Jules is a researcher and practitioner in international development with training in agricultural economics, environmental economics, environmental management and ecology. He has worked extensively as a consultant on agriculture, food security, climate change and rural livelihoods – including stints living in Ethiopia, Senegal and Tanzania – and publishes academic and policy papers based on his experience coupled with desk-based research.
His research examines options to foster livelihoods that meet human needs while respecting environmental constraints, notably in the global South. One thematic focus is approaches to agriculture that are both productive and ‘climate smart’. Another is technological innovations that promise win-win outcomes vis-a-vis income, human health and planetary health. This work involves gathering empirical evidence using mixed methods, combining quantitative and qualitative data, and emphasising the voices of villagers and local practitioners.
His current research centres on ‘functional foods’ such as edible algae. One aspect is understanding the strengths and weaknesses of these foods, namely their economic performance, health effects and environmental impacts. This includes how they might help address global threats like food insecurity, environmental degradation, climate change and pandemics. Another aspect involves obstacles to the wider uptake of these foods – and cultivation of the relevant crops – and how they might be overcome.