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Postdoctoral Researcher in Conservation, Agriculture and Water Management Policy and Practice, University of Cambridge

Eszter studies the political ecology of environmental management interventions for achieving a 'greener' agriculture and ensuring drinking water supply


PhD: Farming for Subsidies: Lived Realities of Agri-Environment in Hungary, Department of Geography, Cambridge, 2014
MPhil in Environment, Society and Development – 2009 - University of Cambridge
Masters Environmental Law – 2008 – University of Sydney
B Science (Advanced, Honours) – 2007 – University of Sydney

Royal Geographical Society Environment and Sustainability Award 2015
Thinkpiece Grant, The Nexus Network, ESRC & University of Sussex, October 2014
Philip Lake Fund, Department of Geography 2013
Worts Travelling Scholars Fund 2011
Philip Lake Fund 2011
Gates Trust Scholarship 2008, 2009-2013
Half Blue, University of Cambridge, 2009 & 2010
Blue, University of Sydney 2007
Academic Excellence Scholarship, University of Sydney 2006

My research interests are varied. I started research in field ecology and moved into environmental law and policy-making in Australia, focusing on community-based natural resource management. My underlying motivation for engaging in these disparate fields was the common theme of the research-implementation and theory-practice 'gap' in conservation and environmental management, and for unpacking the issue of responsibility for environmental conservation and governance modes for sustainability initiatives more widely.

My PhD focused on these issues in the context of agriculture in the European Union and Hungary, where I drew from political ecology approaches to studying environmental management interventions, to probe how international ideas of rurality and conservation intersected with the cultural and political economies of a post-socialist state. The tensions and divergences between policy goals and discourses that can be widely ascribed as neoliberal, and their implementation through state agencies through tools of surveillance and auditing were investigated through a series of grounded ethnographies with farmers and government agencies, to ascertain how farming practice as well as farmers themselves have had to change as a result of European expectations and laws - as well as how the European project has aided in the strengthening of more traditional notions of the nation-state, as in the case of Hungary.

I am currently a postdoctoral research associate on the ESPA-funded project on the Political Economy of Water Security in the Himalayas with Dr Bhaskar Vira, wherein we critically examine small town urbanisation processes, links between rural and urban spaces, and how these intersect with water supply and livelihoods across a number of case study towns in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand in Northern India, and in Nepal.


  • –present
    Postdoctoral Researcher in Conservation, Agriculture and Water Management Policy and Practice, University of Cambridge


  • 2014 
    University of Cambridge, PhD