Areas of expertise
- Carbon, Climate and Risk
- Digital Agriculture
- Energy and the Environment
- Natural Capital
- Soil Resources
- Sustainable Land Systems
- Waste Management and Resource Efficiency
Adrian started his career at the National Institute of Agricultural Engineering at Silsoe, Bedfordshire (later becoming Silsoe Research Institute). This started with research into odour control from animal manures (following his PhD at the University of Glasgow) and then progressed into a wide range of experimentally-based agri-environmental research including: biological treatment systems, silage conservation, gaseous emission measurement and control and improved manure management methods. He later concentrated more on mathematical modelling, initially using process models. He later joined the Biomathematics Group leading work in whole-farm agri-environmental modelling and more recently moved into environmental Life Cycle Assessment (LCA).
He moved to Cranfield University in January 2006 to develop the LCA work, which has expanded rapidly since then and addressed subjects from livestock health to national dietary change. Much work is directed towards GHG emissions, but he likes to remind the world that there are other features of our effect on the wider environment that need quantification.
Dr Adrian Williams' project portfolio includes projects for Defra and others in which Environmental Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and systems modelling of agricultural and horticultural commodities is applied and developed. This includes the effects of improving health in cattle on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, improving pig husbandry.
He is Science Director in the UK Agricultural GHG Platform (www.ghgplatform.org.uk), which is improving the science to support the UK agricultural GHG inventory. He is also in project team that is delivering the working inventory. He also recently became involved with the water footprinting of livestock production.
He is a member of the Food Climate Research Network (www.fcrn.org.uk) steering group.
He recently completed work for Defra on the economic and environmental effects of moving to healthier diets.
Research interests include:
- Development and application of Environmental Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for agricultural and horticultural commodities and the food system
- Whole system agri-environmental modelling
- Effects of dietary change on the environment
- More environmentally benign waste management
- Modelling and measuring ammonia and greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from agriculture
- Multi stakeholder and ecosystem services evaluation
- Water use and impacts in agriculture and food.
Recent supervised student work includes:
Impacts of 100% organic conversion of agriculture in England
Developing a framework for sustainable agricultural development in the Niger Delta
Improving the environmental performance of beef cattle through LCA
Comparing diesel and petrol cars using LCA
Using LCA to derive more insight into the benefits of the nitrification inhibitor, DCD
Development of a new method of calculating land use change (LUC) emissions
Timing of GHG emissions from using whole trees as biofuels
The environmental cost of an email
LCA of a micro-brewery
The valuation of soil carbon
The carbon footprint of watching digital television
- The Committee on Climate Change
- The Welsh Government
- The Austrian Government
- Potato Council
- Bord Bia
- World Flowers
Articles In Journals
- Rivington M, King R, Duckett D, Iannetta P, Benton TG, Burgess PJ, Hawes C, Wellesley L, Polhill JG, Aitkenhead M, Lozada‐Ellison LM, Begg G, Williams AG, Newton A, Lorenzo‐Arribas A, Neilson R, Watts C, Harris J, Loades K, Stewart D, Wardell‐Johnson D, Gandossi G, Udugbezi E, Hannam JA & Keay C (2021) UK food and nutrition security during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, Nutrition Bulletin, 46 (1) 88-97.
- Lefebvre D, Williams A, Meersmans J, Kirk GJD, Sohi S, Goglio P & Smith P (2020) Modelling the potential for soil carbon sequestration using biochar from sugarcane residues in Brazil, Scientific Reports, 10 (1) Article No. 19479.
- Smith LG, Kirk GJD, Jones PJ & Williams AG (2019) The greenhouse gas impacts of converting food production in England and Wales to organic methods, Nature Communications, 10 (1) Article No. 4641. Dataset/s: 10.6084/m9.figshare.6080333
- Lefebvre D, Goglio P, Williams A, Manning DAC, de Azevedo AC, Bergmann M, Meersmans J & Smith P (2019) Assessing the potential of soil carbonation and enhanced weathering through Life Cycle Assessment: a case study for Sao Paulo State, Brazil, Journal of Cleaner Production, 233 (October) 468-481.
- Sykes AJ, Macleod M, Eory V, Rees RM, Payena F, Myrgiotis V, Williams M, Sohi S, Hillier J, Moran D, Manning DAC, Goglio P, Seghetta M, Williams A , Harris J, Dondini M, Walton J, House J & Smith P (2019) Characterising the biophysical, economic and social impacts of soil carbon sequestration as a greenhouse gas removal technology, Global Change Biology, 26 (3) 1085-1108.
- Goglio P, Williams AG, Balta-Ozkan N, Harris NRP, Williamson P, Huisingh D, Zhang Z & Tavoni M (2019) Advances and challenges of life cycle assessment (LCA) of greenhouse gas removal technologies to fight climate changes, Journal of Cleaner Production, Available online 14 October 2019, Article No. 118896.
- Grossi G, Goglio P, Vitali A & Williams AG (2019) Livestock and climate change: impact of livestock on climate and mitigation strategies, Animal Frontiers, 9 (1) 69-76.
