Joshua Davis: PhD student

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Josh’s PhD research focuses on shifts in skills and behaviour in the transition from agriculture to nature-based recovery across England.

This PhD is an interdisciplinary project and will utilise mixed methods to investigate and characterise the underlying motivations, incentives, and barriers to local practitioners (farmers, land managers and agricultural advisers) involved in promoting landscape-scale, nature-based recovery.

Specifically, this research aims to identify:

  1. the environmental, collaborative, and commercial skills required to promote landscape-scale, nature-based recovery
  2. how those involved best learn and implement the skills identified, and
  3. the institutional capabilities to enable and support such learning. Finally, this research hopes to address
  4. how any skills identified can be developed in practice, given the scale and urgency required to facilitate ecosystem restoration.

Josh’s PhD is funded by the Education and Evolution Trust (as part of a broader proposal concerning nature recovery involving Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust and Beowulf Rewilding LLP). He is supervised by Associate Professor Chris Short (CCRI), Professor Julie Ingram (CCRI), and Professor Tom Macmillan (RAU).

His wider research interests include the social, economic, legislative, and regulatory obstacles to sustainable land and marine management practices, rewilding, and nature recovery.


  • MSci (University of Bristol).

Additional activities

As an honorary research associate at the University of Bristol, Josh is continuing his research into consumer and stakeholder knowledge, perceptions, and resulting willingness to pay for integrated agri-aquacultural products across the UK; working alongside Dr Rose Murray (UoB), Dr Rosemary Crichton (UoB), and Mr Christopher Cammies (UoB).