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Donna was brought up on a hill farm in Mid-Wales producing lamb and beef. With undergraduate degrees in both business and finance and plant science, along with a PhD in soil science, Donna now combines her pragmatic farming and business background with plant and soil science knowledge to investigate relationships between investing in renewable technologies, such as pyrolysis and anaerobic digesters, and use of the products on-farm as well as novel land management regimes which deliver for both the environment and the farmer. Books and papers include; Living Soils: A Call to Action, Mainstreaming Agroecology: Implications for Global Food and Farming Systems, Growing Strawberries and Cape Gooseberries in the Tropics. 


Area of Expertise:


Soils, environmental impact assessments, agriculture

Research Interests

Biochar; Soil Science; Anaerobic digestate; Agriculture and farming; land management techniques including grazing regimes

Vision Statement

Farmers inspire my research. I come from a farming family and am passionate about finding solutions to agricultural, food growing and environmental challenges that are socially, environmentally and economically sustainable. For instance, my PhD title will be; Sustainable Systems. Assessing Agricultural 'Waste' Recycling Systems for their Agronomic, Environmental, Economic and Social Impact in the UK, with the emphasis on agronomy (i.e. looking at improved soils and crop yield from biochar, AD, slurry, compost– on its own or in combination). My drive is to understand how the use of waste, resulting soil benefits, carbons sequestration and energy outputs could all work together, given the prevailing regulation and subsidy regime.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production

Education/Academic qualification

Plant Science, Degree, Plant Science, University of Worcester

1 Oct 20011 Jun 2004

Award Date: 1 Jun 2004

Business Studies, Degree, Business Studies, University of Gloucestershire

1 Sept 19931 Jun 1997

Award Date: 1 Jun 1997


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