Soil and Environmental Scientist

Sustainable Soils and Crops


Goetz’s key interest is the interaction of agriculture and the environment. In particular, he is interested in the biophysical constraints to crop growth and their importance for phenotype/trait selection and cropping system design in target environments. Originally focusing on arable systems, his work expanded to perennial systems, covering herbaceous and woody crops, laying the foundations for a whole systems analysis in the bioeconomy. His keen interest in upscaling has recently widened to applications of remote sensing. Goetz is an agricultural scientist with a focus on soil-crop-environment interactions and 30 years’ modelling experience, optimising cropping systems for impacts and climate change mitigation. Founded in the “de Wit school of thought” of production ecology and soil science, his approach marries evidence with the development of deterministic, empirical and stochastic modelling tools. His expertise covers soil processes and crop growth under physical and biogeochemical constraints, on scales ranging from individual plants to the field, catchment and region, quantifying genotype-environmental-management interactions. Recent outstanding results include a new process-based model to identify and assess key traits for willow genotypes grown for bioenergy; the effect of genotypic variation of Miscanthus root distribution on carbon sequestration was assessed; and Miscanthus productivity and yield gap were verified.




    +44 (0) 1582 938 593


      Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, AL5 2JQ


        Strategic programme

        • Achieving Sustainable Agricultural Systems (ASSIST)
        • Soil 2 Nutrition (S2N)

        Science project

        • Bioenergy value chains: Whole systems analysis and optimisation
        • Innovate UK': Advancing Earth Observation Applications in Agriculture: developing wall-to-wall data products to improve environmental compliance

        PhD project

        • Evaluating the full production pathway life cycle GHG reduction potential and sustainability metrics for the feedstock supplies in lignocellulosic succinate production system
        • Providing satellite-based soil and crop productivity indicator maps for on-farm management


        • 1982 - Master of Agricultural Science, University of Gottingen, Germany
        • 1984 - MSc (Soil Physics), University of California Riverside, USA
        • 1987 - PhD in Agricultural Science, University of Gottingen, Germany


        • 2016 - EPSRC Peer Review Associate College
        • 2016 - Supporter of EPSRC fellowships of Dr Anna Harper Modelling 2G Bioenergy crops with JULES (EMPS University of Exeter) and Dr Miao Guo - Resilient and Sustainable Biorenewable Systems Model (ReSBio)
          Imperial College London
        • 2014 - Member of editorial board, Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems