• 10 Citations
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Personal profile


Dr Sara Burbi is a qualified veterinary surgeon (University of Pisa, Italy) and holds a Masters in International Rural Development (Royal Agricultural University, England). Sara has worked in Latin America on community relief and knowledge exchange programmes. During her PhD (Coventry University, England) she explored issues related with pastoral livestock farming in the South West and West Midlands, with a specific focus on small-scale farmers’ engagement on greenhouse gas emission (GHG) mitigation. She has successfully collaborated with members of the Pasture-Fed Livestock Association and other livestock farmers, and she has designed the Rapid Farm Practices Assessment (RFPA) tool to provide practical advice to farmers on how to improve their farm management in order to mitigate GHG emissions, while creating opportunities for farmers to work as co-researchers in the project by engaging in knowledge exchange activities, receiving feedback from farmers, as their views and comments were extremely important and valuable for the development of the project.


Area of Expertise:

livestock farming, participatory action research



  • Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS)
  • Member of the Italian College of Veterinary Surgeons (Ordine Vet Pisa)
  • Member of Mensa, The High IQ Club; Italian branch
  • International Union for Conservation of Nature – Commission on Ecosystem Management (IUCN – CEM)
  • Latin American Scientific Society of Agroecology (SOCLA): Socla.co (Spanish) Agroeco.org (English)
  • Agroecology Europe (AgroEco)
  • International Farming Systems Association (IFSA), Europe Group
  • European Agroforestry Federation (EURAF)
  • Farm Woodland Forum (EURAF partner in the UK)
  • Pasture-Fed Livestock Association (PFLA), based in the United Kingdom

Research Interests

Grassland Productivity; Animal Nutrition; Organic Farming; Climate Change Impact; Agroforestry, Silvopasture; Farmer Engagement; Agroeocological Livestock Systems; Knowledge Generation and Dissemination

Vision Statement

I am passionate about livestock farming and after graduating in Veterinary Medicine and Surgery in my home country (Italy), I decided to pursue a career in sustainable rural development. I have worked in developing countries and I am a keen traveller, valuing cultural knowledge in various rural settings. I am particularly interested in grassland management and silvopasture, the latter being an agroforestry system with greater potential to mitigate climate change than other farming systems. Furthermore, pastoral, small-scale and family farming are vital in many areas across the world, especially in developing countries, and I believe that we, as a society, need to reconnect with the people who commit their lives to produce healthy, sustainable food adopting agroecological farming principles. We need to value their knowledge by engaging in collaborative projects in order to sustain rural livelihoods and promote agroecological farming practices that could help address the challenges we are facing in relation to climate change and our impact on the environment. My involvement in community engagement projects in Latin America and the United Kingdom highlighted the importance of facilitating knowledge exchange and participatory activities to build social and cultural capital, in order to address the issues of climate change and sustainable agroecological systems, and overcome the social barriers to the development of sustainable rural livelihoods.

Education/Academic qualification

Doctorate, Coventry University

1 Nov 20101 May 2014

MSc, Royal Agricultural University


Degree, University of Pisa


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Research Output 2011 2018

Grassland contribution to carbon sequestration in the LULUCF inventory for Northern Ireland

Olave, R., Fornara, D., Higgins, A. & Burbi, S. 12 Sep 2018

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

carbon sequestration
land use change
land use
Organic agriculture

Supporting farmers in the transition to agroecology to promote carbon sequestration from silvopastoral systems

Burbi, S. & Olave, R. 9 Oct 2018 (Accepted/In press) In : International Journal of Agricultural Extension. 6, 3, p. (In-Press)

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issue

carbon sequestration
forestry modeling
land use change

Supporting farmers in the transition to agroecology to promote carbon sequestration from silvopastoral systems

Burbi, S. & Olave, R. 2 Apr 2018 (Accepted/In press)

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

carbon sequestration
forestry modeling
land use change

The Impact of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Husbandry on the Biophysical Characteristics of Soils in Neotropical Agroecosystems

Pulido, M., Ramírez-Avilés, L., Solorio Sánchez, F. J., Fiebrig, I. & Burbi, S. 19 Apr 2018 In : Soil Systems. 2, 2, 13 p., 24

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Open Access
animal husbandry
veterinary medicine
dung beetles

Activities 2015 2018

PRP Independent Chair

Burbi, S. (Examiner)
1 Nov 2018

Activity: Examination

Sustainability (Journal)

Burbi, S. (Peer Reviewer)
8 Mar 2018

Activity: Publication peer-review

Sustainability (Journal)

Burbi, S. (Peer Reviewer)
5 Aug 2018

Activity: Publication peer-review

Sustainability (Journal)

Burbi, S. (Peer Reviewer)
8 Oct 2018

Activity: Publication peer-review