Rothamsted Research

where knowledge grows


Anita Shepherd

Sustainable Agriculture Sciences North Wyke
North Wyke

Researchgate profile

I am a research scientist working for Rothamsted Research for sustainable grassland agriculture in the UK. I collate farm management data and translate it to scientific data, and apply it to simulating the interactions of agricultural systems. What this means is I can provide future scenarios under different management systems or climate changes. I have RP Bio and CBiol designation. 

Process modelling : Systems modelling in a variety of agricultural and environmental processes and statistical analysis of simulations against obervations.

  • Systems modeller in soil-plant systems and processes, interdisciplinary in plant physiology, soil water, nutrient cycling and climate. Have operated various models (DNDC, SimDAIRY, NGAUGE and now DayCent).  Also modify code for soilwater, crop growth and nutrient modules of integrated agro-environmental models. Working with North Wyke scientists on studies related to sustainable agriculture, management for soil health and food production whilst minimizing pollution losses.
  • 12 years experience formulating or modifying models which describe climate and water limited growth of crop species
  • 4 years experience in statistical downscaling of Global Circulation Models to regional climate scenarios
  • 2 years experience of modelling snowpack accumulation, snowmelt and riverflow under climate change

I also have some experience in remote sensing and GIS

  • Manipulation of remotely sensied imagery of forest degradation and vegetation
  • Use of ArcGIS in display and extraction of data including remotely sensed images
  • Use of CROPSCAN hand-held 16 band radiometer

Experience in various Windows software: Microsoft Office, programming in Fortran and Pascal/Delphi, Genstat statistics software, ERDAS Imagine image processing software and ArcGIS. Currently learning R and the Daycent agri-environmental systems model.

Works With:
+44 (0) 1837 883 500 ext: +44 1837 883516
Rothamsted Research - North Wyke, Okehampton, Devon, EX20 2SB

Journal papers:

  • A. Shepherd, X. Yan, D. Nayak, J. Newbold, D. Moran, M.S. Dhanoa, P. Smith. L. Cardenas. 2015. Disaggregated N2O emission factors in China based on cropping parameters create a robust approach to the IPCC Tier 2 methodology. Atmospheric Environment, accepted for publication.
  • A. Shepherd, D. Chadwick, L. Wu, R. Bol. 2011. A review of quantitative tools for assessing the diffuse pollution response to farmer adaptations and mitigation methods under climate change. Advances in Agronomy, Volume 112, pp.1-54.
  • L. Wu, A. Shepherd, D. Chadwick. 2011. Quantify response of crop systems to future climate change using SPACSYS model. Aspects of Applied Biology, 107, 57-62.
  • L.M. Cardenas, S.P. Cuttle, B. Crabtree, A. Hopkins, D. Scholefield,A. Shepherd, A. del Prado. 2011. Cost effectiveness of nitrate leaching mitigation measures for grassland livestock systems in locations in England and Wales, Science of the Total Environment, 409(6), 1104-1115.
  • A. Shepherd, K.M. Gill, S.B. Rood. 2010. Climate change and future flows of Rocky Mountains rivers: Converging forecasts from empirical trend projection and downscaled global circulation modelling. Hydrological Processes, 24(26), 3864-3877.
  • S.B. Rood, J. Pan, K.M. Gill, C.G. Franks, G.M. Samuelson, A. Shepherd. 2008. Declining summer flows of Rocky Mountain rivers: historic hydrology and probable impacts on floodplain forests, Journal of Hydrology, 349, 397– 410.
  • A. Shepherd, S.M. McGinn. 2003. Assessment of climate change on the Canadian prairies from down-scaled GCM data. Atmosphere-Ocean, 41(4), 301-316.
  • S.M. McGinn, A. Shepherd. 2003. Impact of climate change scenarios on the agroclimate of the Canadian Prairies. Canadian Journal of Soil Science, 83,  623-630.
  • A. Shepherd, S.M. McGinn, G.C.L. Wyseure. 2002. Simulation of the effect of water shortage on the yields of winter wheat in North-East England. Ecological Modelling, 147(1), 41-52.

Book chapter:

  • L. Wu and A. Shepherd. 2011. Special features of the SPACSYS modelling package and procedures for parameterization and validation. In Ahuja, L. and Ma, L. (Eds) Methods of Introducing System Models into Agricultural Research. ASA, CSSA, SSSA, Madison.


  • Modelling the effect of climate change on environmental pollution losses from grassland-based systems (beef, sheep and dairy). 2011. A. del Prado, A. Shepherd, D. Chadwick. Report for SAC (ACO307 DEFRA project), Climate change impacts on the livestock sector. Online: Nitrogen and Global Change: Key Findings – Future Challenges,
  • K.M. Gill, A. Shepherd, M. Romuld, S.B. Rood. 2008. Historic and prospective future flows of the Red Deer River and its headwater tributaries. Report for the Red Deer River Watershed Alliance and Alberta Ingenuity Centre for Water Research 

Conference proceedings:

