw University.

PhD students

Harriet Wishart
Can precision livestock farming improve the viability of hill sheep production?

Maggie March
Evaluating robustness of diverse dairy systems.

Selected publications

  • Vosough-Ahmadi, B. Shrestha, S., Thomson, S.G., Barnes, A.P. and Stott, A.W. (2015). Impacts of greening measures and flat rate regional payments of the Common Agricultural Policy on Scottish beef and sheep farms. Journal of Agricultural Science, 153, 676-688
  • Bell, M.J., Garnsworthy, P.C., Stott A.W. and Pryce, J.E. (2015). Effects of changing cow production and fitness traits on profit and greenhouse gas emissions of UK dairy systems. Journal of Agricultural Science 153, 138-151.
  • Soteriades, A.D., Faverdin, P., March, M. and Stott, A.W. (2015). Improving efficiency assessments using additive data envelopment analysis models: an application to contrasting dairy farming systems. Agricultural and Food Science, 24, 235-248.
  • Soteriades, A.D., Moreau, Charroin, S.T., Blanchard, M., Faverdin, P. and Stott, A.W. (2016). An approach to holistically assess (dairy) farm eco-efficiency by combining Life Cycle Analysis with Data Envelopment Analysis models and methodologies. Animal In Press.
  • March, M., Toma, L., Stott, A.W. and Roberts, D.R. (2016). Environmental performance of dairy farming systems. A case study of phosphorus - pollutant and non-renewable resource? Ecological Indicators 69, 667-676

See all of Alistair W Stott's publications.

Prof Alistair Stott

Interim Vice Principal Research

Address: Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), Peter Wilson Building, Kings Buildings, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JG

Telephone: 0131 535 4023

Fax: 0131 535 4345