- Goglio P, Smith WN, Grant BB, Desjardins RL, Gao X, Hanis K, Tenuta M, Campbell CA, McConkey BG, Nemecek T, Burgess PJ & Williams AG (2018) A comparison of methods to quantify greenhouse gas emissions of cropping systems in LCA, Journal of Cleaner Production, 172 (January) 4010-4017.
- Smith LG, Jones P, Kirk G, Pearce B & Williams AG (2018) Modelling the production impacts of a widespread conversion to organic agriculture in England and Wales, Land Use Policy, 76 (July) 391-404. Dataset/s: 10.6084/m9.figshare.6263858.v1
- Goglio P, Smith WN, Worth DE, Grant BB, Desjardins RL, Chen W, Tenuta M, McConkey BG, Williams A & Burgess P (2018) Development of Crop.LCA, an adaptable screening life cycle assessment tool for agricultural systems: a Canadian scenario assessment, Journal of Cleaner Production, 172 (January) 3770-3780.
- Goglio P, Brankatschk G, Trydeman Knudsen M, Williams AG & Nemecek T (2018) Addressing crop interactions within cropping systems in LCA, International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, 23 (9) 1735-1743.
- Williams AG, Leinonen I & Kyriazakis I (2016) Environmental benefits of using turkey litter as a fuel instead of a fertiliser, Journal of Cleaner Production, 113 (February) 167-175.
- Leinonen I, Williams AG & Kyriazakis I (2016) Comparing the environmental impacts of UK turkey production systems using analytical error propagation in uncertainty analysis, Journal of Cleaner Production, 112 (1) 141-148.
- Leinonen I, Williams AG & Kyriazakis I (2016) Potential environmental benefits of prospective genetic changes in broiler traits, Poultry Science, 95 (2) 228-236.
- Weeks C, Lambton S & Williams A (2016) Implications for welfare, productivity and sustainability of the variation in reported levels of mortality for laying hen flocks kept in different housing systems: A meta-analysis of ten studies, PLoS ONE, 11 (1) 1-15.
- Hess TM, Andersson U, Mena C & Williams A (2015) The impact of healthier dietary scenarios on the global blue water scarcity footprint of food consumption in the UK, Food Policy, 50 1-10.
- Chatterton J, Graves A, Audsley E, Morris J & Williams A (2015) Using systems-based life cycle assessment to investigate the environmental and economic impacts and benefits of the livestock sector in the UK, Journal of Cleaner Production, 86 (January) 1-8.
- Smith Laurence G., Williams Adrian G. & Pearce Bruce. D. (2015) The energy efficiency of organic agriculture: A review, Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems, 30 (3) 280-301.
- Leinonen I & Williams A. (2015) Effects of dietary protease on nitrogen emissions from broiler production: A holistic comparison using Life Cycle Assessment, Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 95 (15) 3041-3046.
- Webb J, Audsley E, Williams A, Pearn K & Chatterton J (2014) Can UK livestock production be configured to maintain production while meeting targets to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and ammonia?, Journal of Cleaner Production, 83 204-211.
- Webb J, Williams AG, Hope E, Evans D & Moorhouse E (2013) Do foods imported into the UK have a greater environmental impact than the same foods produced within the UK?, International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, 18 (7) 1325-1343.
- Leinonen I, Williams AG, Waller AH & Kyriazakis I (2013) Comparing the environmental impacts of alternative protein crops in poultry diets: The consequences of uncertainty, Agricultural Systems, 121 33-42.
- Leinonen I, Williams AG, Wiseman J, Guy J & Kyriazakis I (2012) Predicting the environmental impacts of chicken systems in the United Kingdom through a life cycle assessment: broiler production systems., Poultry Science, 91 (1) 8-25.
- Leinonen I, Williams AG, Wiseman J, Guy J & Kyriazakis I (2012) Predicting the environmental impacts of chicken systems in the United Kingdom through a life cycle assessment: egg production systems., Poultry Science, 91 (1) 26-40.
- Mil'a i Canals M, Azapagic A, Doka G, Jefferies D, King H, Mutel C, Nemecek T, Roches A, Sim S, Stichnothe H, Thoma G & Williams A (2011) Approaches for addressing life cycle assessment data gaps for bio-based products, Journal of Industrial Ecology, 15 (5) 707-725.
- de Boer IJM, Cederberg C, Eady S, Gollnow S, Kristensen T, Macleod M, Meul M, Nemecek T, Phong LT, Thoma G, van der Werf HMG, Williams AG & Zonderland-Thomassen MA (2011) Greenhouse gas mitigation in animal production: towards an integrated life cycle sustainability assessment, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 3 (5) 423-431.
- Woods J, Williams A, Hughes JK, Black M & Murphy R (2010) Energy and the food system, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 365 (1554) 2991-3006.
- Williams AG, Audsley E & Sandars DL (2010) Environmental burdens of producing bread wheat, oilseed rape and potatoes in England and Wales using simulation and system modelling, International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, 15 (8) 855-868.
- Glendining MJ, Dailey AG, Williams AG, van Evert FK, Goulding KWT & Whitmore AP (2009) Is it possible to increase the sustainability of arable and ruminant agriculture by reducing inputs?, Agricultural Systems, 99 (2-3) 117-125.