  • Cardenas, L.M., Dunn, R.; Shepherd. A.; Misselbrook, T.; Orr, R.; Griffith, B.; Velazquez, A.; Burak, E.; Chen, K.; Harris, P., Repullo, M., Collins, A. 2015. Capturing the spatial variability of N2O emissions on grazed grassland. ASA, CSSA, SSSA meeting: Measuring Nitrous Oxide Emissions from Soils workshop, Minneapolis, November 2015.
  • Harris, P., Dungait, J., Griffith, B., Shepherd, A., Sint, H., Blackwell, M., Cardenas, L., Collins, A., Goulding, K., Lee, M., Orr, R. 2015. The North Wyke Platform, a UK national capability for research into sustainability of temperate agricultural grassland management: progress & developments. Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol.17, EGU General Assembly, 2015
  • A. Shepherd, P. Harris, R. Orr and B. Griffith. 2014. Applications and Issues of Remote Sensing by UAV to Pasture Agri-Research on the North Wyke Farm Platform. Proceedings of the Remote Sensing & Photogrammetry Society Annual Conference, Aberystwyth, September, 2014.
  • A. Shepherd, P. Harris, B. Griffith, V. Noacco, K. Ramezani, E. Tuominen, B. Eludoyin. 2014. Spatial Soil Variation on the North Wyke Farm Platform. Proceedings of the European Grasslands Federation Annual Conference, Aberystwyth, September, 2014.
  • P. Murray , B. Griffith, R. Orr, A. Shepherd, M. Blackwell, J. Hawkins and S. Peukert. 2013. The North Wyke Farm Platform: A new UK national capability for research into sustainability of agricultural temperate grassland management. Paper presented at International Grasslands Congress, Sydney Australia, September 2013.
  • A. Shepherd and L. Wu. 2010. ‘What will the climate look like for south-west England this century’? Proceedings of A Climate for Change: Opportunities for Carbon-Efficient Farming, Dublin, Ireland, June 2010.
  • A. Shepherd, J. Wang, L. Cardenas, and A. del Prado. 2009. ‘Investigating the simulation of nitrous oxide against field data at North Wyke’, Proceedings of the 16th Nitrogen Workshop: Connecting different scales of nitrogen use in agriculture, Turin, Italy, July 2009.
  • A. Shepherd, S.M. McGinn. 2003. Poster presentation ‘The Drought Model Component of the Alberta Agriculture Drought Reporting Plan’ at Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society 37th Congress, Ottawa, June 2003.



PhD in Computer Modelling. Thesis: Effects of climate on wheat yields and soil moisture (University of Newcastle Upon TYne)


MSc in Remote Sensing, Image Processing and Applications (University of Dundee)


BA in Combined Studies (biology with geography) (Hull College of Higher Education)


HNC/D in Technology (Engineering) & Applied Maths (Hull College of Higher Education)

Measures of esteem


  • Registered Professional Biologist: College of Applied Biology


  • Member of RSPSoc: Associate Fellow of the Remote Sensing and Photogrammatic Society
  • Lectured at Exeter University: Gave a lecture on The Remote Sensing of Grassland to course BIOM562
  • Gave lecture for Rothamsted PG Dip Award in Crop Protection: Gave lecture in Remote Sensing Applications to PG Dip Award in Crop Protection-Entomology module
  • RSPSoc 2014 Presentation: Oral presentation at the Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Society conference at Aberystwyth, Sept.2014 Extended abstract.
  • European Grasslands Federation 2014 presentation: Oral presentation at the European Grasslands Federation conference at Aberystwyth, Sept.2014 Extended abstract.
  • Invited Speaket at Sterling GEO multi-commerce remote sensing annual meeting: Sterling GEO is the national distributor for ERDAS Imagine, the industry standard in remote sensing processing software. The annual user group is a meeting of multi-industry users, environment, defence, oil, etc. Very few presenters are chosen. I was invited to speak about the remote sensing I have been doing on the farm platform.
  • Invited Speaker at NERC TELLUS SW meeting: Invited to present the Rothamsted Farm Platform & get Farm Platform onboard as a stakeholder.
  • Invited to present at AgResearch Palmerston North & Lincoln, NZ: Invited to present to and tour AgResearch and meet scientists at Palmerston North and Lincoln, New Zealand.


  • Society Of Biology: Chartered Biologist & Member of Society of Biology
  • Salary Bonus for Specific Piece of Work: Achieved a salary bonus award for coordinating the STEM School Science Week involving 300 children from local schools visiting various scientific demonstrations at North Wyke given by our Post-Docs.
  • Assessment Panel Member for multi_RCUK Drought AO: Represented BBSRC on multi-RCUK Assessment Panel for £12 million Announcement of Opportunity in Droughts and Water Scarcity


  • Gave lecture for Rothamsted PG Award in Crop Protection: Gave lecture on Climate Change & Scenarios for Rothamsted PGDip Award in Crop Protection-Entomology Module
  • Lectured at Exeter University: Gave a lecture on Climate Change & Scenarios from GCMs to BIOM 562 course
  • Salary Bonus for Specific Piece of Work: Achieved a salary bonus award for my work on N2O greenhouse gas emission factors calculated from multi-variate data from Chinese agriculture


  • Successfully applied for funding and coordinator of Stapledon & Winter seminar series at North Wyke: For seasons 2010-2011 and 2011-2012
  • Climate SW committee
  • What will the climate look like for south-west England this century?: Proceedings of 'A Climate for Change: Opportunities for Carbon-Efficient Farming', Dublin, Ireland, produced by the Association of Applied Biologists
  • Salary Bonus for Specific Piece of Work: Achieved personal bonus for UKCP09 climate change scenarios produced for North Wyke location


  • Supervisor of several Masters summer students: Have taught GIS and supervised to international Masters students and summer workers.
  • presentation at Nitrogen Workshop, Turin: Proceedings : Shepherd A., Wang J., Cardenas L., A. del Prado. 2009. 'Investigating the simulation of nitrous oxide against field data at North Wyke'. In: C. Grignani, M. Acutis, L. Zavattaro, L. Bechini, C. Bertora, P. Marino Gallina, D. Sacco (Eds). Proceedings of the 16th Nitrogen Workshop: Connecting different scales of nitrogen use in agriculture. June, 28th - July, 1st 2009, Turin, Italy, pp. 211-212
  • Coordinate guests visits: Coordinate guests visits and logistics, meetings and tours of North Wyke connected with the Seminar Series plus other collaborations.