My research focus is agriculture and climate change, and specifically the application of qualitative methodologies to identify, categorise and seek solutions to improve the implementation of sustainable farming practice. I am an ecologist by training, and also hold a degree in Economics and Politics. My recent roles have been focused on sustainable farming, particular in relation to livestock systems and climate change. I am currently a lecturer on the BioInnovation Wales project, delivering postgraduate distance learning courses to professionals in the agri-food sector. This is a secondment from my position as a Post-doctoral Research Associate, a role in which I worked on the Climate Smart Agriculture Wales project. My work included planning and undertaking qualitative research examining stakeholders' views of challenges to the implementation of climate-friendly farming in Welsh livestock agriculture and how these might be overcome, and reporting on the knowledge resources available to farmers in relation to climate risks and adaptation. I was previously engaged in the MACSUR knowledge hub project, which aimed to enhance European capacity in agricultural modelling of the impacts of, and adaptations to, climate change. I managed the livestock and grassland modelling theme, involving partners from 30 institutes across 14 European countries and, among other outputs, delivered three key position papers on research challenges and priorities. I have previously worked as a researcher on the Skomer Island National Nature Reserve, studying reproductive success in cliff nesting birds, and as a wildlife ranger at several nationally important sites in the UK.
My current research focuses on developing a better understanding of processes of stakeholder engagement in agricultural research, including the use of grounded theory methods to analyse data from interviews and published texts. Recent work includes building conceptual frameworks defining key categories of challenges and solutions for the implementation of climate-friendly farming practices, an assessment of climate change adaptation advice for Welsh livestock farmers, and a report estimating the mitigation potential and available approaches to mitigation in the livestock sector. I was engaged through the MACSUR project in leading the development of key position papers relating to livestock and grassland modelling in the context of climate change (see publications) with the aim of using the expertise of the wide consortium of partners to define European research priorities for these fields. This approach included a particular focus on highlighting opportunities for work across disciplines and between modelling and non-modelling research communities, tying in with my interest in how groups with different world views and priorities can work effectively together to tackle problems and build resilience to common challenges such as climate change. My research background includes a PhD in pollination ecology (investigating pollination niches in UK grasslands) and study of the reproductive success of cliff-nesting seabirds at the Skomer Island nature reserve in Pembrokeshire. My interests in ecology and evolutionary process, and my current work on stakeholder engagement give me a broad range of experience as a multi-disciplinary researcher with a strong interest in interactions at the boundaries of different ecological and social systems.
Lecturer in Sustainable Supply Systems, BioInnovation Wales project (Secondment)
I am currently working on the BioInnovation Wales project, delivering a distance learning module on Sustainable Supply Systems. The project provides postgraduate courses for professionals in the agri-food sector in Wales and beyond, and is funded by the European Social Fund..