Contact Dr Jacqueline Hannam

Areas of expertise

  • Digital Agriculture
  • Monitoring and Environmental Informatics
  • Natural capital
  • Soil
  • Soil Resources
  • Sustainable Land Systems


Jack is a soil scientist specialising in soil data, digital soil mapping and soil health. Her research focuses on digital soil mapping, applications of conservation agriculture to improve soil health, developing decision support tools for planning soil and landscape decisions and the application of application of national and local scale soil data for policy and business applications.


She leads the LandIS team at Cranfield University, who are responsible for the national soil data for England and Wales.  Jack joined Cranfield University in 2004 as a Research Officer in Soil Systems. Before joining Cranfield she worked at ETH Zurich and the University of Liverpool on international projects related to environmental magnetism.  


She is a council member of the British Society of Soil Science (BSSS) and vice chair of the International Union of Soil Science (IUSS) Division 1: Soil in Space and Time. She is an Associate Editor for the journals Soil Use and Management and SOIL. She is a passionate science communicator and has been interviewed on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, Sky News and BBC World. She founded Soapbox Science in Milton Keynes in 2015, a public outreach platform promoting women in science. 


She teaches soil systems on the Agrifood and Water MSc programmes at Cranfield and supervises MSc and PhD students. She has developed and delivered advanced training courses in soil systems for NERC early career researchers and bespoke short courses for environmental science professionals.

Research opportunity

I am interested in supervising PhD students in the following areas: 

soil data and mapping; sensor technologies, digital soil mapping and modelling; conservation agriculture and soil health; participatory approaches to soil heath with diverse stakeholders; urban soil systems.

Current students:

Timo Breure (2017-2021) A loss function approach for optimal sensor configuration for soil sensing (co-supervisor with Rothamsted Research)

George Sawyer (2020-2024) (University of Reading) Do cover crops increase the resilience and sustainability of the agri-food systems? (BBSRC FoodBioSystems studentship - co-supervisor)

David Clarke (2020-2024) Site-season effects on crop productivity to support sustainable intensification (NERC CENTA2 studentship with NIAB and BGS)

Completed students: 

Dr Tom Storr (2019) The effect of cover crops of soil quality indicators in a cereal and salad rotation (sponsored by Gs Growers)

Dr Grant Campbell (2019) GB wide digital soil mapping (with The James Hutton Institute)

Current activities

UKRI COVID-19: Food security before and after the pandemic (ESRC with James Hutton Institute (lead) and Chatham House 2020-2021 Co-I)

Improving mapping of Welsh Peatlands (Welsh Government 2020-2021 PI)

Danube SOTER: Regional scale harmonised soil data for the Danube Basin (Joint Research Centre with ISRIC and 14 country participants 2018-2020 PI)

Capability, Suitability and Climate Programme for Wales: Predictive Agricultural Land Classification (ALC) for Wales (Welsh Government with ADAS and Environment Systems 2018-2020 Co-I)

LandIS: Using machine learning to improve national soil data (Defra, 2019-2021 Co-I)


Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission
Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)
Forestry Commission
Welsh Government
Gs Growers


Articles In Journals

Conference Papers


  • Simo I, Constanje R, Fealy R, Hallett SH, Hannam J, Holden N, Jahns G, Jones B, Massey P, Mayr T, McDonald E, Reidy B, Schulte R, Sills P, Spaargaren O, Zawadka J & Creamer RE (2014) Mapping Soils in Ireland. In: GlobalSoilMap: Basis of the global spatial soil information system, CRC Press.
  • Keay CA & Hannam JA (2013) Soil Data from the United Kingdom (England and Wales). In: European HYdropedological Data Inventory (EU-HYDI). Weynands M, Montanarella L, Toth G (ed.), Luxembourg: European Union, p. 111-115, ed. JRC 81129.
  • Hannam JA, Hollis JM & Jones RJA (2007) SPADE2: The soil profile analytical database for Europe. In: Status and prospect of soil information in south-eastern Europe: soil databases, projects and applications, Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.