Accepting PhD Students

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    Personal profile


    I have worked for over 30 years on sustainable agriculture and food security applied research and development, specialising in building the capacity and resilience of vulnerable communities to natural and man-made disasters, and regeneration of the natural resource base. Sectoral experience covers production and postharvest, agroforestry, food supply and distribution systems, urban agriculture and nutrition, organic and fair trade, bioregional development, research, extension and knowledge systems, and farmer livelihood strategies. I have institutional experience of the United Nations – FAO, IFAD, WB; the EU; the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) – CIP, ICRAF; UK government departments of DEFRA and DFID; and the private and non-governmental sectors. Specific country experience in Europe – UK, Netherlands and Spain; Central and South America – Peru, Mexico, Cuba, Brazil, Jamaica; Asia – Afghanistan, China, Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia; Africa – Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa. I am currently a Deployable Civilian Expert with DFID’s Stabilisation Unit.

    I have a doctorate in Ecological Agriculture, Knowledge Systems and Food Security in Post-Crisis Cuba, from Wageningen University, Wageningen, the Netherlands ( 2005), and am currently Chair of the UK Biodynamic Agriculture Association.

    Research Interests

    Chiefly: Subtle Agroecologies - farming with the hidden half of nature. This is a new discipline that focuses on the invisible dimension of nature in relation to agriculture. It is exploratory, whilst drawing from indigenous practises as well as those from the biodynamic farming system. 

    Also: Cuban farming and food systems; Agriculture and human nutrition; Regenerative agriculture and permaculture; Eco-psychology, green ecology and traditional knowledge systems; Stabilisation Agriculture: Building environmental and social resilience to natural and man-made disasters

    Vision Statement

    Ultimately food and farming research becomes a study of humanity. If we keep at it, and don't  let ourselves get stuck on one particular issue or belief, then we are drawn to the bigger existential questions, and also drawn into a deeper connection with nature. As Buckminster Fuller pointed out, the environmental movement only exists as long as we see nature as being separate from ourselves. For once we recognise that our environment is a reflection of, and part of, ourselves, and that it is conscious, then we would treat it very differently. My research vision is to have fun exploring this, with like minded people.


    Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

    In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

    • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
    • SDG 13 - Climate Action

    Education/Academic qualification

    Agriculture, Doctorate, Ecological Agriculture, Knowledge Systems and Food Security in Post-Crisis Cuba, Wageningen University and Research Centre

    1 Mar 19981 May 2005

    Award Date: 1 May 2005

    Sustainable Agriculture, MSc, Integrated Aquaculture in Southern England, Wye College

    1 Sept 199231 Aug 1993

    Award Date: 1 Sept 1993

    Land and Water Management, Postgraduate Diploma, Land Resource Planning, Cranfield University

    1 Sept 19851 Jun 1986

    Award Date: 1 Jun 1986

    Studies in the Rural Environment, Degree, University of Wales Trinity Saint David

    1 Sept 198231 Aug 1985

    Award Date: 31 Aug 1985

    External positions

    Vice Chair of the Board, The Seed Cooperative

    Oct 2021 → …

    Council Member, Biodynamic Agriculture Association

    1 Nov 2016 → …

    External Examiner, Schumacher College

    1 Sept 20141 Sept 2016

    Board of Trustees, Bioregional Development Group

    1 Jan 20121 Jan 2014

    Editorial Committee Member, International Journal for the Study of Cuba

    1 Jan 2012 → …

    Research Advisory Board Member, Permaculture Association UK

    1 Jan 20122015

    Council Member, Writtle University College

    1 Jan 20121 Jan 2014


    • S Agriculture (General)
    • quantum
    • GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography


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