Ruth Little is a qualitative social scientist specialising in agricultural and food-related research. Since 2012, Ruth has divided her time between the University of Sheffield and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), first working with the Animal and Plant Health Evidence and Analysis (APHEA) team and latterly with the Environmental Land Management team on the redesign of the post-Brexit agricultural payments system.
Her research has included a focus on animal and plant health management, policy evaluation and piloting innovative approaches to increase involvement of stakeholders and the wider public in decision-making on policies related to agriculture and the environment. Ruth has recently been awarded an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) grant under the Governance After Brexit programme to analyse the future development of agri-environmental policies.
Ruth has over 15 years research experience conducting interdisciplinary agri-food projects funded by the Rural Economy and Land Use Programme (RELU), the ESRC and Defra. Before this, Ruth completed her PhD in collaboration with the Soil Association on collective food purchasing groups and food co-ops.