University of Hertfordshire

Dr Frances Harris

Frances Harris

Dr Frances Harris

Postal address:
University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, Hertfordshire
United Kingdom

Expertise

Research interests

My research has always broadly related to food and farming, whether it concerns using the countryside for environmental education, rural livelihoods, or nutrient balances in farming systems. A key theme underpinning all of my research concerns the process of public participation in science, and transdsiciplinary research involving collaboration between academic researchers and practitioners.  My research comes under the following themes:


Environmental education and public understanding of science. Current research focuses on outdoor learning and the relationships between children and nature. Fieldwork concerns educational access and forest school programmes which connect farming and countryside management to educational opportunities. I held a British Science Association media fellowship in 2008, working with BBC radio 4, and have written about science and the media.


Interdisciplinary and Research Practices, incorporating issues of transdisciplinarity and participatory research. Interdisciplinary research methods underpin much of my research on natural resource management in developing countries, and were the focus of DEFRA and ESRC-RELU research projects in the UK. Currently I am working on a grant form the ESRC funded Nexus programme concerning Transdiscplinary environmental research at the food, water, energy and environment nexus: a review of approaches to knowledge co-production. See http://www.thenexusnetwork.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Harris-and-Lyon_pg.pdf


Natural Resource Management, where my interests cover community-based natural resource management, sustainable livelihoods, peri-urban agriculture, soil fertility management in smallholder farming systems, and crop-livestock integration. Farmer-participatory research methods have been employed in fieldwork in the UK, and also developing countries, particularly Nigeria but also other areas of semi-arid west Africa and India, Brazil, Zimbabwe.

 

Building Resilience. Transdisciplinary research project funded by Global Challenges Research Fund looking at Building Resilience to Cataclysmic Events (BRACE). for further information see http://www.bracebhutan.org/