Ms Catriona Willoughby


I recently submitted a PhD in farming systems management that was a collaboration between, SRUC, NIAB, and the University of Aberdeen. During this time I conducted work developing the tools for sustainable agriculture through assigning nutritive value to yields, carrying out nutrient budgeting of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, assessing the links between soil health indicators and yield and investigating the quantification of SOM accumulation and losses due to farm management practices.

During this time I utilised long-term field experiments and was additionally able to develop and utilise networks of farmers on commercial feilds. I have spoken at several international conferences regarding farming systems management, including the European Society of Agronomy 2022 Congress in Potsdam, the World Congress of Soil Science 2022 in Glasgow, and COP26.

Previously I worked analysing financial data for the Scottish Government. Work conducted during my undergraduate and master’s degrees has included surveying illicit whisky stills in the Cairgorms National Park and assessing the soil biological community of contaminated spoil heaps undergoing phytoremediation. I have travelled extensively to study soils and farming systems in diverse landscapes, from Morocco to Alaska.

Research interests

My research interests fall in the area of sustainable landscape management, with a particular focus on the ongoing health and function of agricultural soils. This encapsulates many interactions across a range of scales, from plots to fields to whole farming systems. I am particularly interested in:

  • Quantifying the implications of farm management practices on SOC stocks
  • Enhancing our understanding of novel and innovative farm practices in their soil health implications
  • Validating links between soil health indicators and yeild in farming systems
<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • BSc (Hons) Environmental Geography, University of Stirling
  • MSc Soils and Sustainability, University of Edinburgh

Professional memberships

  • British Society of Soil Science
  • Association of Applied Biologists