Plant Ecologist

Achieving Sustainable Agricultural Systems (ISP) Leader

Protecting Crops and the Environment


Jon is a plant ecologist working in the field of sustainable weed management and the design of cropping systems and landscapes to reconcile crop production with biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. He has a particular interest in the application of functional ecology to understanding the assembly of weed communities under contrasting management scenarios. Jon is also a sponsor on the Broadbalk and Park Grass Long-Term Experiments at Rothamsted Research. He is also leading on the design of a new long-term experiment with contrasting crop rotations and cultivation treatments. Jon's primary areas of expertise are in the autecology and community dynamics of arable weed communities, requiring competency in botany, multivariate statistics, agronomy, process based modelling and field experimentation. Jon recently published an analysis of the time course of plant community dynamics on the 165-year-old Park Grass Experiment, published in Nature, in which he demonstrated that changes in atmospheric deposition of nitrogen since the 1940s was reflected in community composition, specifically the proportion of legumes in the sward. Jon has also pioneered the approach of combining species level population dynamics models with databases of plant traits to predict functional shifts in weed floras in a response to a change in management or environment.




    +44 (0) 1582 938 550


      Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, AL5 2JQ


        Strategic programme

        • Achieving Sustainable Agricultural Systems (ASSIST)
        • Soil 2 Nutrition (S2N)

        PhD project

        • Modelling the causes of spatial and temporal variation in annual grass weeds in fields for precision weed management.
        • Understanding the links between soil, plants and pollinators


        • 2001 - PhD Weed Ecology, Nottingham University
        • 1994 - MSc Agronomy, Nottingham University (including Humber prize for highest marks)
        • 1992 - BSc(IIi) Ecology, Lancaster University


        • Subject Editor for Weed Research
        • External PhD examiner, Aarhus University, Denmark
        • Invited plenary speaker at Asia Pacific Weed Science Society Symposium 2016
        • Invited keynote speaker at Weed Science Society od America Symposium 2016
        • Invited keynote speaker at European Weed Research Society Symposium 2014