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Professor Adrian Collins

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Visiting Professor

Adrian is a now Principal Scientist in the Sustainable Soils and Grassland Systems Department of Rothamsted Research-North Wyke, having previously been the Head of Water in the Soils, Agriculture and Water team at ADAS for 8 years. He has worked for over 20 years researching diffuse pollution from agriculture or additional sectors and its mitigation, using both empirical and modelling approaches. Whilst Adrian has worked on quantifying individual aspects of pollution pressures on watercourses, his recent work has moved towards examining diffuse pollution impacts on aquatic ecology with a view to assessing the efficacy of specific mitigation options supported by water quality policy and supporting targeted on-farm mitigation strategies. This work has generated the new ASPIRE modelling framework. Additional recent work has devised a candidate list of ‘basic measures’ for delivering the WFD on the basis of model runs and stakeholder feedback and a national cross sector screening tool for identifying those water bodies where agricultural pollutant inputs are dominant compared to those from sources such as septic tanks or urban areas. He was previously involved in the projects developing the PSYCHIC and APT models and recently updated PSYCHIC and NEAP-N layers for inclusion in the revised UKWIR SAGIS source apportionment modelling tool.

Much of Adrian’s work is at the interface of high quality scientific research and national policy advice, analysis, formulation and delivery. Adrian has considerable experience of managing multi-partner research projects for diverse funders and possesses a sound grounding in key policy drivers for diffuse pollution including the EU WFD.  Adrian is currently leading the Demonstration Test Catchment (DTC) research platform on the Hampshire Avon and Tamar rivers and an additional national DTC project testing the efficacy of diffuse pollution mitigation options including riparian buffers. He is also assistant director of the Defra Sustainable Intensification (SIP) landscape scale research platform. He currently leads a BBSRC funded project examining the impacts of different vegetation in riparian buffer strips on nutrient, sediment and pesticide loss to watercourses. 

Adrian is currently Visiting Professor at the University of Southampton, Visiting Professor at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, President-elect of the International Commission on Continental Erosion (ICCE) of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS) and a member of the UK Committee for National and International Hydrology.  Adrian is a member of the National Scientific Advisory Panel for Salmon and Trout Conservation. He currently collaborates with researchers and policy teams overseas, including those in Belgium, Canada, China, Germany and the USA.