Dr Susan Lee

AgriFood Research Fellow

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Dr Susan Lee is a Research Fellow on the £16m N8 Agrifood catalyst programme jointly funded by HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England) and each of the N8 institutions.The programme is focused on ensuring the stability and integrity of national and global agri-food supply chains in the face of environmental and socioeconomic challenges. Susan’s role is providing knowledge exchange and research support across all three themes of N8 Agrifood (Sustainable Food Production, Resilient Supply Chains and Improved Consumption and Health).


Her role within N8 AgriFood is to facilitate, co-design and co-ordinate research in the field of sustainability. She is interested in modelling plant-soil interactions within an agricultural environment, plant and soil nutrient cycling and links with human nutrition under a changing climate.


Dr. Lee has published over 25 papers and book chapters, including a paper in leading journal, Nature.  Susan is a Fellow of the Royal Meteorological society and recently was a co-author on a book about the circular economy produced by ImaginationLancaster at Lancaster University.



After gaining a B.Sc. (Special Honours) first degree in geography at Sheffield University, Dr. Lee pursued her interest in applied meteorology by completing an MSc in Agricultural Meteorology at Reading University. She then spent five years at the UK Meteorological Office initially as an Agricultural Meteorologist then as a Consultant and Weather Forecaster, before studying for a PhD on vegetation modelling and climate change at the University of Sheffield. During her PhD, Susan developed an interest in mathematical modelling and ecology and produced a paper, with colleagues from the Hadley Centre, for the Nature magazine on this work. She travelled widely at the time presenting at meetings and conferences in North America as well as Europe and the Nordic countries. She also worked further afield with social anthropologists and reindeer herders, north of the Arctic Circle in Finland, studying the impact of climate change on the people and their animals in this region.

Susan spent six years as a database consultant at a large market research company before returning to academia to join the SCORCHIO (Sustainable Cities: Options for Responding to Climate cHange Impacts and Outcomes) Project initially at the University of Sheffield and then the University of Manchester. Since then Susan has worked as a researcher at Leeds and Birmingham Universities on a number of other research projects. At Leeds, she helped to co-ordinate and carried out fieldwork on a Scottish wind farm, undertook meteorological monitoring of two local biofuel crops (miscanthus and willow) as well as running the Weather and Research Forecasting (WRF) Model for temperature and wind flow simulations. More recent projects include: Transforming Birmingham- a city systems approach and the Liveable Cities programme at the University of Birmingham, both funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). She studied the resource flows (energy, water, food, materials and waste) of several cities (Birmingham, Southampton and Lancaster) and quantified these flows using Material Flow Analysis, a technique used within the field of Urban Metabolism. She investigated whole energy systems models and assessed the scope for the inclusion of waste, transport and the built environment sectors into such models. She also brought together practitioners from these sectors to discuss energy use and management at two workshops.

In July 2018, Susan returned to Manchester University and joined the School of Electonics and Electrical Engineering as a N8 Agrifood Research Fellow.

Her current research interests include sustainable food production and the impact of global environmental change on food and nutritional aspects of crops.


BSc (Sp Hons) in Geography (University of Sheffield, UK)

MSc Agricultural Meteorology (University of Reading, UK)

PhD Thesis title: Modelling interactions between climate and global vegetation in response to climate change (University of Sheffield, UK )

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society

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