• West Mains Road, Kings Buildings, Peter Wilson Building

    EH9 3JG Edinburgh

    United Kingdom


Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research interests

Dr Michael MacLeod is a senior researcher at SRUC. His main research interests are in using life-cycle analysis to quantify GHG emissions arising from food supply chains and the identification of cost-effective ways of reducing emissions. From 2010 to 2012 he led the Life-Cycle Analysis Team in FAO’s Livestock Policy Branch. He has been involved in agri-food policy research for 18 years, and has undertaken 30+ projects during this period, around half of them as principal investigator. Clients include: Scottish Government, DEFRA, The UK Committee on Climate Change, European Commission, the OECD, the International Livestock Research Institute and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation. He uses a combination of agri-environmental modelling and economic analysis. Key skills include:

  • Life-cycle analysis
  • GHG accounting
  • Cost-effectiveness analysis


2021       World Bank           Investment plans for livestock sector in the IGAD region

2020       UN-FAO*               Quantifying GHG from Chinese dairy systems

2020       EC-JRC Study of the adoption of greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation technologies by EU livestock farmers (JRC/SVQ/2019/MVP/2023)

2020       EC-JRC Outlining a future vision for the EU livestock sector

2019       EC-JRC*                Impact of animal breeding on farm economics & GHG emissions

2019       DEFRA   Delivery of Clean Growth through Sustainable Intensification

2018       OECD*   Carbon sequestration in the land use sectors

2018       OECD*   Preparing environmental indicators for the Policy Evaluation Model (PEM)

2017-now              UK NERC              Soil GHG Removals and Abatement Technologies

2017       UN-FAO*               Development of FISH-e, GHG calculator for aquaculture

2017       Scottish Government*        Embodied GHG emissions in Scottish Agriculture – Carbon Intensity of Primary Commodities

2016       Scottish Government*        Analysis of Slurry Management in Scottish Farming Systems

2016       Scottish Government          Nutritional strategies to reduce enteric methane emissions

2016       UN-FAO Quantification of GHG Emissions from Global Aquaculture for 2016 “State of Food and Agriculture”

2016       Scottish Government*        Benchmarking the emissions intensity of Scottish agricultural commodities against other countries

2016       Scottish Government          Investigation into livestock health and GHG mitigation

2015       Scottish Government          Investigation into on-farm technology and GHG mitigation

2015       Scottish Government          Policy briefing on the abatement and cost-effectiveness of selected greenhouse gas mitigation actions

2015       UK Committee on Climate Change  Review and update the UK agriculture MACC for the 5th carbon budget period and to 2050

2015       OECD*   A review of the literature on the cost-effectiveness of greenhouse gas mitigation measures for agriculture

2015       International Livestock Research Institute*     Greenhouse gas impacts of cattle disease control interventions in West Africa

2014       UN-FAO Life cycle analysis of GHG emissions for farmed tilapia, Indian major carps and striped catfish

2013-2014            European Commission       Mainstreaming Climate Change into EU rural development policy

2013       International Livestock Research Institute*     Greenhouse gas impacts of cattle disease control interventions in East Africa

2011       Netherlands Ministry for Agriculture*               Extending the Worldwide Life Cycle Assessment to Water, Nutrients and Biodiversity

2010       UK Committee on Climate Change* Review UK MACCs for agriculture and  assess abatement potential during the 4th budget period (2023-2027)

2009-2010            Defra*    Roadmaps Integrating RTD in Developing Realistic GHG Mitigation Options from Agriculture up to 2030 FFG0812

2006-2011            Scottish Government          Estimating the cost of pollution mitigation under the Water Framework Directive

2009       Scottish Government          AA211 Special Study report to SEERAD: An Assessment of the Costs of Achieving Greenhouse Gas Abatement in Scottish Agriculture

2008       UK Committee on Climate Change /Defra      Developing UK marginal abatement cost curves for Greenhouse Gas Emissions from the agriculture and land-use, land use change and forestry sectors RMP4950

2008       Scottish Government          Assessing the Potential for Scottish Rural Development Plan Measures to Mitigate Against Climate Change

2008       Scottish Government*        Costs and benefits associated with the regulation of Scottish agriculture

2007       SEERAD*              Assessing the Regulatory Burden on Scottish Agriculture

2006       Defra*    Comparing the costs of complying with regulatory changes

*Principal Investigator

Other work

Acts as referee for a variety of agri-environmental journals (e.g. Animal, Livestock Science, Journal of Cleaner Production, Nature)

UK Champion for the Global Research Alliance Animal Health and GHG Network

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Environmental Education, Liverpool John Moores University


Award Date: 24 Jul 1998

Master, Energy Systems, University of Strathclyde


Award Date: 23 Jul 1993

Bachelor, Geology, University of Edinburgh


Award Date: 27 Jul 1990


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