Areas of expertise

  • Agrifood Systems
  • Energy and the Environment
  • Natural Capital
  • Soil
  • Sustainable Land Systems


After a BSc (Hons) in Agriculture (University of Reading) and a MSc in Land and Water Management (Cranfield University), Paul completed 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. He was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2008, a Reader in Crop Ecology and Management in 2014, and a Professor in Sustainable Agriculture and Agroforestry in October 2021. At Cranfield, he has been the Course Tutor for the MSc course in Economics of Natural Resource and Environmental Management (2012-2014), the Programme Director for the Natural Resources Management courses (2008-2011), and Course Tutor for the MSc Land Management courses (2006-2011). He has been the principal or associate supervisor of 21 research degrees. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2007-present), a member of the Institution of Agricultural Engineers, and was Secretary to the UK Farm Woodland Forum (2002-2020) ( He has been the external examiner of 8 PhDs. Outside of Europe, he has undertaken research or consultancy work in China, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda, and Tanzania.

Current activities

Paul's research is improving the agronomic, environmental, and economic sustainability of agriculture with a particular focus on agroforestry, perennial cropping systems, and the use of bio-economic models. Much of his research encompasses the interface of the forestry and agriculture sectors including agronomic, environmental, socio-economic and policy analysis. He was the Cranfield PI of an Innovate UK project called 'Data-led soil management' to improve tea management on smallholder farms in Kenya, an EU project on agroforestry and mixed farming called AGROMIX, an ESRC project on Food Security and COVID-19, and a consultancy to determine the carbon sequestration options for the Ministry of Defence Estate. He is also undertaking research and consultancy work related to the use of digital technology to enhance tea production in East Africa, and he led a NERC-funded research translation project (2018-2020) that developed a grass management teaching tool. He is a co-investigator on an EU project called EWA-BELT to promote the sustainable intensification of agriculture in belt from West to East Africa, and a UK-based project focused on the use of Sida hermaphrodita and Silphium perfoliatum as biomass crops.

He led a successful FP7 agroforestry research project called AGFORWARD ( working with 26 organisations across 14 countries and with 40 stakeholder groups involving 800 farmers and other stakeholders. Paul has contributed to policy development on agroforestry with the European Commission in the EU and Defra in the UK. He has authored or co-authored 82 peer-review papers and was the co-editor of a special issue of Agroforestry Systems focused on European agroforestry in 2018. He regularly speaks at conferences and has published eight book chapters, three edited books/conference proceedings, and more than 110 conference presentations/papers. Paul is also the current Module Convenor for the 'Principles of Sustainability' module at Cranfield.


Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), UK

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), UK

Department for International Development (DFID), UK

Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), UK

Ellen MacArthur Foundation

European Commission

FAL, Switzerland

Food and Agriculture Organisation

Forest Research

Heineken UK

James Finlay Ltd

Ministry of Defence, UK

Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)


Tea Research Association, Tocklai, India

Tea Research Institute of Tanzania

Unilever plc

Woodland Trust


Articles In Journals

Conference Papers