Contact Professor Jerry Knox

Areas of expertise

  • Agrifood Systems
  • Water Science and Engineering


Professor Knox joined Cranfield University in 1993, after completing a BSc (Hons) in Physical Geography (Plymouth Polytechnic), an MSc Land and Water Management (Silsoe College, Cranfield) and a PhD in Application of GIS for modelling agricultural water demands (Cranfield).

As a recognised international specialist in irrigation science, Professor Knox has developed thought leadership in three key areas (i) agricultural water resources management, (ii) climate impacts and adaptation, and (iii) precision irrigation and resource efficiency. He also manages a research theme in water management for sportsturf through collaborative links with the Scandinavian Sportsturf and Environment Research Foundation (STERF).

Current activities

Professor Knox has an international research reputation in the science, engineering and management of water resources for agriculture, including assessing the relationships between water resources, agricultural productivity (yield) and the environment, and the sustainability of irrigation in the context of climate change impacts and food security. His research interests are in biophysical and water resource modelling, precision irrigation engineering, geospatial modelling and climate impacts and adaptation in agriculture.

2016-19: Co-Investigator BBSRC Global Food Security (BB/N020499/1) Increasing resilience to water-related risk in the UK fresh fruit & vegetable system.

2015-17: Co-Investigator NERC (NE/L010070/1) Analysis of historic UK droughts and water scarcity: systems-based study of drivers, impacts and their interactions.

2015-17: Principal Investigator EC Horizon 2020 Twinning FORWARIM Agricultural water research and innovation in Malta.

2015-17: Co-Investigator NERC Innovation grant (NE/N017471/1) Developing decision support tools for improving drought risk and abstraction management for UK agribusinesses.

2014-16: Co-Investigator NERC Belmont Forum (NE/M005259/1) Assessing hydro-social and environmental impacts of sugarcane production on land use and food security.

2014-15: Appointed lead expert in water and agriculture for UN Food and Agriculture (FAO) programme evaluation on climate change adaptation and mitigation (CCAM).

24 years international research and consultancy experience including technical missions to Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Canada, France, Hungary, Italy, Malta, Mauritius, Morocco, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Sweden, Swaziland, Tanzania, Turkey, the USA and Zambia.

2013-present: Editor ‘Outlook on Agriculture’ and Associate Editor ‘Irrigation Science’.

2013-present: Fellow Royal Geographical Society (RGS).

Author of 61 peer reviewed journal papers and Web of Science h-factor 18.


UK Research Councils, including NERC and BBSRC.

UK Government departments including Defra and DFID.

European Commission (H2020) and DG Environment.

Environment Agency (EA)

Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), including UK Potato Council (PCL) and Horticulture Development Company (HDC).


UK and international agri-businesses


Articles In Journals

Conference Papers


  • Hedley CB, Knox JW, Raine SR & Smith R (2014) Water: Advanced Irrigation Technologies. In: Encyclopedia of Agriculture and Food Systems, San Diego: Elsevier, p. 378-406.
  • Morris J, Ahodo K, Weatherhead EK, Daccache A & Knox JW (2014) Economics of rainfed and irrigated potato production in a humid environment. Economics of Water Management in Agriculture. In: Economics of Water Management in Agriculture, Hoboken: CRC Press, p. 71-97.
  • Hess TM, Knox JW, Kay MG & and Weatherhead EK (2010) Managing the Water Footprint of Irrigated Food Production in England and Wales. In: Sustainable Water, UK: Royal Society of Chemistry, p. 78-92, ed. 1st.
  • Díaz J, Weatherhead E, Knox J & Camacho E (2009) Consequences of climate change on irrigation water requirements in Southern Spain.. In: Climate Variability, Modeling Tools and Agricultural Decision-Making, Nova Science Publishers, Inc., p. 203-212.
  • Knox JW, Shamal SAM, Weatherhead EK & Rodriguez-Diaz JA (2009) The challenges of mapping irrigated areas in a temperate climate: experiences from England.. In: Remote Sensing of Global Croplands for Food Security. Thenkabail PS, Lyon JG, Turral H, Biradar CM (ed.), Boca Raton: CRC Press, p. 237-249.