Professional summary

Dr Nicholas Cowan is senior researcher with 10 years of post-doctorate research experience, having completed a PhD with the University of Edinburgh and UKCEH Edinburgh (2014) followed by a three year skills development program provided through the UKCEH Research Associates Programme (2014 – 2017). Dr Cowan has a strong track record in the field of greenhouse (GHG) measurements and agricultural pollution, with particular distinction in the field of gas flux measurement methodology, including the application of the eddy covariance method and the advancement of environmental data analysis. Dr Cowan’s main focus of research is studying GHGs, and nitrogen pollution released from agricultural systems as a consequence of management practices. This research has concentrated on measurements of the potent greenhouse gas nitrous oxide (N2O) as well as emissions of ammonia (NH3) and the leaching of nitrates (NO3) into ground waters. His work aims to identify and quantify potential sources of pollution from agricultural practices with an eventual objective of developing feasible mitigation strategies to reduce nitrogen pollution at a regional scale.

Dr Cowan has extensive expertise in field measurements and data analysis. He is an expert in the use of infra-red spectroscopy instrumentation, micrometeorology, gas chromatography, GHG emissions, nitrogen pollution, heavy metal analysis and the chemical analysis of nutrients in soils and water samples. Current research includes working on nutrient efficient agriculture, GHG accounting, plastic degradation, heat recovery experimentation from compost, the development of efficient controlled-environment agriculture and the study of potential efficiency saving interactions between industrial scale food production systems.

Selected publications