- Smith K, Cumby T, Lapworth J, Misselbrook T & Williams AG (2007) Natural crusting of slurry storage as an abatement measure for ammonia emissions on dairy farms, Biosystems Engineering, 97 (4) 464-471.
- Misselbrook TH, Brookman SKE, Smith KA, Cumby TR, Williams AG & Mccrory DF (2005) Crusting of stored dairy slurry to abate ammonia emissions: Pilot-scale studies, Journal of Environmental Quality, 34 (2) 411-419.
- Cronje A, Turner C, Williams AG, Barker A & Guy S (2003) Composting under controlled conditions, Environmental Technology, 24 (10) 1221-1234.
- Phillips VR, Cowell DA, Sneath RW, Cumby TR, Williams AG, Demmers TGM & Sandars DL (1999) An assessment of ways to abate ammonia emissions from UK livestock buildings and waste stores. Part 1: ranking exercise, Bioresource Technology, 70 (2) 143-155.
- Kim JH, Williams AG & Phillips VR (1999) A simple, controllable, non-point source of gaseous ammonia, for use in field experiments, Environmental Technology, 20 (3) 239-247.
- Williams AG, Hoxey RP & Lowe JF (1997) Changes in temperature and silo gas composition during ensiling, storage and feeding-out grass silage, Grass and Forage Science, 52 (2) 176-189.
- Williams AG, Critten DL & Reynolds AM (1995) A mathematical model of the aerobic deterioration of silage, Grass and Forage Science, 50 (2) 132-146.
- Reynolds AM & Williams AG (1995) A model of silage consolidation and effluent flow, Journal of Agricultural Engineering Research, 61 (3) 173-182.
- McGechan MB & Williams AG (1994) A model of air infiltration losses during silage storage, Journal of Agricultural Engineering Research, 57 (4) 237-249.
- Sneath RW, Burton CH & Williams AG (1992) Continuous aerobic treatment of piggery slurry for odour control scaled up to a farm-size unit, Journal of Agricultural Engineering Research, 53 (C) 81-92.
- Williams AG & Streader WV (1990) A comparison of models for predicting slurry production on a pig farm, Biological Wastes, 31 (3) 187-197.
- Sneath RW, Shaw M & Williams AG (1988) Centrifugation for separating piggery slurry 1. The performance of a decanting centrifuge, Journal of Agricultural Engineering Research, 39 (3) 181-190.
- Williams A (1981) Storage of piggery slurry, Agricultural Wastes, 3 (4) 311-321.
- Evans MR, Hissett R, Smith MPW, Thacker FE & Williams AG (1980) Aerobic treatment of beef cattle and poultry waste compared with the treatment of piggery waste, Agricultural Wastes, 2 (2) 93-101.
- Williams AG, Leinonen I & Dominguez H (2014) A simple approach to land use change emissions for global crop commodities reflecting demand. In: 9th International Conference on Life Cycle Assessment in the Agri-Food Sector (LCA Food 2014), San Francisco, CA, 8-10 October 2014.
- Williams AG & Mekonen S (2014) Environmental performance of traditional beer production in a micro-brewery. In: 9th International Conference on Life Cycle Assessment in the Agri-Food Sector (LCA Food 2014), San Francisco, CA, 8-10 October 2014.
- Leinonen I, Williams AG & Kyriazakis I (2014) Comparing UK turkey production systems using analytical error propagation in uncertainty analysis. In: 9th International Conference on Life Cycle Assessment in the Agri-Food Sector (LCA Food 2014), San Francisco, CA, 8-10 October 2014.
- Chatterton JC, Williams AG, Hateley G, Curwen A & Elliott J (2014) A systems-LCA approach to modelling the impact of improvements in cattle health on greenhouse gas emissions. In: 9th International Conference on Life Cycle Assessment in the Agri-Food Sector (LCA Food 2014), San Francisco, CA, 8-10 October 2014.
- Leinonen I & Williams AG (2014) Evaluating methods to account for the greenhouse gas emissions from land use changes in agricultural LCA. In: 9th International Conference on Life Cycle Assessment in the Agri-Food Sector (LCA Food 2014), San Francisco, CA, 8-10 October 2014.
- Chandaria J, Hunter J & Williams A (2011) The carbon footprint of watching television, comparing digital terrestrial television with video-on-demand. In: 2011 IEEE International Symposium on Sustainable Systems and Technology (ISSST), Chicago, IL, 16-18 May 2011.
- Williams AG Audsley E, Chatterton JC, Murphy-Bokern D & Brander M (2010) Greenhouse gas emissions from UK food and drink consumption by systems LCA: current and possible futures.
- Audsley E, Williams AG, Webb J & Pearn KR (2010) Using Life Cycle Inventory systems modelling to determine the limits to sustainable livestock production.. In: 7th International Conference on Life Cycle Assessment in the Agri-Food Sector , Bari, 22 September 2010.
- Williams AG, Sandars DL & Audsley E (2007) Sustainability and environmental burdens of milk and beef production. In: British Cattle Conference, Weston-under-Redcliff, Shropshire, 22 January 2007.