School of Earth and Environment

Patrick McKenna Patrick McKenna

Research Fellow

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Affiliation: Earth Surface Science Institute


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.


BSc Botany - University College Dublin (Ireland) 2011

MSc Ethnobotany - University of Kent (UK) 2012

PhD Agronomy - Royal Agricultural University (UK) 2017


Tropical Agriculture Association (Member)

Field Crops Research (Reviewer)

Research Interests

My research interests are focused on sustainable crop nutrition. My PhD looked at how soil fertility can be built through cultivation of forage legumes, and how management can further 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 organic fertilizers in the UK and China can be improved through processing technologies and management strategies. The project will prepare a business case for the reduction of mineral fertilizers and also achieve multiple benefits (i.e. feed a growing population using sustainable practices, improve sanitiation in rapidly developing cities, and reduce agriculture's contribution to climate change).