Professor Christine Watson

Scotland's Rural College

Research Interests

I currently lead the Soils and Systems Research Team at SRUC. My research focuses on improving nutrient use efficiency in a wide range of agricultural systems including outdoor pig production, dairying, organic farming and agroforestry. I am particularly interested in the management of legumes in agricultural systems and am the Scientific Coordinator of the EU Legume Futures project. I also lead the Scottish Government RESAS Work Package on Rural Land Management and Climate Change.

I spend approximately 2 months per year working for The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) where I hold the August T Larsson Guest Research position. While in Uppsala I am based within the Department of Crop Production Ecology working with Göran Bergkvist and Ingrid Öborn.

From August 2014 I will be president of the European Society of Agronomy. Currently I serve on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Agricultural Science and the Journal of Organic Agriculture. I am also involved in teaching the SRUC MSc Organic Farming course by distance learning.


  • BSc Soil Science (Hons) (Reading University)
  • PhD (Agriculture) (University of Aberdeen)
  • Member of Institute of Professional Soil Scientists

Selected Publications

  • Ball, B.C., Griffiths, B.S., Topp, C.F.E., Wheatley, R., Walker, R.L., Rees, R.M., Watson, C.A., Gordon, H., Hallett, P.D., McKenzie, B.M. & Nevison, I.M. (2014) Seasonal nitrous oxide emissions from field soils under reduced tillage, compost application or organic farming. Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment 189, 171-80
  • Lindström, B.E.M, Frankow-Lindberg, B.E., Dahlin, A.S., Watson, C.A., & Wivstad, M. (2013). Micronutrient concentrations in relation to phenological development of red clover (Trifolium pratense L.), perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) and timothy (Phleum pratense L.). Grass & Forage Science (DOI: 10.1111/gfs.12068)
  • Liu, Y., Wu, L. Watson, C.A., Baddeley, J.A., Pan, X. and Zhang, L.  (2013). Modelling biological nitrogen fixation of field pea (Pisum sativum L.) with a process-based simulation model. Agronomy Journal 105, 670-678
  • Rees, R., Baddeley, J., Bhogal, A., Ball, B., Chadwick, D., MacLeod, M., Lilly, A., Pappa, V., Thorman, R., Watson, C. & Williams, J. (2013). Nitrous oxide mitigation in UK agriculture. Soil Science & Plant Nutrition 59, 3-15
  • Dahlin, A.S., Edwards, A.C., Lindström, B., Ramezanian, A., Shand, C.A., Walker, R.L., Watson, C.A. & Öborn, I. (2012). Revisiting herbage sample collection and preparation procedures to minimise trace element contamination. European Journal of Agronomy 43, 33-39
  • Edwards, A.C., Coull, M., Sinclair, A.H., Walker, R.L. & Watson, C.A. (2012). Elemental status (Cu, Mo, Co, B, S, and Zn) of Scottish agricultural soils compared with a soils-based risk assessment. Soil Use & Management 28, 167-176
  • Pappa, V.A., Rees, R.M., Walker, R.L., Baddeley, J.A. & Watson, C.A. (2012). Intercropping: effect on yield and N balances in a three year crop rotation. Journal of Agricultural Science, Cambridge 150, 584-594
  • Watson, C.A., Öborn, I., Edwards, A.C., Dahlin, A.S., Eriksson, J., Lindström, B., Linse, L., Owens, K., Topp, C.F.E. & Walker, R.L.  (2012). Using soil and-plant properties and farm management practices to improve the micronutrient composition of food and feed. Journal of Geochemical Exploration 151, 15-24
  • Liu, Y., Wu, L., Baddeley, J.A. & Watson, C.A. (2011). Estimating nitrogen fixation in grain and forage legumes – a modelling approach. Agronomy for Sustainable Development 31, 155-172
  • Hawes, C., Squire, G.R., Hallett, P.D., Watson, C.A. & Young, M. (2010) Arable plant communities as indicators of farming practice. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 138, 17-26