April 15, 2018

Media and Publications

NEW – UK Phosphorus Transformation Strategy 

We have published our report identifying strategic pathways for transforming how we use phosphorus nationally in our food system. The report can be found here

Cordell D, Jacobs B, Anderson A, Camargo-Valero M, Doody D, Forber K, Lyon C, Mackay E, Marshall R, Martin-Ortega J, May L, Okumah M, Rothwell S, Shahvi S, Sherry E, Spears B, & Withers P. (2022). UK Phosphorus Transformation Strategy: Towards a circular UK food system, RePhoKUs project, doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.7404622


Films and Animations

We have produced a short film about the Phosphorus Story


We have produced a short animation entitled Phosphorus in the UK Food System: risks and opportunities that examines how we currently mismanage phosphorus in the UK food system and how we need to work together to change.


We also helped create this short film looking at a Local Phosphorus Cycle in Lancashire


Here is a short film detailing our work and Engagement with Stakeholders within Northern Ireland



Rothwell et al 2022, A new direction for tackling phosphorus inefficiency in the UK food system, Journal of Environmental Management, 314 (2022) 115021.

Yuille et al 2022, UK Government policy and the transition to a circular nutrient economy, Sustainability, In Press.

Martin-Ortega et al 2022, Are stakeholders ready to transform phosphorus use in food systems? A transdisciplinary study in a livestock intensive system, Environmental Science and Policy, 131, 177-187.

Olagunju et al 2021, Dynamic relationships among phosphate rock, fertilisers and agricultural commodity markets: Evidence from a vector error correction model and Directed Acyclic Graphs, Resources Policy, 74, 102301.

Okumah et al 2021, The role of experiential learning in the adoption of best land management practices, Land Use Policy, 105, 105397.

Brownlie et al 2021, Global actions for a sustainable phosphorus future, Nature Food, 2, 71-74.

Rothwell et al 2020, Phosphorus stocks and flows in an intensive livestock dominated food system, Resources Conservation and Recycling, 163, 105065.

Forber et al 2020, Plant-based diets add to the wastewater phosphorus burden, Environmental Research Letters, 15, 094018.

Okumah et al 2020, Revisiting the Determinants of Pro-Environmental Behaviour to Inform Land Management Policy: A Meta-Analytic Structural Equation Model Application, Land, 9 (135).

Lyon et al 2020, Five pillars for stakeholder analyses in sustainability transformations: The global case of phosphorus, Environmental Science and Policy, 107, 80-89.

Withers et al 2020, Towards resolving the phosphorus chaos created by food systems, AMBIO, 49, 1076-1089.

Withers 2019, Closing the phosphorus cycle, Nature Sustainability, 2, 1001-1002.

Reitzel et al 2019, New Training To Meet The Global Phosphorus Challenge, Environmental Science & Technology, 53, 15, 8479-8481.

Stringer et al 2019, Adaptation and development pathways for different types of farmers, Environmental Science & Policy, 104, 174-189.


Links to all our project publications can be found on ResearchGate



A technical report on Phosphorus Stocks and Flows in the Northern Ireland Food System can be found here

A technical report on the Behavioural impacts of Northern Ireland’s Funded Soil Sampling and Training Scheme for DAERA can be found here

A report on our findings on phosphorus in the River Wye Catchment can be found here


Book Chapters

If you would like to find out more about why phosphorus is such a special element and critical to our lives today, see this published chapter co-authored by Paul in ‘Phosphorus: Polluter and Resource for the Future’.



Paul Withers features in a National Geographic article on the phosphorus crisis and potential solution that can be found here

Shervin Shahvi and Julia Martin-Ortega recently published an article detailing their findings from an evaluation of the Yorkshire Sustainable Landscapes Programme, looking at farmers perceptions of the programme and changes in behaviour. The article can be found here



Chris has written a blog article about how phosphorus is a growing hidden threat to the UK food system, check out the article here

Shane, Kirsty and Paul wrote a guest blog for the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) about or project findings and phosphorus sustainability in the UK food system, you can find it here



Shane, Kirsty and Paul feature in the podcast series “Science for the Anthropocene” discussing all things phosphorus here



Shane Rothwell and Donnacha Doody were interviewed by Matt Schulz of the Sustainable Phosphorus Alliance about the Northern Ireland phosphorus substance flow work here

Donnacha Doody was interviewed by BBC Good Morning Ulster about the technical report on Phosphorus Stocks and Flows in the Northern Ireland Food System, it can be found at here 00:19 mins

Our Northern Ireland technical report on Phosphorus Stocks and Flows in the Northern Ireland Food System is cited in an article published in the Guardian, it can be found here

Shane Rothwell presented our catchment work to a farmer meeting in the Wye, an article in the Farmers Weekly about the meeting can be found here

Our RePhoKUs work has featured in another Farmers Weekly article that can be found here


Other useful links

The RePhoKUs project is using the FAPRI UK model of UK Agriculture to test the impact of phosphorus shocks on food prices, you can find out more here

Global Food Security Programme: visit the UK cross-government programme on food security research website find out about other related research projects.


European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform: bringing together stakeholders and industry to address the phosphors challenge. This website will provide you with nutrient cycling success stories, nutrient cycling R&D stories, further links and resources.


Phosphorus Futures: visit the Global Phosphorus Research Initiative website, this initiative undertakes independent, quality, interdisciplinary research on global phosphorus security for future food production. Find out more of what they do here: