Staff Profile:Professor Tim Wheeler

Professor Tim Wheeler
Job Title:
  • Deputy Chief Scientific Adviser (80%) at the Department for International Development
  • Head, Crops and Climate Group
Areas of Interest:

Tim Wheeler is Deputy Chief Scientific Adviser at the UK Department for International Development. He is on secondment from the University of Reading where he is Professor of Crop Science. At DFID, Tim provides science advice to Ministers and oversees the research portfolio of the Research and Evidence Division. He has extensive experience of working with policy-makers in the UK and internationally and was Specialist Adviser to the House of Lords in 2010. Tim has published more than 170 scientific papers, including in Science and Nature, over the last 20 years on how climate change could impact on the sustainability of agriculture and food, undertaking research in Bolivia, Honduras, The Gambia, Uganda, China, India and elsewhere. His research group identified how temperature extremes reduce annual crop yields under climate change (in 1996), developed novel ways of modelling climate change impacts on crops at a global scale (2004) and produced the first crop model to be coded within a global climate model to allow the study of land-surface-climate interactions over croplands (2007). He has provided advice on the sustainability of food and farming to agri-businesses and food multi-nationals, often up to Board level. In 2005 he delivered a Royal Society Public Lecture titled 'Growing Crops in changing climate' and co-authored a Royal Society Statement on Climate Change and Agriculture tabled at the G8 Summit in Gleneagles. Tim is a member of BBSRC Council, the HEFCE REF sub-panel for Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Science and two of the UK's Government's Leadership Councils (Agricultural Technology and Space).

Research groups / Centres:

Crops and Climate Group

Walker Institute

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This list was generated on Mon Feb 8 12:39:25 2016 GMT.
BSc, MSc, PhD

The next two films in the University of Reading Research Showcase series

The effects of climate change on crops

One of the major challenges of climate change is to use climate models to help us predict the effect on food crops in the future. We need to assess how changes in temperature and rainfall will affect the productivity of our food crops. We also need to consider how the variability of climate will alter, and look at how we can forecast this. How can agriculture adapt to offset the negative effects of climate change, and make the most of any opportunities which might occur

The effects of crops on climate change

We spend a lot of time thinking how climate can affect crops but crops affect climate themselves. A substantial amount of the lands surface is used for crop and agricultural production: how we use that land can affect our climate. Altering the characteristics of the land's surface can alter the way in which water and heat flows from the land's surface to the atmosphere and back, and if this is a large enough change, it can ultimately affect the regional climate.

Professor Tim Wheeler

Contact Details

+44 (0) 118 378 8495

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