Soil and Plant Scientist

Head of Sustainable Agriculture Sciences - Harpenden

Sustainable Agriculture Sciences


Steve’s research interests are in increasing understanding of the factors affecting the bio-availability, ecotoxicology and mobility of nutrients and toxins in soil-crop systems. He is skilled in using stable and radioisotopes to trace the movement and sources of nutrients and contaminants in soils and plants; and in LC-ICP-MS, synchrotron and NanoSIMs to identify the speciation and localisation of trace elements. His latest research focuses on developing rapid techniques for the analysis of soils and plants to predict the transfer of nutrients, including micronutrients, into the food chain, to improve crop yields, human and animal health and nutrition.




    +44 (0) 1582 938 631


      Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, AL5 2JQ



        • 2012
          Rawlins, B. G.,McGrath, S. P.,Scheib, A. J.,Breward, N.,Cave, M.,Lister, T. R.,Ingham, M.,Gowing, C.,Carter, S.

          The advanced soil geochemical atlas of England and Wales

          British Geological Survey (BGS)
          ISBN: 9780852727096

        • 2008
          Editor(s): Takagi, K.

          Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Soil Pollution and Remediation: SoilRem 2008

          : 410pp

        • 2005
          Editor(s): Zhu, Y-G.

          Plant nutrition for food security, human health and environmental protection. Proceedings 15th International Plant Nutrition Colloquium, Beijing, 14-19 September 2005

          Tsinghua University Press, Beijing

        • 2003
          Editor(s): Wenzel, W.

          Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on the Biogeochemistry of Trace Elements, Uppsala, 15-19 June 2003

          International Society of Trace Element Biogeochemistry, Uppsala : 309pp

        • 2000
          Editor(s): Xu, J. M.

          Proceedings International Conference of Soil Remediation SOILREM 2000, Hangzou, 15-19 October 2000

        • 1992
          McGrath, S. P.,Loveland, P. J.

          Soil geochemical atlas of England and Wales

          Blackie & Sons, London : 101pp

        Strategic programme

        • Soil 2 Nutrition (S2N)

        Science project

        • Africa Soil Information Service
        • Optimising sulphur management to maximise oilseed rape and cereal yields and farm profitability

        PhD project

        • Soil health metrics for sustainable farming systems


        • 2015 - Fellow, Institute Soil Science
        • 1996 - BSc Sheffield University, Plant Science
        • 1980 - PhD Sheffield University


        • Honorary Professor in the School of Biosciences, University of Nottingham
        • Thomson-Reuters ISI Highly Cited Scientist in Agricultural Science
        • President, International Society of Trace Element Biogeochemistry 2013- 2015
        • Member of NERC Peer Review College
        • New Phytologist Editorial Board Advisor