Team profile

Katie Bliss

"Working with our family farm inspired me to look at how we can be better use ecology to reduce our reliance on inputs, address issues such as blackgrass and enhance our soils with a more integrated, agroecological approach. I am passionate that a transition to these farming systems will not only create more resilient and efficient farming businesses but also benefit the environment. I enjoy being part of a community of researchers and farmers working to push forward knowledge on agroecology and how it works in practice."

Job title:

Researcher in Agroecology and Food Systems

Academic qualifications:

  • MSc Agroecology, Wageningen University /NMBU Norway, 2016
  • BA Geography, Environment and Development Studies, University of Sussex, 2005

Role and responsibilities:

  • My main research focus is on crop diversity – in particular looking at the role of intercropping and diversifying the rotation with new and novel crops.
  • I am passionate about the role of farmer to farmer learning and farmer led research.
  • I worked with a group of farmers exploring the role of intercropping in arable systems in an Innovative Farmers Field Lab – supporting on farm trials and exchange of experiences between farmers.
  • I coordinated a case study within the DiverIMPACTs project – exploring how alternative food networks are supporting crop diversification and with Hodmedods –  company supporting British pulses and grains.

Research interests:

I am passionate about how we can support the interactions between plants, soils, insects and animals to create more resilient and productive farming systems.

  • Participatory research, knowledge exchange and farmer led innovation
  • Crop diversity – including intercropping, relay cropping and agroforestry
  • Low input cropping systems and integrated farming
  • Alternative grain and legume crops
  • Integrated Pest Management and biological control

Interests outside of ORC:

I love adventuring outside, especially by on or in the sea – kayaking, cycling, coast path walking and sea swimming. I am involved with my local food coop and enjoy working on the farm when I can. I also enjoy spending time in my small art studio working with mixed media including painting, printmaking and drawing, much of my work focuses on nature and organic forms.