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Nicolas Carton

Postdoctoral researcher in cropping systems diversification - research group Cropping Systems Ecology.


I am an agronomist with enthusiasm for diversification of cropping systems making use of interactions between plant species: crop rotations, intercrops, cover crops, living mulches. I focused my early research on weed control and productivity using a combination of analytic and systemic approaches. I am integrating a broader agroecological perspective including farmers' experiments in the cultivation of pulses and the assessment of cropping system sustainability .

My motivation is to contribute to the transition towards cropping systems including more legumes, especially for human food, given their benefits for the reduction of inputs and their importance for enjoyable and environmentally conscious diets.


I've been teaching plant anatomy, botany and weed identification to BSc students. I also presented my research work in a pedagogical way to several MSc students groups.  I gave lectures on the topic “EU protein Deficit : How did we get there? What solutions?” and on integrated weed management, with a crop diversification perspective.



During my PhD, I studied : 1) traits involved in competitive ability in lupin and cereals in the early growth phase 2) dynamics of interactions in lupin-cereal intercrops 3) impacts of these interactions on weeds and overall crop productivity.

Now postdoctoral researcher at SLU since May 2018:

Within the European H2020 project DiverIMPACTS I'm working on a field experiment analysing production performances and sustainability of an organic 6-years rotations with an intensive use of legumes in intercrops and cover crops.

Within the project Swedish Organic Lentils, we test different lentil varieties, mechanical weeding, companion plants species and densities. We focus on production performances and weed control to facilitate integration of lentil in Swedish organic cropping systems.

I am leading a study on the nutritional quality of grain legumes cultivated in sole crop vs. intercropped with cereals.

Within the project New Legume Foods, we work closely with farmers trying new legume crops or new practises involving grain legumes. We investigate how researchers and farmers can best collaborate in the design, management and evaluation of on-farm experiments to increase the production of Swedish grain legumes for food.


I am working closely with innovative farmers. I aim at gradually including a closer link to various stakeholders within my research.


- MSc in Agroecology (Université de Lorraine, 2014): knowledge of agroecological concepts and practises.
- Ing. in agronomy – Sustainable development of agricultural supply chains (ENSAIA, Nancy, 2014): broad education about agriculture (socio-economic and environmental aspects), training of professional skills.
- MSc thesis: Cropping systems integrating a perennial or semi-perennial legume cover crop

- PhD in Agricultural Sciences (Université d’Angers, 2017): Interactions resulting from additive intercropping of lupin with a cereal: effects on weeds and productivity


During my PhD I co-supervised two MSc theses and several student projects at Bachelor level. During my postdoc I supervised one BSc thesis and one practical research training.

Selected publications


Publications list: