Les Firbank is an ecologist who has been researching the interactions between farming and the environment for over 30 years. He first studied interactions between weeds and crops, before looking at larger scale effects of farming systems on biodiversity, including set-aside, organic farming, agri-environent schemes and genetically modified crops. In recent years, he has become more interested in how farming needs to respond to changing environmental conditions, through his work on indicators of sustainable intensification (notably in the Defra Sustainable Intensification Research Platform http://www.siplatform.org.uk/), on measuring ecological change (notably the European ExpeER project http://www.expeeronline.eu/) and the soil/plant processes that underpin these responses through the White Rose Sustainable Agriculture Consortium.
Les in the convener of the Consortium, and has broad oversight for making sure the research is agronomically appropriate. He is Professor in Sustainable Agriculture at the University of Leeds (http://www.fbs.leeds.ac.uk/staff/profile.php?tag=firbank_l) and leads the ‘Sustainable Food Production’ theme of the N8 Agri-Food Resilience Programme http://n8agrifood.ac.uk/. He also maintains a website and blog on these issues http://www.firbank-ecosystems.co.uk/, and his photos of the WRSAC can be found here https://les-firbank.smugmug.com/.