The Centre for Soil, Agrifood and Biosciences (SABS) seeks to grow as a world-class research centre dedicated to understanding soil, plant, and microbial systems, with the aim of tackling global food and environmental challenges.

SABS has internationally-recognised expertise across both domestic and international food supply chains, from soil science to postharvest quality. Our work is truly global, reaching across Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, South America and SE Asia, working with agribusiness and governments to address the challenges of environmental sustainability and food security.

We have in-depth strength in soil science, with expertise in fundamental soil biophysics, biology and chemistry (Soil Systems Group) through to applied soil management, soil conservation and ecosystem services (Crop-Soil-Water Systems Group). Our plant and microbial scientists link to our soils research through understanding rhizosphere processes and root trait genetics (Plant Molecular Genetics Group), and we host world-leading groups in postharvest biology (Plant Science Laboratory) and in food safety related to mycotoxins and microbiological spoilage (Applied Mycology Group).

Our bioinformatics capability underpins all aspects of our research, for example genomics and gene discovery in plants and fungi, machine learning to predict fresh produce shelf life, and development of soil management information systemss (Bioinformatics Group).

We work closely with the Cranfield Environment Centre to deliver multidisciplinary research, consultation and postgraduate teaching.

We host the British Society of Soil Science, an organisation to promote the study and profession of soil science – the president in 2017 to 2018 was Professor Wilfred Otten.

We have long-established links with the Institution of Agricultural Engineers (IAgrE), headquartered at Cranfield. IAgrE is for all those involved with engineering, science and technology within agriculture and the environment. Professor Jane Rickson, a Fellow of the Institution, was president from 2018 to 2020.