Dr Alexa Varah
Division: LS Vertebrates Division
I am an ecologist working on the environmental impacts of agriculture. I use fieldwork to understand how agroforestry systems affect yield and environmental outcomes like biodiversity, pollination and carbon stocks. I use models to estimate economic and environmental outcomes of different farm management strategies in UK cereal production. Environmental aspects assessed are biodiversity, nitrate leaching and carbon emissions. It is currently difficult to estimate multiple outcomes simultaneously; these models will allow the provision of management recommendations together with an analysis of their agronomic, economic and environmental consequences. I'm currently using the models in the context of land-use change associated with herbicide resistance and its management.
Before moving into research I was a science teacher in UK secondary schools.
- BSc Biology (2:1), University of Exeter, Exeter, 1993 - 2021
- PhD, University of Reading, UK, 2011 - 2015
- MSc Conservation & Biodiversity (Distinction), University of Exeter, Exeter, 2010 - 2011
- PCGE (Distinction), University of Oxford, Oxford, 2001 - 2002
- Post-doctoral researcher, Zoological Society of London, Institute of Zoology, United Kingdom, 2016 - 2020
Varah A, Jones H, Smith J, Potts SG (2020) Temperate agroforestry systems provide greater pollination service than monoculture. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 301 : 107031 - 107031. doi: 10.1016/j.agee.2020.107031
Varah A, Ahodo K, Coutts SR, Hicks HL, Comont D, Crook L, Hull R, Neve P, Childs DZ, Freckleton RP, Norris K (null) The costs of human-induced evolution in an agricultural system. Nature Sustainability, 3 (1) : 63 - 71. doi: 10.1038/s41893-019-0450-8
Varah A, Jones H, Smith J, Potts SG (2013) Enhanced biodiversity and pollination in UK agroforestry systems. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 93 (9) : 2073 - 2075. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.6148