Contact Dr Anil Graves

Areas of expertise

  • Carbon, Climate and Risk
  • Digital Agriculture
  • Natural Capital
  • Soil
  • Soil Resources
  • Sustainable Land Systems


Anil holds a BSc (Hons) in Natural Resources Development (University of East Anglia), an MSc in Land and Water Management (Cranfield) and a PhD in bio-economic evaluation of arable, forestry, and agroforestry systems for Europe (Cranfield). 

Prior to joining Cranfield University, Anil initially spent seven years working in southern India on a range of integrated catchment management and reforestation projects for government and non-government agencies.  He also researched the hydrological impacts of reforestation, using the calibrated heat pulse method to measure sap flow in trees, and the impact that reforestation had on soil properties. Further research included mapping groundwater abstraction patterns by domestic and agricultural users, as well as assessing coastal saline intrusion patterns in groundwater aquifers. 

Anil is currently a Senior Lecturer in Land Use Systems with 20 years of experience in researching land based systems and resources in the UK, Europe and internationally.  His research applies biophysical, social, economic, agronomic and ecological methods to assess and value of benefits and trade-offs in land use systems, arising through land use change, and under different future scenarios.  This has involved the development of spatially and temporally dynamic biophysical and economic models, integrating market and non-market values, and the application of social science methods.  Anil is also involved in field based projects examining the growth, yield, and resource use of novel multi-purpose field crops.  

Current activities

Current research includes an economic and social impact assessment of two novel multi-purpose plants, Sida hermaphrodita and Silphium perfoliatum on the SidaTim project (EU), a financial and economic assessment of the value of wetlands on the WetlandLIFE project (NERC) and an assessment of the food, environment, energy and water nexus in Peru and Ecuador (NERC/CONICYT).  

Recent projects have also focussed on the application of valuation within an ecosystem framework. In this respect, Anil has evaluated the trade-offs between arable, livestock, forestry, and agroforestry systems in Europe, the impact of future land use options on peat degradation, food security, and GHG emissions, and the cost of soil degradation in England and Wales. He has also applied social science methods to understanding how biodiversity supports the flow of cultural services from land, evaluate farmer preferences for non-production farm assets and has undertaken stakeholder analysis in relation to UK farmland bird populations.

Some current and recent projects include the following:

  • New pathways of intensified biomass production: assessing the potential of Sida Hermaphridita and valuable timber trees (FACCEIP)
  • Taking the bite out of wetlands: Managing mosquitoes and the socio-ecological value of wetlands for wellbeing (NERC)
  • NEXus Thinking for sustainable Agricultural development in Andean Countries (NEXT-AG) (NERC/CONICYT)
  • Regenerative Agriculture: What can we achieve and how can we scale it? (SystemIQ)
  • Agroforestry that will advance rural development (EU)
  • How does a loss of soil depth impact on the ability of soils to deliver vital ecosystem services (Defra)
  • Biodiversity and the Provision of Multiple Ecosystem Services in Current and Future Lowland Multifunctional Landscapes (NERC BESS) 
  • Matching scales: impact of natural scales on planning and policy decisions (NERC) Ecosystem Interactions (Defra) 
  • Better evidence for regulatory reform (Defra) Restoration of Fen Peatland under Climate Change (ASC) 
  • The total cost of soil degradation in England and Wales (Defra) 
  • FarmingTruth: fusion of satellite and ground based information on soil and crops for optimised crop production (ESA)
  • The impact of lowland peatland restoration on food production and security in the UK (Natural England) 
  • Economic and Environmental Performance of Livestock Systems (Defra) 
  • Evaluating the options of combining economically, socially and ecologically sustainable agriculture" (RELU). 


  • Adaptation Sub-Committee (ASC)
  • Committee on Climate Change (CCC)
  • Commonwealth Human Ecology Council (CHEC)
  • Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)
  • Department for International Development (DFID)
  • Environment Agency (EA)
  • European Network for Rural Development (ENRD)
  • European Union (EU)
  • European Space Agency (ESA)
  • German Israeli Fund for Research and International Development (GIFRID)
  • Natural England (NE)
  • Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
  • Overseas Development Agency (ODA)
  • Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)
  • Scotland and Northern Ireland Forum for Environmental Research (SNIFFER)
  • Strichting de Zaaier
  • Swiss Federal Research Station for Agroecology and Agriculture (FAL)
  • Wasteland Development Board.


Articles In Journals

Conference Papers


  • Burgess PJ, Graves A, Garcia de Jalon S, Palma JHN, Dupraz C & van Noordwijk M (2019) Modelling Agroforestry Systems. In: Agroforestry for Sustainable Agriculture, Burleigh Dodds, p. 209-238.
  • Burgess PJ, den Herder M, Dupraz C, Garnett K, Giannitsopoulos M, Graves AR, Hermansen JE, Kanzler M, Liagre F, Mirck J, Moreno G, Mosquera-Losada MR, Palma JHN, Pantera A & Plieninger T (2018) AGFORWARD Project Final Report. Cranfield: Cranfield University.
  • Burgess PJ, den Herder M, Dupraz C, Garnett K, Giannitsopoulos M, Graves AR, Hermansen JE, Kanzler M, Liagre F, Moreno G, Mosquera-Losada MR, Palma JHN, Pantera A & Plieninger T (2018) AGFORWARD Third Periodic Report: July 2016 to December 2017. Cranfield: Cranfield University.
  • Burgess PJ, den Herder M, Dupraz C, Garcia de Jalon S, Garnett K, Graves AR, Hermansen JE, Liagre F, Mirck J, Moreno G, Mosquera-Losada MR, Palma JHN, Pantera A & Plieninger T (2016) AGFORWARD Second Periodic Report: January 2015 to June 2016..
  • McAdam JH, Burgess PJ, Graves AR, Mosquera-Losada MR & Rigueiro-Rodriguez A (2009) Classifications and functions of agroforestry systems in Europe. In: Agroforestry in Europe: Current Status and Future Prospects. Rigueiro-Rodriguez A, McAdam J, Mosquera-Losada MR (ed.), Springer, p. 21-41.