Agronomy & Farming Systems

Nick Watson

Nick manages the service delivery from NIAB’s Field Trial, Glasshouse and Laboratory teams covering agricultural and horticultural crop species. He ensure NIAB works with industry to find solutions for the efficacy testing or evaluation of their material, technology or variety, ensures projects are run efficiently, cost effectively and successfully and acts as the channel for new customers to rapidly get connected with the correct specialist and determine their needs.

Dr Lydia Smith

Research interests

Lydia Smith has over 35 years applied farmer-facing work, especially in novel/underutilised crops and their impact on soil health and microbial interactions. she has engaged with wide-ranging research related to the impact on soil health and farming efficiency. Most recently leading development of farmer-focussed approaches to enhancing soil health through cropping choices; especially those associated with carbon-capture and deep rooting characters.

Dr Nathan Morris

Research interests

Nathan is a research scientist within applied research programmes with expertise in the area of applied soil science. Particular interests and expertise include developing farming systems to improve soil structure and stability whilst maintaining crop productivity and understanding nutrient dynamics for efficient crop production.

Clare Leaman

Clare has worked in variety evaluation at NIAB for nearly 30 years, mainly with combinable crops and more recently focused on cereals. Much of Clare’s work revolves around knowledge transfer within the industry both through the NIAB membership as well as to a much wider audience. Translating data and trial information into a digestible format for the growers and agronomists to use on the front line is a high priority. She is widely regarded as a key source of  independent variety advice to growers.

John Cussans


Promotion and development of sustainable Integrated Weed Management.

Leading and manage NIAB’s portfolio of weed management work around effective and efficient use of herbicides. Promoting and developing cultural and non-chemical approaches to reduce our reliance on herbicide solutions.
Working on herbicide resistance assessment and risk analysis to monitor continuing development of herbicide resistance traits as well as risk assessment and baseline development for novel herbicide resistance traits in the UK.


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