Personal profile

Overview

Interdisciplinary scholar trained in social sciences and environmental studies.

My work at UH is based in the Food Systems and Policy Research Group, at the Centre for Agriculture, Food and Environmental Management (CAFEM).

Research interests

I have broad research interests around environmental change including in climate change communication, energy sustainability transitions, environmental peacebuilding and transboundary water management. 

My current work at UH is on the UKRI (BBSRC) Transforming UK Food Systems project 'Thinking beyond the can': Mainstreaming UK-grown beans in healthy meals (BeanMeals).

This project explores systemic innovation across the UK food system with the introduction of novel UK-bred 'quick cooking' navy bean varieties developed at Warwick University Crop Centre for UK growing conditions.

As part of the project, the beans have been introduced into school meals in six primary schools in Leicester and Leicestershire, in collaboration with the City and County Councils and The Soil Association Food for Life. The school children received a wide range of educational interventions to encourage uptake, including the development of a bean board game.

My research focuses on two aspects of the project:

a) the policy drivers, opportunities and barriers across the food system to introducing and mainstreaming UK-grown pulses. This includes policy around school meals, public procurement, food innovation and agricultural policy;

b) lived experience fieldwork with families from the schools to observe whether the school intervention activities and family cooking sessions with beans can also drive household dietary change. This work also explores the wider barriers and opportunities to introduce dried pulses as part of a low fat, salt and sugar diet across diverse communities.

My research is also supported by Dr Angela Dickinson at the UH Centre for Public Health and Community Care (CRIPACC).

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From 2021 - 2022, I was based at University of Warwick Centre for Interdiscipinary Methodologies (CIM) where I worked with Professor Maria Puig de la Bellacasa on the AHRC grant, Ecological Belongings: transforming soil cultures through science, art and activism.  We have  forthcoming publications exploring soil-human relations. 

From 2013 - 2015, I completed post-doctoral fellowship at the Interdisciplinary Centre in Herzliya, Israel, with Professor Yael Parag on the EU Marie Curie grant, "STESS – socio technical approach to energy service security". We conducted survey research and analysis on the barriers and opportunitites for the uptake of new energy saving technologies in Israel. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Teaching specialisms

I have been a guest lecturer on postgraduate courses on research methods, sustainability transitions, climate change communication, environmental peacebuilding and human soil relations.

This  includes at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies (where I was also a teaching assistant during my doctoral studies), De Montfort University (where I held a visiting research fellowship 2017-2020) and from 2023, at Schumacher College in Devon, UK. 

Commercial and public engagement

Director, Corporate Watch. Research and advocacy cooperative examining the ethical and environmental behaviour of large corporations. Oxford, UK. 2000-2005. 

Advisory Council, ASEED Europe. Amsterdam. 2001-2005.

Resource co-ordinator, Alternative Information Centre (AIC). Jerusalem. 2006 - 2007.

Researcher and Impact Producer, Six Inches of Soil. A documentary feature film about regenerative farming and agroecology. 2020 - ongoing. Due for release early 2024.  

I have ten years experience working as a freelance researcher and project manager for British and international environmental and animal welfare advocacy groups including Changing Markets Foundation, Ecostorm, Feedback Global, Compassion in World Farming, World Animal Protection, Eurogroup for Animals, Beyond GM and Greenpeace International. 

Education/Academic qualification

Environmental Studies, PhD, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

20072014

International Development, MA (Econ), The University of Manchester

19971998

Social Anthropology, BA (Econ), The University of Manchester

19941997

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