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Cambridge Forum for Sustainability and the Environment



Tim Wheeler is Professor of Crop Science and the University of Reading and he is now the Director of Science and Innovation at the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

When he came to the Forum in March 2015, he was Deputy Chief Scientific Adviser at the UK Department for International Development. At DFID, Tim provided science advice to Ministers and oversaw 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).

Professor of Crop Science at the University of Reading
Formerly Deputy Chief Scientific Adviser at the Department for International Development
Now, he is the
Professor Tim  Wheeler
Not available for consultancy


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