Contact Dr Paul Burgess

Areas of expertise


After completing a BSc (Hons) in Agriculture (Reading University) and a MSc in Land and Water Management (Cranfield University), Dr Paul Burgess undertook 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. His research interests include plantation crop agronomy, agroforestry, and woodland management.  This has included research in China, India, Indonesia, Kenya, South Africa, and Uganda. During 2006-2012 he was Course Director of the MSc Land Management programme at Cranfield.  

Paul is a Member of the Institution of Agricultural Engineers and the Royal Forestry Society of England and Wales. He is the current Secretary of the Farm Woodland Forum (  He is a Fellow of Higher Education Academy.

Current activities

Paul's research focuses on integrating tree and crop management with economics and ecology to promote sustainable land management. He is the Co-ordinator of a European FP7 project called AGFORWARD (2014-2017), that is promoting agroforestry in Europe (

He was Course Tutor of the MSc Land Management courses (2006-2012) and the MSc in Economics of Natural Resource and Environmental Management (2012-2014).
Current projects include "Functions, Flows and Fragments for Urban Ecosystem Services" sponsored by Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and research on soil carbon in woodland and agroforestry systems. He was a co-author of a European Commission study entitled "Land as an Environmental Resource" with IEEP and EFI.  He was a Principal Investigator of a NERC project on "Energyscapes and Ecosystem Services". This focused on the interaction between renewable energy, food production, carbon sequestration and habitat provision. 
His research has also focused on ecology and economics of silvoarable agroforestry in Europe as well as the effects of silvoarable agroforestry with poplar on farm profitability and biodiversity. This included the development of PlotSAFE(a worksheet-based model of crop and tree yields in arable, forestry and agroforestry systems), and development of the FarmSAFE (a worksheet-based model to compare the profitability of arable, forestry and agroforestry systems at a farm and a landscape scale). 
Alongside this he has also been actively involved in the use of agro-ecological and other spatial data to inform prioritisation of organic farming research in Europe, responses of tea to climate change, the water use of farm-woodland and short-rotation coppice, and the role of community woodlands in sustainable development.


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


Articles In Journals

Conference Papers