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.
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.
Harriet WishartCan precision livestock farming improve the viability of hill sheep production?
Maggie MarchEvaluating robustness of diverse dairy systems.
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