PGR Student News – Autumn 2023

Berglind Karlsdóttir is currently working hard to launch her survey on the impacts of tree planting on human values and wellbeing. The survey will focus on three case study areas where tree planting has or will transform the landscape significantly. It includes a fun mapping exercise, allowing locals to mark out their favourite local natural spaces. She will be going to her case study areas to advertise her survey by distributing posters and flyers throughout October. Berglind is also wrapping up her literature review paper for submission and will be submitting it for publication in the next few weeks. 

Josh Davis is currently finalising project and ethical approval for his PhD research which addresses shifts in skills and knowledge required to scale nature-based recovery across England. As we move into the new year, his focus is on finalising a semi-systematic review of agents of change: uncovering intricacies, creating opportunities, offering incentives, or removing barriers for skills acquisition and development in scaling nature recovery.

Outside the academic realm and building upon earlier internship findings, Josh remains in contact with Nattergal Limited as they implement best-practice recommendations for public and stakeholder engagement – fostering collaboration and ensuring representation in the journey to restore natural landscapes. Lastly, Josh is working alongside researchers at the University of Bristol in exploring consumer perceptions of integrated agri-aquacultural practices across the UK, and hopes to share these insights in a manuscript shortly.

Nikki Yoxall has been undertaking data collection for her PhD over recent months with both farmers and agriculture stakeholders across the UK. 

On farm walking interviews have produced a rich narrative relating to the role of nature connectedness and peer learning in the agroecological transition. Stakeholders have been undertaking Q-Sort activities – a methodology that combines quantitative and qualitative techniques to study subjectivity. 

Nikki has also been contributing to Scottish Government policy development activities in preparation for a new agriculture payment structure in 2025-26 and recently delivered the key note speech at the Herefordshire Meadows Forum giving an overview of grassland related research and its role in the transformation of our food and farming systems.   

Pippa Simmonds recently started a Fellowship at the Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology (POST), where she’s researching green skills in education and employment. She’s enjoying learning more about the science-policy interface and exploring Westminster with her fellow Fellows. She recently attended the RGS conference, where she co-convened a session with Damian Maye on the concept of a just transition for agri-food. In the summer, Pippa published a website with a selection of photos and captions from the Photovoice project she ran with a group of UK livestock farmers last year- you can check out their farming stories here.

Adam Fisher has recently finished writing up his PhD Thesis and has been appointed a role within CCRI in supporting a number of fisheries related research projects. This builds upon Adam’s skillset as his PhD focussed on recreational sea angling.