Stephen Whitfield

Lecturer: Climate Change & Food Security, University of Leeds

My main research interests are in socio-politics of agri-food systems and the multiple priorities and challenges associated with these systems, both in the UK and overseas.

I am currently working on a project on documenting change in agricultural practice in the Yorkshire Dales, with particular emphasis on the role of agricultural subsidy reform in guiding these changes.

In recent research I have taken a critical political look at conservation agriculture as a climate smart agricultural development pathway in Zambia and Malawi. My PhD research took a multi-sited and critical look at how knowledge and narratives of future change in Kenyan maize agriculture are constructed by a variety of actors; including crop breeders, climate scientists, biotechnology regulators, and smallholder farmers. In both cases, I was asking who is framing development agendas, through what narratives, on the basis of what evidence and assumptions, and with what implications?

I have worked on projects in the UK as well as in Africa and Latin America and have a broad interest in agricultural development, climate change adaptation, natural resource management and ecosystem services.

Experience

  • –present
    Lecturer: Climate Change & Food Security, University of Leeds