Dr BENJAMIN RICHARD
Sustainable Agriculture Sciences
Ben has been working at Rothamsted Research as a crop modeller on short rotation coppice (SRC) willow since October 2013. His main task is to improve the process-based model, LUCASS, to capture the interaction between plant and environmental processes. This includes field data analysis to incorporate new system components, such as tree phenology (tests of different budburst prediction models) or water extraction (two layers [ISBA] or cascading models). He also runs a wider modelling platform that includes other crops, and he is helping colleagues working on them by debugging the code or adding new features. Ben's background is in plant pathology. He studied the interactions between plant development, canopy architecture and aerial fungal disease development, both in field and control conditions in the pathosystem pea/Ascochyta blight. His interest was on how the plant and canopy architecture can increase disease avoidance by changing the microclimate (air temperature and leaf wetness duration) and the amount of susceptible tissues (change in organ senescence). He used the Magarey et al. (2005) model to simulate infection risks with the recorded microclimate data. He is currently applying the LUCASS model for potential SRC willow biomass production and water consumption at different sites around the UK.
- Soil 2 Nutrition (S2N)
- 2012 - PhD in Plant Pathology, AgroCampusOuest, France
- 2009 - MSc in Environmental Sciences and Hydrology, Universite Pierre et Marie Curie Paris VI, France
- 2006 - Certificate in Environmental Sciences, Universite du Quebec Chicoutimi, Canada
- 2002 - BSc in Mathematics and Computer Science, Universite de Provence, France