Dr Harriet Elizabeth Smith

Dr Harriet Elizabeth Smith


I am an interdisciplinary environmental scientist, with experience working in East and Southern Africa. My research focusses on human-environment interactions, with specific interests in sustainable livelihoods, climate smart agriculture, ecosystem services, land use change, sustainable energy systems and natural resource governance.

I am currently working as a Research Fellow on the GCRF-AFRICAP project, which focusses on building resilient agricultural systems in Southern Africa.

Prior to moving to Leeds, I worked as an Independent Research Consultant for the World Bank, and as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Edinburgh. In Edinburgh, I worked on the ESPA-ACES project, which examined the links between land use change and the wellbeing of the rural poor in Mozambique. My research applied an ecosystem service approach to assess how land use intensification affects multidimensional wellbeing and rural inequalities. I also examined how urban growth and energy transitions (from firewood to charcoal) affect opportunities for rural income generating strategies.

I have a PhD from the Centre of Environmental Sciences at the University of Southampton, and a MenvSci (Hons) in Environmental Management also from the University of Southampton.

My PhD focused on the charcoal trade in Zomba, a small city in southern Malawi. The research investigated actors’ motivations, roles and livelihood outcomes along the charcoal value chain, examining processes at market, community and individual scales. By viewing the charcoal sector through a livelihoods lens, my research provided evidence and examined its implications for debate surrounding emerging charcoal policies across sub-Saharan Africa.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://environment.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>

Research groups and institutes

  • Environment and Development
  • Sustainability Research Institute
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>