PGR Student News – Summer 2022

The summer of 2022 has seen our PhD students completing fieldwork and writing their theses, as well as making the most of the warm weather on leave. 

Pippa Simmonds has been focusing on data collection in recent months, spending time interviewing livestock farmers about the public debates around ruminants and climate. She recently spent two weeks in Northumberland and Cumbria – check out #pipsfieldworkjournal on Twitter for some photos and reflections. Pippa also recently presented her media analysis work at the European Society for Agricultural and Food Ethics conference in Edinburgh, generating lively discussion on the role of news media in polarised debates. She’s now looking forward to facilitating a participatory photo project with a group of livestock farmers, having completed training on the methodology last summer.

Aimee Morse and Theo Lenormond presented a paper at the OECD-sponsored Satoyama Initiative conference, held at the RAU on 27th-29th June. They drew on their fieldwork in Wales to explore how north Wales could be considered a socio-ecological production landscape. They are currently developing this paper for submission to a special issue of Landscape Research.  

Aimee also recently presented her PhD findings to Natural England. In addition, she was invited to speak at the first Welsh Game Fair (9th-11th September) on policymakers’ engagement with farmers and land managers in Wales. 

A man looks at fruit and vegetables at a market in France
A French Market – Courtesy of Theo Lenormond

Theo is now in the final year of his PhD and is spending much of his time analysing and writing up his findings. Over the summer however, he did spend some time conducting an analysis of the Welsh Government’s draft future agricultural policy – its Sustainable Farming Scheme (SFS). Theo’s findings are available on his blog. He concluded that “the vision is more promising and holistic than England albeit we need clarification on a number of points and some adaptations”. Theo will keep participating in the co-design process and has already written a detailed analysis of the SFS. Linked to this he will be organising a panel discussion along with three colleagues Aimee Morse, Lydia Beaman and Prof. Janet Dwyer as part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science. With members of the sector and expert-panellists they will discuss the SFS and whether the draft policy could reach its goal. He is also working on an article which he will present at the French Society of Agri-Economists conference in December.

Caitlin Hafferty will be a guest speaker at the forthcoming Consultation Institute (tCI) Connect 2022 conference, on the 6th October at America Square in London. She will be talking about the role of public engagement for shaping green agendas, attitudes, and behaviours.

Caitlin has also been busy writing up her thesis in the final few weeks of her PhD, before starting an exciting new role as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oxford at the end of September. This is a wonderful opportunity for her and the whole CCRI wish her well as she embarks on what will no doubt be a successful academic career.