milne

Alice Milne

Role(s):
Research Scientist - Agricultural Systems Modeller
Sustainable Agriculture Sciences Harpenden
Harpenden
Summary:

My research focuses on the mathematical analysis and modelling of agricultural systems.  Applications that particularly interest me are soil processes, such as those that result in the emissions of nitrous oxide, and the population dynamics of weed and insect species.

 Modelling

One of my main interests is to use concepts from game theory to integrate models of agricultural systems with farmer behaviour. In one example, we developed a mechanistic model of the European corn borer in a landscape, showed how interactions between a plant host, herbivore and humans lead to pest suppression at a landscape scale under certain scenarios. I am currently involved in developing a landscape model of the interactions between soil processes, crop growth, pests and management, which we shall use to explore the impact of farm management on a number of ecosystems services. 

 Spatial statistics

I have expertise in analysis of non-stationary processes using various statistical and geostatistical techniques. Most notably I have done a lot of research on wavelet techniques. I have used wavelets to elucidate spatial and temporal processes relevant to land management, for example variation in nitrous oxide emissions and in river water nutrients. More recently I used wavelet methods to analyse long-term data series on the population density of the European corn borer and yield. In both, anthropogenic actions resulted in the collapse of natural cycles.   Other statistical methods that I have worked on include boundary line analysis, spatially weighted cluster analysis, and more recently the analysis of nested sampling designs using REML.

 Uncertainty analysis

I am responsible for estimating the uncertainty in greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture that are reported in the national greenhouse gas inventory. This is done by using Monte Carlo simulation to calculate how the uncertainties in the model inputs propagate through. I have done similar work on calculating the uncertainty of estimates of the impacts of air pollution on ecosystems services. We recently did a study on how the uncertainty in greenhouse gas emissions should be communicated to end users.

Phone:
+44 (0) 1582 763 133 ext: +44 1582 938380
Location:
Rothamsted Research, West Common, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL5 2JQ
Past Projects
Project Leader
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions, nitrate pollutions and lost productivity by fully automating nitrogen fertiliser
  • Delivering the agricultural greenhouse gas and ammonia inventories and projections - Combined with S5314
Member
  • Complex spatial variation of environmental variables: sampling, prediction and interpretation
  • GHG (Greenhouse Gas) Platform - Data management of the UK National Inventory
  • GHG (Greenhouse Gas) Platform - Data management of the UK National Inventory
  • Quantifying Sustainable Systems
  • Exploiting Yield Maps and Soil Management Zone
  • Delivering the agricultural greenhouse gas and ammonia inventories and projections
  • DTP Studentship: Modelling the causes of spatial and temporal variation in annual grass weeds in fields for precision weed management
  • *Research Exp Student Directors

