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Professor Tim Wheeler

Professor Tim Wheeler

Deputy Chief Scientific Adviser at the Department for International Development and Professor of Crop Science,

University of Reading


Tim Wheeler is Deputy Chief Scientific Adviser at the UK Department for International Development. He is on secondment from the University of Reading where he is Professor of Crop Science.

At DFID, Tim provides science advice to Ministers and oversees the research portfolio of the Research and Evidence Division. He has extensive experience of working with policy-makers in the UK and internationally and was Specialist Adviser to the House of Lords in 2010.

Tim has published more than 170 scientific papers, including in Science and Nature, over the last 20 years on how climate change could impact on the sustainability of agriculture and food, undertaking research in Bolivia, Honduras, The Gambia, Uganda, China, India and elsewhere. His research group identified how temperature extremes reduce annual crop yields under climate change (in 1996), developed novel ways of modelling climate change impacts on crops at a global scale (2004) and produced the first crop model to be coded within a global climate model to allow the study of land-surface-climate interactions over croplands (2007).

He has provided advice on the sustainability of food and farming to agri-businesses and food multi-nationals, often up to Board level. In 2005 he delivered a Royal Society Public Lecture titled 'Growing Crops in changing climate' and co-authored a Royal Society Statement on Climate Change and Agriculture tabled at the G8 Summit in Gleneagles.

Tim is a member of BBSRC Council, the HEFCE REF sub-panel for Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Science and two of the UK's Government's Leadership Councils (Agricultural Technology and Space).


  • science-policy interface
  • food security
  • climate change impacts on the sustainability of agriculture and food
  • sustainable development