Staff Profile:Dr Francisco Areal

Dr Francisco Areal
Job Title:
Associate Professor
  • Programme Director for the MSc Agricultural Economics Programme
  • Module convenor for APME58 Resource and Environmental Economics; APME76 Resource and Environmental Economics; APME21 Policy Analysis
Areas of Interest:
  • Environmental Economics: Human wellbeing and nature; Sustainability indicators, Environmental valuation, Invasive species
  • Agricultural Economics: Technology adoption, Economic and environmental performance of GM crops, Efficiency analysis, Commodity price analysis
  • Applied Econometrics: Development of methods that incorporate environmental and spatial aspects to efficiency analysis

Francisco Areal was appointed Lecturer of Environmental Economics at University of Reading in 2011. Previously he worked at the Joint Research Centre - Institute for Prospective Technological Studies in Seville, Spain and at the Central Science Laboratory in York (currently known as the Food and Environment Research Agency -FERA-). Francisco has worked on a wide number of nationally and internationally funded projects including FP6-SIGMEA, FP6-Co-extra, Defra's funded Sustainable Intensification Platform, Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Armajaro amongst others. Francisco has also carried out consultancy work.

Francisco joined the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development where his research has focused on four areas: efficiency analysis, performance of genetically modified (GM) crops and evaluation of coexistence policies, sustainability, and food security. More specifically:

a) Efficiency analysis:
Developing analytical methods to incorporate environmental outputs (e.g. ecosystem services) and spatial aspects into technical efficiency analysis.

Francisco has contributed to the Sustainable Intensification Platform (SIP) a Defra funded project. The SIP focuses on the simultaneously increasing farm output and competitiveness, whilst protecting the countryside and enhancing the environment. In particular my role with other members of the University of Reading (Prof. Richard Tiffin, Dr. Simon Mortimer) and Dr. Frederic Ang was to develop metrics of sustainable intensification.

b) GM crops:
Francisco has work on evaluating economic and environmental performance of GM crops as well as associated policies. In this area Francisco has recently worked on developing ways to incorporate probability functions into composite indicators. This has been applied to calculating the probability of environmental impact of GM crops vs conventional crops.

He has also worked on examining the effect of coexistence measures to avoid cross-fertilisation between GM and conventional crops on GM crop adoption in the EU as well as analysing the distances needed to limit cross fertilisation between GM and non-GM maize in Europe.

Recently, he has conducted consultancy work for Fundación ANTAMA on the role of genetically modified soy as a raw material in the EU. As a result a report assessed the alternatives and economic impact to the Spanish fodder industry and livestock farming sector of a potential EU ban on the imports (click to watch a summary in a Youtube video - Spanish -). More recently he has conducted a second report for Fundación ANTAMA on "Benefits of Bt maize in Spain (1998-2015). Benefits from an economic, social and environmental viewpoint."

c) Sustainability:
Analysing the sustainability of olive farming in Spain. Francisco has worked on understanding farmer's views on the future of olive farming incorporating spatial econometrics to provide propositions on what elements should be taking into account when designing agricultural policies aiming at guaranteeing the sustainability of olive farming in future.

Francisco has contributed to estimating the willingness to pay (WTP) of Greek residents for green electricity produced by offshore wind farm identifying factors behind respondents׳ WTP including individual׳s behaviour toward environment and individual׳s views on climate change and renewable energy.

d) Food security:
Contributing to research on development economics in the area of food security and understanding the adoption of agricultural practices by small holding farmers.

Francisco's current research activities include being the Knowledge Base Supervisor of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership project - collaboration between University of Reading and Armajaro-. The project investigates relationships between remote sensing and 'real' crop (ground data) in order to create a predictive system for crop production potential.

Previously Francisco has worked on:

  • estimating the economic value of trees susceptible to Sudden Oak Death;
  • analysing the effects of the international trade of cut flowers to the introduction of invasive species in the UK;
  • analysing the impacts of the American mink (Mustela vison) on a marketable native species: Salmon (Salmo salar) reared in fish farms using ecological-economic modelling;
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis for a native oyster restoration program in the UK land use modelling of common agricultural policy reform.

Francisco is currently an executive member of the Agriculture Economics Society (; a member of the Steering Group of Eurochoices ( and member of the Editorial Staff Committee of the Journal Agricultural and Resource Economics/Economía Agraria y Recursos Naturales (

Francisco regularly participates as invited expert for the OECD network on farm level analysis of productivity and has advised research funding agencies such as ESRC.

Francisco has supervised 2 PhD students to completion:

  • Inibehe Upkong (with Prof. Kelvin Balcombe) - Valuing the Environmental and Livelihood Impacts of the Oil and Gas Industry: A Choice Experiment on the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria
  • Rui Catarino (with Prof. Julian Park and Dr. Graziano Ceddia) - Modelling the effect of Bt maize introduction on pest dynamics, insecticide use and economic returns to farmers

Francisco is currently supervising 2 PhD students:

  • Omotuyole Isiaka Ambali (with Prof. Nikos Georgantzis) -Risk and Time Preferences and Modern Rice Technology Adoption Decision among Rice Farmers in Nigeria
  • Evangelos Kodosakis (with Prof. Elizabeth Robinson) - Is the development of the forest sector in Greece during the crisis and the austerity sustainable?

Francisco has supervised 16 MSc students and 25+ undergraduate students

Research groups / Centres:
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This list was generated on Sat Apr 21 11:32:02 2018 UTC.
BSc, University of Vigo, Spain
MSc, University of York, UK
PhD, University of Reading, UK
Dr Francisco Areal

Contact Details

+44 (0) 118 378 8970

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