Lindsay's research advances understanding of human-environment relationships focusing on: the links between livelihoods and environment; science, policy and environmental governance; and the practical and policy mechanisms that can advance sustainable development.
In 2013, Lindsay was awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize for her work on environmental change and sustainable development in drylands. She was co-Director and then Director of the Sustainability Research Institute from 2011-2014.
Lindsay’s research is interdisciplinary and uses theories and methods from both the natural and social sciences. Her work engages significantly with research users. Lindsay is currently a Coordinating Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) Regional Assessment for Africa, as well as Lead Author for the IPBES Land Degradation and Restoration Assessment. She is a member of the Economics of Land Degradation Initiative working group on Options and Pathways to Action and chairs the Independent Task Force of the CGIAR’s Research Programme on Dryland Systems.
Lindsay has published more than 90 peer-reviewed articles in leading international journals, as well as book chapters, working papers, book reviews, magazine articles and policy reports. She has recently been involved in projects funded by bodies such as the UK's Joint Research Councils (NERC, ESRC, BBSRC) under the Rural Economy and Land Use Programme, the Leverhulme Trust, the European Commission (Framework Programmes 6 and 7), the British Academy, the Climate and Development Knowledge Network, the Leverhulme Trust, the Economics of Land Degradation Initiative (through GIZ - Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit), and DfID/NERC/ESRC under the Ecosystem Services and Poverty Alleviation and Future Climate For Africa Programmes.