Dr Stephen Whitfield
- Position: Associate Professor of Climate Change and Food Security
- Email: S.Whitfield@leeds.ac.uk
- Location: 11.112 School of Earth and Environment
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 lead Theme A 'Building the Evidence Base for Climate Smart Agri-Food Systems' of the new GCRF-AFRICAP Programme (Agricultural and Food-system Resilience: Increasing Capacity and Advising Policy) led by the University of Leeds.
I also lead the White Rose PhD network ‘Advancing a Social Science of Agri-Food System Sustainability' and co-lead the 'Agricultural Climate Resilience to El-Nino in sub-Saharan Africa (ACRES)' project.
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.
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
- School of Earth and Environment 'Blended Learning' Officer
- Member of the Cross-Faculty Research Ethics Committee
- Associate Director of the Global Food and Environment Institute
- Agricultural and Food-system Resilience: Increasing Capacity and Advising Policy (GCRF-AFRICAP)
- Conservation Agriculture in Southern Africa
- IPACE-Malawi: Improving Preparedness to Agro-Climatic Extremes in Malawi
- PhD, Development Studies, Institute of Development Studies/STEPS Centre, University of Sussex
- MSc, Environment and International Development, University of East Anglia
- BA (Hons), Geography, Sidney Sussex College, University of Cambridge
I run the second year Undergraduate module 'People, Environment and Sustainability'
I contribute to the Masters module 'Critical Perspectives in Environment and Development'
Current PhD Students:
- Louise Beveridge (NERC DTP CASE Award funded) Pathways to Food Security and Climate Change Adaptation in Latin America.
- Pierre Moorsom (Priestley International Centre for Climate funded) Farmer-to-Farmer Innovation in Climate Smart Agriculture in Malawi.
- Jonas Cromwell (ESRC White Rose DTP funded) Resilience and Food Waste in East African Supply Chains.
- Laura Arenas-Calle (CGIAR-CCAFS funded) co-supervisor. Assessing Trade-Offs in Climate Smart Agriculture: Conservation Agriculture and Alternate Wetting and Drying
- Thirze Hermans (NERC DTP funded) secondary supervisor. Conservation Agriculture and Climate Resilience in sub-Saharan Africa. Commences October 2017
Research groups and institutes
- Environment and Development
- Climate Science and Impacts