2011-2015

  • Lark, R.M., Milne, A.E. Boundary line analysis of the effect of water-filled pore space on nitrous oxide emission from cores of arable soil. European Journal of Soil Science. Accepted
  • Muhammed, S.E. , Marchant, B.P., Webster, R., Whitmore, A.P., Dailey, G., Milne, A.E. Comparing sampling designs for managing fertilizer practice. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture, submitted
  • Milne, A.E.,  Glendining, M.J.,  Lark, R.M., Perryman, S., Gordon, T.,   Whitmore, A.P. 2015. Communicating the uncertainty in greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, Journal of Environmental Management, 160. 139-153. 10.1016/j.jenvman.2015.05.034
  • Milne, A.E., Bell, J.R., Hutchison, W., Van Den Bosch, F., Mitchell, P., Crowder, D., Parnell, S., Whitmore, A. 2015. The effect of farmer decisions on the control of pests: a billion dollar ecology game, PLOS computational biology. DOI:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1004483
  • Metcalfe, H., Milne, A.E., Webster, R., Lark, R.M., Murdoch, A., Storkey, Designing a sampling scheme to reveal correlations between weeds and soil properties at multiple spatial scales, Weed Research, 56 (1). pp. 1-13. ISSN 0043-1737
  • Kindred, D., Milne, A.E., Webster, R., Marchant, B., Sylvester-Bradley, R. 2015. Exploring the spatial variation in the fertilizer-nitrogen requirement of wheat within fields. The Journal of Agricultural Science, 153, 24—21.
  • Metcalfe, H., Milne, A.E., Murdoch, A., Webster, R., Lark, R.M., Storkey, J. 2014. Understanding the scale-dependence of the relations between soil conditions and weed density and the implications for precision management of weeds. Aspects Of Applied Biology,  127, 165–171.
  • Rust, W., Corstanje, R., Holman, I.P., Milne, A.E. 2014. Detecting land use and land management influences on catchment hydrology by modelling and wavelets. The Journal of Hydrology, 517, 378—389.
  • Milne,  A. E., Glendining, M.J.,  Bellamy, P., Misselbrook, T.,  Gilhespy, S.,  Rivas Casado, M.,  Hulin, A.,  van Oijen, M.,  Whitmore, A.P. 2014. Analysis of uncertainties in the estimates of nitrous oxide and methane emissions in the UK's greenhouse gas inventory for agriculture, 82, 94—105.
  • Milne A E, Haskard K A, Webster C P, Truan K W, Goulding K W T, Lark R M. 2013. Wavelet Analysis of the Variability of Nitrous Oxide Emissions from Soil at Decameter to Kilometer Scales. Journal of Environmental Quality, 42, 1070—1079. DOI: 10.2134/jeq2012.0007
  • Bell J R, Burkness E C, Milne A E, Onstad D W, AbrahamsonM, Hamilton K L, Hutchison W D. 2012. Putting the brakes on a cycle: bottom-up effects damp cycle amplitude. Ecology Letters, 15(4), 310—318. DOI: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2011.01739.x
  • Milne A E, Webster R, Ginsburg D, Kindred D. 2012. Spatial multivariate classification of an arable field into compact management zones based on past crop yields, 80, 17–30.
  • HasslerS K, LarkR M, MilneA E, Elsenbeer H. 2011. Influence of soil type on saturated hydraulic conductivity in a tropical rainforest. European Journal of Soil Science, 62(6), 891–901.
  • Milne A E, Lehmann J, Solomon D,  Lark RM. 2011. Wavelet analysis of soil variation at nanometre- to micron-scales; an example of organic carbon content in a micro-aggregate.  European Journal of Soil Science, 62(4), 617–628.
  • Milne  A E, Haskard K A, Webster C P, Truan I, Goulding K WT, Lark R M. 2011 Correlations of soil properties with potential nitrous oxide emission at farm and landscape scales. European Journal of Soil Science, 62, 467–478

2005-2010

  • Milne A E, Castellanos M T, Cartagena M C, Tarquis A M, Lark R M. 2010. Investigating the effect of historical treatments on wheat yield over multiple spatial frequencies. Biogeosciences, 7, 2739–2747. 
  • Milne A E, Webster R, Lark R M. 2010. Spectral and wavelet analysis of gilgai patterns from air photography. Australian Journal of Soil Research, 48, 309–325. 
  • Benjamin L R, Milne A E, Parsons D J, Lutman P J. 2010. A model to simulate the growth, development and competitive effect of weeds in winter wheat for use in a weed management decision support system. Crop Protection, 29(11), 1264—1273.
  •  Milne A E,  Macleod C J A, Haygarth P M, Hawkins J M B, Lark R M. 2009. The Wavelet Packet transform: a technique for investigating temporal variation of river water solutes. Journal of Hydrology, 379, 1 19.
  •  Milne A E, Lark R M. 2009. Wavelet Transforms Applied to Irregularly Sampled Soil Data. Mathematical Geosciences, 41(6), 661 – 678.
  • Benjamin L R, Milne A E, Parsons D J, Cussans J, Lutman P J. 2009. Using stochastic dynamic programming to support weed management decisions over a rotation. Weed Research, 49, 207 – 216. 
  • Parsons D J, Benjamin L R, Mayes A, Milne A E, Tatnell L, Wilkinson D J. 2009. Weed Manager – a model based decision support system for weed management in arable crops. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture, 65, 155-167. 
  • Milne A E, Paveley N D, Audsley E, Parsons D J. 2007. A model of the effect of fungicides on disease-induced yield loss, for use in wheat disease management decision support systems. Annals of Applied Biology, 151, 113-125. 
  • Milne A E, Ferguson R B, Lark R M. 2006. Estimating a boundary line model for a biological response by maximum likelihood. Annals of Applied Biology, 149, 223-234. 
  • Milne A E, Wheeler H C, Lark R M. 2006. On testing biological data for the presence of a boundary. Annals of Applied Biology, 149, 213-222. 
  • Stacey K F, Lark R M, Whitmore A P, Milne A E. 2006. Using a process model to improve predictions of a soil variable by regression kriging. Geoderma, 135, 107-117. 
  • Milne A E, Lark R M. 2006. A new method to estimate boundary models for biological data-sets. Proceedings of the Thirty-eighth Meeting of the Agricultural Research Modellers’ Group. Edited by Crompton L. A. & Wheeler T. R.  Journal of Agricultural Science. 144, 449-465.
  • Audsley E, Milne A E, Paveley N D. 2005. A foliar disease model for use in wheat disease management decision support systems. Annals of Applied Biology, 147(2), 161 – 172. 
  • Milne A E, Lark R M, Addiscott T M, Goulding K W T, Webster C P, O’Flaherty S. 2005. Wavelet analysis of the scale- and location-dependent correlation of modelled and measured nitrous oxide emissions from soil.  European Journal of Soil Science, 56 (1) 3 – 18. 

