Dr Patrick McKenna


I am a natural scientist by training but I moved into agronomy following a period working on smallholder farms in Kent. I studied both the natural history and agronomy of legumes in London and Cirencester, and I have worked in science education for a variety of organizations. I relocated to Leeds in March 2018 to take up this post.


  • McKenna, P. Cannon, N., Conway, J., Dooley, J. (2018) The use of red clover (Trifolium pratense) in soil fertility-building: A Review. Field Crops Research 221 38-49
  • McKenna, P. Cannon, N., Conway, J., Dooley, J. (2018) Red clover (Trifolium pratense) in conservation agriculture: a compelling case for increased adoption. International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability https://doi.org/10.1080/14735903.2018.1498442
  • McKenna, P. Cannon, N., Conway, J. (2018) Soil mineral nitrogen availability predicted by herbage yield and disease resistance in red clover (Trifolium pratense) cropping. Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems https://doi.org/10.1007/s10705-018-9947-1

Research interests

My research interests are on sustainable crop nutrition. My PhD examined how soil fertility can be built through forage legume cultivation, and how management can optimize this process. I am particularly interested in developing technologies which achieve multiple benefits (i.e. forage legume cultivation builds soil fertility and also provides a high-protein livestock feed).

At Leeds I am working with Prof Steve Banwart to determine how the use of wastewater-derived fertilizers can contribute to food security and mitigate climate change.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://environment.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD, Agronomy, Royal Agricultural University
  • MSc, Ethnobotany, University of Kent
  • BSc, Botany, University College Dublin

Professional memberships

  • Tropical Agriculture Association (Member)
  • Field Crops Research (Reviewer)

Research groups and institutes

  • Cohen Geochemistry
  • Earth Surface Science Institute