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Department of Land Economy

Environment, Law & Economics


Research Assistant in Rural Economy, for roughly the last ~20 years.  Notable contributions include those in 'N-efficiency', 'Peer-Matching', 'Loss-Making Marginal Spending from Crop Variable Inputs', and on the 'EU Sugar Regime', as well as to 'Best Use of UK Agricultural Land' and 'Biomass/Oil Crops'. I also publish innovative internet services for researchers and farmers.  In recent years, most work has been funded through DEFRA (the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs).  Interests include: ways to improve farm efficiency and to decrease resource / ecological footprint (eg through benchmarking and optimisation); re-use of waste; agri-policy; and rural development.  In addition to: 'rules, values and norms' and research on human well-being; and contributions of religious faith to those.  Formerly undertook research in experimental plant sciences (genetics/physiology/biochem), in Western Australia, including a successful technical project.  My career has also included sojourns in Nicaragua and India, as well as agricultural research in Australia, South Africa, the UK, and Peru.

Joined Land Economy / RBU as an unpaid volunteer in April 2003, and appointed to this salaried post from Sept 2003 having met - through formal application - the essential criteria of a more senior research post in Land Economy.

If it were up to me (which it is not) for dissertations, I would require eligible students to WALK (with whatever assistance for human powered travel - eg Litter/Stretcher and Bearers/ Sherpas / etc - may be needed^^) as their travel to Cambridge from Home, or from their Landing point (eg Heathrow) in the UK. 

In the tradition of, for example, one notable scholar who walked a rather long way to start his studies in Edinburgh.  And many others who travelled widely.

^^ 'no student shall be denied entry to Cambridge University owing to financial ability' is in essence, I believe, the formal practice and policy.


  • Economics of Public Goods
  • Theoretical analysis of Causality and Intent in Data
  • Benchmarking and Farm Performance
  • Data Science: in Ag Development, Sustainability and Human Factors


Key publications: 


- 'Best Use of UK Agricultural Land' (quantitative development, with CISL)
- 'The EU Sugar Regime'
- 'UK Agri-Environment'
- 'Nitrogen Balance in the England FBS' - using the FBS Fertiliser Module (following draft report, of 2016)

Further information can be found at:

Other information:

Curriculum Vitae (

- updated January 2023)


Teaching and Supervisions


LE16: "Land, food and ecosystem services"
(2 lectures, and 2 or 3 supervisions)

I have supervised many dissertations, a few
MPhil ones, and one PhD (Trinity/Dr Holmes).
The last time I viewed it, I had submitted
some 575 completed supervision reports
on CamCORS.

Mr Mark  Reader

Contact Details

Email address: 
+44 (0) 1223 337 163 (voicemail)