Pre 2005

  • Lark R M, Milne A E, Addiscott T M, Goulding K W T, Webster C P, O’Flaherty S. 2004. Scale- and location-dependent correlation of nitrous oxide emissions with soil properties: an analysis using wavelets. European Journal of Soil Science, 55 (3) 611 - 628. 
  • Lark R M, Milne A E, Addiscott T M, Goulding K W T, Webster C P, O’Flaherty S. 2004. Analysing spatially intermittent variation of nitrous oxide emissions from soil with wavelets and the implications for sampling. European Journal of Soil Science, 55 (3) 601 – 610. 
  • Milne A E,  Paveley N D, Audsley E, Livermore PA. 2003. Wheat Canopy Model For Use In Disease Management Decision Support Systems. Annals of Applied Biology, 143, 265-274.
  • Milne A E, Chalabi Z S. 2001. Control analysis of the Rose-Hindmarsh Model for neural activity. IMA Journal of Mathematics Applied in Medicine and Biology. 8 (1), 53-75.                      
  • Milne A E, Chalabi Z S. 1998. Stability analysis of the FitzHugh-Nagumo differential equations driven by impulses: Applied to the electrical firing of the magnocellular neurons. IMA Journal of Mathematics Applied in Medicine and Biology. 15, 367-385. 
  • Milne A E Clarkson P A, Bassom A P. 1997. The Application of the Isomonodromy Deformation Method to Fourth Painlevé Equation. Inverse Problems. 13, 421-439. 
  • Albrecht D W, Mansfield E L, Milne A E. 1996. Algorithms for Special Integrals of Ordinary Differential Equations, J. Phys. A: Math. Gen., 29 (5), 973 - 991.
  •  Milne A E, Clarkson P A, Bassom A P. 1996. Bäcklund Transformations and Solution Hierarchies for the Third Painlevé Equation. Studies in Applied Maths, 98, 139-194. 
  • Clarkson P A, Mansfield E L, Milne A E. 1996. On a Generalised Sine-Gordon System. Philosophical Transactions, Royal Society of London, Series A Mathematical Physical and Engineering Sciences 354(1713), 1807 - 1835.

