Dr Ruth Wade

Dr Ruth Wade


I joined the University of Leeds as a Research Fellow in Regenerative Farming Systems in November 2021 as part of a larger programme FixOurFood

I completed a PhD in agroecology at the University of York and The James Hutton Institute in 2016, measuring the effects of predicted changes in precipitation patterns on barley crop development and defence, as well as the implications for pests and their natural enemies. I then joined the University of Sheffield as a Post-doctoral Research Associate working on projects studying the role of hedgerows and ley strips as refugia for soil organisms (SoilBioHedge) and comparing growth-survival trade-offs of annual and perennial, C3 and C4 grasses. During this time, I attained Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2018 FHEA). In Sept 2018 I joined the agriculture and environmental consultancy ADAS, as a Crop Physiology Research Consultant before being promoted to Senior Research Consultant. During this position I provided ideas, specialist knowledge and solutions to farmers, agri-businesses and researchers in UK, Europe, Canada and USA. 


  • NetZeroAg researchers group convenor

Research interests

I am an ecologist at heart, with a passion to use knowledge and ideas from ecological systems in agricultural systems, working towards sustainable farming whilst maintaining a resilient and productive farming system. I am particularly interested in plant-soil interactions, plant defence strategies and multi-trophic interactions. I use a combination of novel laboratory, small plot and field scale trials to investigate the impact of different land management decisions and changes in rainfall patterns on plant growth, plant chemical composition, soil structure and fertility as well as interacting organisms such as insects and their natural enemies. I am part of the Collins Animal Welfare Epidemiology group

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://biologicalsciences.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • PhD Agroecology
  • M Biol Sci Biology

Professional memberships

  • British Ecological Society

Research groups and institutes

  • Sustainable agriculture
  • Plant-soil environment interaction