Department of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences
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.
I am currently a lecturer on the BioInnovation Wales project, delivering postgraduate distance learning courses to professionals in the agri-food sector, including leading on modules exploring Sustainable Supply Systems and Public Goods. Previously, I worked on the Climate Smart Agriculture Wales project, 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 a comparison of knowledge exchange approaches in Wales and Uruguay, 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.
Through the MACSUR project I led the development of key position papers relating to livestock and grassland modelling in the context of climate change (see publications) 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
I am currently working as a Lecturer in Sustainable Supply Systems on the BioInnovation Wales project, delivering post-graduate level distance learning modules. The project produces courses for professionals in the agri-food sector in Wales and beyond, and is funded by the European Social Fund..