Contact Dr Paul Burgess

Areas of expertise

  • Agrifood Systems
  • Energy and the Environment
  • Natural Capital
  • Soil
  • Sustainable Land Systems

Background

After a BSc (Hons) in Agriculture (University of Reading) and a MSc in Land and Water Management (Cranfield University), Paul completed his PhD research (Cranfield University) on tea agronomy whilst employed by ODA in Tanzania. After working for a consortium of private companies, Paul joined Cranfield University as a Lecturer in 1995. He was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2008 and a Reader in Crop Ecology and Management in 2014.  At Cranfield, he has been the Course Tutor for the MSc course in Economics of Natural Resource and Environmental Management (2012-2014), the Programme Director for the Natural Resources Management courses (2008-2011), and Course Tutor for the MSc Land Management courses (2006-2011). He has been the principal or associate supervisor of 21 research degrees. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2007-present), a member of the Institution of Agricultural Engineers, and Secretary to the UK Farm Woodland Forum (2002-2020) (www.agroforestry.ac.uk).  He has been the external examiner of 8 PhDs.  Outside of Europe, he has undertaken research or consultancy work in China, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda, and Tanzania. 

Current activities

Paul’s research is improving the agronomic, environmental, and economic sustainability of agroforestry and perennial cropping systems, particularly with the use of bio-economic models. His research is typically focused on the interface of the forestry and agriculture sectors and encompasses agronomic, environmental, socio-economic and policy analysis. He is the Cranfield PI of an Innovate UK project called “Data-led soil management” to improve tea management on smallholder farms in Kenya, an EU project on agroforestry and mixed farming called AGROMIX, an ESRC project on Food Security and COVID-19, and a consultancy to determine the carbon sequestration options for the Ministry of Defence Estate. He is also undertaking research and consultancy work related to the use of digital technology to enhance tea production in East Africa, and he led a NERC-funded research translation project (2018-2020) that developed a grass management teaching tool. He is a co-investigator on an EU project called EWA-BELT to promote the sustainable intensification of agriculture in belt from West to East Africa, and a UK-based project focused on the use of Sida hermaphrodita and Silphium perfoliatum as biomass crops.

He led a successful FP7 agroforestry research project called AGFORWARD (www.agforward.eu) working with 26 organisations across 14 countries and with 40 stakeholder groups involving 800 farmers and other stakeholders.  Paul has contributed to policy development on agroforestry with the European Commission in the EU and Defra in the UK. He has authored or co-authored 76 peer-review papers and was the co-editor of a special issue of Agroforestry Systems focused on European agroforestry in 2018. He regularly speaks at conferences and has published eight book chapters, three edited books/conference proceedings, and more than 110 conference presentations/papers.  Paul is also the current Module Convenor for the “Principles of Sustainability” module at Cranfield. 

Clients

  • Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), UK
  • Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), UK
  • Department for International Development (DFID), UK
  • Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), UK
  • Ellen MacArthur Foundation
  • European Commission
  • FAL, Switzerland
  • Food and Agriculture Organisation
  • Forest Research
  • Heineken UK
  • James Finlay Ltd
  • Ministry of Defence, UK
  • Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) 
  • SYSTEMIQ Ltd
  • Tea Research Association, Tocklai, India
  • Tea Research Institute of Tanzania
  • Unilever plc
  • Woodland Trust

Publications

Articles In Journals

Conference Papers

Books