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Karen Rial-Lovera

Senior Lecturer

School of Animal Rural & Environmental Sciences


Dr Rial-Lovera is a Senior Lecturer in Agriculture and the Course Leader for the BSc (Hons) in Agriculture. She also teaches students on BSc (Hons) Ecology and Conservation and MSc/MRes in Global Food Security and Development and supervises PhD students.

Career overview

Dr Rial-Lovera undertook her degree in Agricultural Engineering, followed by a MSc in Agriculture and Forestry Research at the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain. This was followed by her PhD from Coventry University, with her research focused on the effects of soil-crop interactions caused by soil tillage management under low-external input scenarios.

After gaining her doctorate, Dr Rial-Lovera worked as a consultant in agricultural development projects in Sub-Sahara Africa, implementing sustainable agricultural intensification approaches for drylands.

In 2016, Dr Rial-Lovera was appointed Lecturer in Agricultural Engineering at the Royal Agricultural University (RAU) where she was the Douglas Bomford Trust Chair in Agricultural Engineering. She was then promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2019. She joined NTU as Senior Lecturer in 2019.

Dr Rial-Lovera is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and a Member of the Institute of Agricultural Engineers (IAgrE).

Research areas

Dr Rial-Lovera's research primarily focuses on sustainable agricultural systems. She has a particular interest in the implications of agricultural management practices on soil-crop interactions. She has led international projects in Sub-Saharan Africa on agricultural development and farmers’ engagement towards sustainable intensification and food self-sufficiency. She worked in a local government funded project evaluating the implications of agroforestry on soil carbon sequestration in northern Spain. More recently, she has been collaborating on projects looking at the adoption and adaptability of automation technologies for the agricultural sector.

Her current research interest includes,

  • Sustainable agricultural intensification and agro-ecological approaches
  • Soil management techniques including conservation tillage for climate mitigation and adaptation
  • Global agricultural development
  • Adoption and applicability of automation in agriculture

Opportunities to carry out postgraduate research towards an MPhil / PhD exist and further information may be obtained from the NTU Doctoral School.

External activity

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA)
  • Member of the Institute of Agricultural Engineers (IAgrE).


  • Rial‐Lovera, K., Davies, W.P. and Cannon, N.D. (2017). Implications of climate change predictions for UK cropping and prospects for possible mitigation: a review of challenges and potential responses. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. 97: 17-32. doi:10.1002/jsfa.7767
  • Rial‐Lovera, K., Davies, W., Cannon, N. and Conway, J. (2016). Weed development in spring wheat after contrasting soil tillage and nitrogen management. Annals of Applied Biologists. 169: 236-247. doi:10.1111/aab.12294
  • Rial‐Lovera, K., Davies, W., Cannon, N. and Conway, J. (2016). Influence of tillage systems and nitrogen management on grain yield, grain protein and nitrogen-use efficiency in UK spring wheat. The Journal of Agricultural Science. 154(8), 1437-1452.
  • Ferreiro-Domínguez, N., Rigueiro-Rodríguez, A., Rial-Lovera, K.E., Romero-Franco, R.,  Mosquera-Losada, M.R. (2016). Effect of grazing on carbon sequestration and tree growth that is developed in a silvopastoral system under wild cherry (Prunus avium L.). Catena. 142, 11-20. doi:

See all of Karen Rial-Lovera's publications...