Dr. Groot specialized in farming systems analysis, model-based landscape planning and design, and participatory modelling and gaming. He holds a PhD in Agronomy and MScs in grassland science, animal physiology and tropical animal husbandry. He performed post-doc research in national and international projects concerning nutrient cycling, modeling of sustainability indicators and design of mixed farms in multifunctional landscapes dominated by dairy farming systems. In the EULACIAS project he coordinated model development in a cooperative team effort with universities in Mexico, Uruguay and Argentina.
The models developed by the research group constitute the COMPASS framework, which comprises models at field, farm and landscape levels. The tools combine models of complex biological processes (e.g., soil water and organic matter dynamics, animal species dispersal in landscapes) with economic calculations and algorithms from operations research (in particular evolutionary algorithms and other optimization approaches). All the models in the COMPASS framework and its applications in various case studies have been published in peer-reviewed journal papers.
Dr Groot participated in two large projects on multifunctional agriculture (MULTAGRI for EU-FP6 and a cooperative WUR-INRA project), published various papers on this topic and co-edited two journal special issues on multifunctional agriculture in Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment (Volume 120, 2007) and Journal of Environmental Management (Volume 90, Supplement 2, 2009).
The research in multifunctional agriculture was conducted in multi-disciplinary projects involving agronomists, ecologists, landscape scientists, sociologists and economists. Dr. Groot played an important role in bridging the disciplinary divides in research and stakeholder-oriented processes. Models played an important role in these processes, as tools for integration of diverse disciplinary knowledge and data to foster mutual understanding among researchers, and as boundary objects to inform decision-making and discussions between researchers, stakeholders in the landscape and policy makers.
Currently, Dr Groot has a coordinating role in integrated farming systems analysis addressing multi-scale issues of productivity, natural resource management, human nutrition and gender equity for CGIAR Research Programs. Project sites are located in Asia (e.g. Nepal, Bangladesh), Africa (e.g., Ghana, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Malawi) and Latin America (e.g., Ecuador, Uruguay and Mexico).