Conference Papers

  • Milne A E, Lehmann J, Solomon D, Neal A, Geraki C, Mosselmans F, Lark R M. 2011. Investigating the spatial variation in soil aggregates at nanometre- to micrometre-scale with the discrete wavelet transform. Pedometrics 2011  book of Abstracts, TÅ?ešt, Czech Republic.
  • Lark R M, Corstanje R, Milne A E. 2008. Quantitative assessment of scale-dependence in analysis of soil data and modelling of soil processes. Geophysical Research Abstracts Vol. 10, EGU2008-A-03382.
  • Davies D H K, Clarke J H, Ginsburg D, Tatnell L V, Lutman P, Mayes A, Milne A, Benjamin D L R, Parsons D J, Wilkinson D J, Parker C G. 2006. ArableDS Weed Manager – Improving decision making in farming. Proceedings Crop Protection in Northern Britain 2006, 213- 218.
  • Lark R M, Milne A E, Pringle M J. The effect of spatial scale when modelling soil processes: approaches based on geostatistics and wavelet analysis. ESF/BSSS/SEERAD funded meeting on Soil Modelling meeting at the University of Aberdeen, 10–13 April 2005.
  • Milne A E, Finnan A P, Miller P C H, Mayes J A. 2004. A spray nozzle selection support system for herbicide applications. Aspects of Applied Biology: International advances in pesticide application, 71, 201:206
  • Davies D H K, Collings L V, Ginsburg D, Clarke, J H, Milne A, Parsons, D J, Wilkinson, D J, Benjamin L, Mayes A, Lutman P J. 2004. Providing a framework for improved management of weeds in arable systems - WMSS. Proceedings Crop Protection in Northern Britain 2004, 195-200.
  • Milne A E, Ellis-Jones J, Parsons D J, Audsley E, Chikoye D. 2004. Optimising the management of Striga hermonthica using stochastic dynamic programming. Proceedings of the EWDA-04 European Workshop for Decision Problems in Agriculture and Natural Resources, Silsoe Research Institute, UK, September 27-28, 2004, 57-69 
  • Collings L V, Ginsburg D, Clarke J H, Milne A E, Parsons D J, Wilkinson D J, Benjamin L R, Mayes A, Lutman P J W, Davies D H K. 2003. WMSS: Improving the precision and prediction of weed management strategies in winter dominant rotations. Proceedings of the BCPC International Congress – Crop Science & Technology, Glasgow, UK, 1, 329-334.
  • Lark R M, Milne A E. 2002The adapted maximal overlap discrete wavelet transform: a tool for understanding complex soil processes. Proceedings of Theoretical Developments and Applications of Spatial Analysis in the Environmental, Earth and Agricultural Sciences, GeoStats - UK 2002.
  • Milne A E, Lark R M. 2002 Spatial variability of nitrous oxide emissions from field samples. British Society of Soil Science, Seal-Hayne, University of Plymouth, UK 2002.
  • Milne A E, Audsley E, Parsons D J, Paveley N D. 2001. A decision support system to advise farmers on appropriate fungicide application to protect winter wheat from foliar diseases. Proceedings of EFITA 2001, third European conference of the European Federation for information technology in agriculture, food and the environment, 1, 49- 50.
  • Annetts J E , Audsley E, Sandars D L Milne A E. 2001. Measures: Multiple environment outcomes from agricultural systems. Proceedings of EFITA 2001, third European conference of the European Federation for information technology in agriculture, food and the environment, 1, 77- 83.
  • Audsley E, Annetts J E, Milne A E. 2001 Regional climate change impact and response studies in East Anglia and the North West. Proceedings of EFITA 2001, third European conference of the European Federation for information technology in agriculture, food and the environment, 1, 83-89.
  • Milne A E, Cooper K, Schofield C P. 1999. The feeding control of growing pigs. proceedings of IMACS/IFAC third international symposium on mathematical modelling and simulation in agricultural and bio-industries, 27-30.
  • Milne A E, Audsley E,  Paveley N D. 2000. Dessac: a decision support system for arable crops. Journal of Agricultural science, 135, 323.

Qualifications

Measures of esteem

2014

  • Member EGU

2013

  • Member BES
  • PhD Supervision: PhD title "Modelling the causes of spatial and temporal variation in annual grass weeds in fields for precision weed management"
  • Research day talk: I was invited to give a talk at Rothamsted's Reseach Day.

2012

  • Member BSSS

0

  • EGU conference: I have been invited to co-convene a session on communicating uncertainty at the EGU conference in Vienna 2014