Prof Bob Rees

Professor of Agriculture and Climate Change
Future Farming Systems - Head of Carbon Management Centre

Research interests 

I am a Professor in Agriculture and Climate Change, with research that focuses on greenhouse gas emissions and nutrient cycling. With over 100 research publications, I have extensive involvement in research across Europe, China, Sub-Saharan Africa and Brazil. I recently coordinated Legume-Futures an EU Framework project on the role of legumes in farming systems. In the UK I played a leading role in Agricultural UK Greenhouse Gas Platform programme aimed at improving the reporting and mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions from UK agriculture I am Assistant Editor for the Soil Use and Management Journal. My current research interests include:

  • Agricultural greenhouse gas mitigation and adaptation
  • Carbon sequestration in agricultural soils
  • Nitrous oxide measurement and modelling
  • Methane emissions from soils and livestock
  • Nitrogen flows in terrestrial systems
  • Precision agriculture
  • Soil acidification
  • Marginal Abatement Cost Curves
  • Soil science
  • Sustainable Intensification

Selected research projects

  • N-CIRCLE: Virtual Joint Centre for Closed-Loop Cycling of Nitrogen in Chinese Agriculture (BBSRC, 2016-2019)I
  • Generating Regional Emissions Estimates with a Novel Hierarchy of Observations and Upscaled Simulation Experiments (NERC, 2014-2017)
  • Development of the Impact of Grassland Management on the UK LULUCF Inventory (BEIS, 2016-2017)
  • Productive and Sustainable Land Management and Rural Economies (Scottish Government, 2016-2021)
  • Improving Efficiency and Reducing Waste in the Beef Supply Chain (Innovate UK, 2013-2017)


Honorary lecturer with Principal Supervisor status at the University of Edinburgh
Lecturer in MSc in Environmental Protection and Management and Food security
Lecturer to SRUC’s undergraduate courses in Carbon Management
External Examiner in Environmental Science at Trinity College Dublin

PhD students

  • Juliette Maire: Scaling reactive N mitigation in grassland systems
  • Alasdair Sykes: Developing a Carbon Calculator for application in the beef industry
  • Simon Gibson-Poole: Filling the sensor gap – applying UAV technology to land-use research
  • Vasileios Myrgiotis: Simulating soil N2O emissions in arable eastern Scotland

Selected publications

Iannetta,P.P.M., Young,M., Bachinger,J., Bergkvist,G.., Doltra,J., Lopez-Bellido,R.J., Monti,M., Pappa,V.A., Reckling,M., Topp,C.F.E., Walker,R.L., Rees,R.M., Watson,C.A., James,E.K., Squire,G.R. & Begg,G.S. 2016. A Comparative Nitrogen Balance and Productivity Analysis of Legume and Non-legume Supported Cropping Systems: The Potential Role of Biological Nitrogen Fixation. Frontiers in Plant Science, 7, 1700.

Fowler,D., Steadman,C.E., Stevenson,D., Coyle,M., Rees,R.M., Skiba,U.M., Sutton,M.A., Cape,J.N., Dore,A.J., Vieno,M., Simpson,D., Zaehle,S., Stocker,B.D., Rinaldi,M., Facchini,M.C., Flechard,C.R., Nemitz,E., Twigg,M., Erisman,J.W. & Galloway,J.N. 2015. Effects of global change during the 21st century on the nitrogen cycle. Atmos.Chem.Phys.Discuss., 15, 1747-1868.

Bell,M.J., Cloy,J.M. & Rees,R.M. 2014. The true extent of agriculture's contribution to national greenhouse gas emissions. Environmental Science & Policy, 39, 1-12.

Luscher,A., Mueller-Harvey,I., Soussana,J.F., Rees,R.M. & Peyraud,J.L. 2014. Potential of legume-based grassland-livestock systems in Europe. Grass and Forage Science, 69, 206-228.

Rees,R.M., Augustin,J., Alberti,G., Ball,B.C., Boeckx,P., Cantarel,A., Castaldi,S., Chirinda,N., Chojnicki,B., Giebels,M., Gordon,H., Grosz,B., Horvath,L., Juszczak,R., Klemedtsson,A.K., Klemedtsson,L., Medinets,S., Machon,A., Mapanda,F., Nyamangara,J., Olesen,J.E., Reay,D.S., Sanchez,L., Cobena,A.S., Smith,K.A., Sowerby,A., Sommer,M., Soussana,J.F., Stenberg,M., Topp,C.F.E., Van Cleemput,O., Vallejo,A., Watson,C.A. & Wuta,M. 2013. Nitrous oxide emissions from European agriculture - an analysis of variability and drivers of emissions from field experiments. Biogeosciences, 10, 2671-2682.

See all of Bob Rees' Publications here.

Prof Bob Rees

Professor of Agriculture & Climate Change / Head of Carbon Management Centre

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

Telephone: 0131 535 4365