AgZero+ (ISP) Leader

Protecting Crops and the Environment


Jon is an agro-ecologist working at the interface of fundamental functional ecology and applied agricultural science, with a focus on reconciling crop production with biodiversity by integrating the ecosystem functions of cropped and un-cropped land. He is internationally recognised for advancing the application of trait-based approaches to the assembly and functioning of arable plant communities and has been PI or CoI on a range of interdisciplinary projects from a variety of funding sources, including BBSRC Responsive mode, NERC, Defra and EU. Recent work that he has led includes modelling the potential to reduce herbicide use in integrated weed management systems (EU H2020), quantifying the contribution of cropping system diversification to sustainable food production in sub-saharan Africa (GCRF) and designing multifunctional plant communities using relationships between traits and ecosystem function (Defra LINK).

Jon is Co-PI on the joint research council funded, National Capability, AgZero+, which aims to reconcile a transition to net zero agriculture with productivity and farmland biodiversity in partnership with UK-CEH. He sits on the committee overseeing the management of the Classical Experiments at Rothamsted, is a co-sponsor of Park Grass and Broadbalk and leads on the management of a new Long-Term cropping systems experiment, studying different components of regenerative agriculture.




    +44 (0) 1582 938 550


      Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, AL5 2JQ


        Current and recently finished (2021) projects, Rothamsted PI

        2022-2027       UKRI: AgZero+: Towards sustainable, climate-neutral farming

        2017-2022       UKRI: ASSIST: Achieving Sustainable Agricultural Systems (£11M)

        2019-2021       GCRF: Cropping system diversity, a cornerstone of sustainable intensification (£800K)

        2017-2022       EU: Integrated Weed management: Practical solutions and implementation in Europe (€7M)

        2019-2023       UKRI: New Science to Enable the Design of Agricultural Landscapes that Deliver Multiple Functions-AgLand (£1.3M)

        2019-2021       Thirty Percy Foundation: Global Long-Term Experiment Network (£225K)

        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