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): (Spanish) (English)
  • 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

Pastoralism; Organic Farming; 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 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


Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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Research Output 2011 2017

Peasant Farming as a Refuge in Times of Crises

Hilmi, A. & Burbi, S. 10 Jul 2017 In : Development. 59, 3-4, p. 229-236 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

national economy
financial crisis
carbon sequestration
ecosystem service
land use change
2 Citations

Achieving successful farmer engagement on greenhouse gas emission mitigation

Burbi, S., Baines, R. N. & Conway, J. S. 16 Mar 2016 In : International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability. 14, 4, p. 466-483 18 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Climate change

Agroecología: ¿Mito o realidad?: El ejemplo del Reino Unido

Burbi, S. 21 Sep 2016

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Effect of three agroecological feeding strategies on the yield and composition of crossbred cows’ milk in the Mexican tropics

Sarabía, L. S., Briceño, E., Ayala, B. A., Aguilar, P. C., Fiebrig, I., Burbi, S. & Solorio Sánchez, F. J. Sep 2016

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther

milk production

Activities 2015 2016

  • 3 Participation in conference
  • 3 Participation in workshop, seminar, course
  • 3 Publication peer-review
  • 1 Invited talk

Land degradation and development (Journal)

Burbi, S. (Peer Reviewer)

Activity: Publication peer-review

Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture (Journal)

Burbi, S. (Peer Reviewer)

Activity: Publication peer-review

“VII Seminario de Bienes Públicos Globales”

Burbi, S. (Keynote Speaker)
11 Nov 201612 Nov 2016

Activity: Participation in workshop, seminar, course

Actas del XII Congreso SEAE "Legumes: key in organic agroecosystems and organic food"

Burbi, S. (Invited Speaker)
12 Sep 2016

Activity: Participation in conference