School of Earth and Environment

Lindsay C. Stringer Prof Lindsay C. Stringer

Professor in Environment and Development

Telephone number: +44(0) 113 34 37530
Email address:
Room: 9.105
Twitter: @LindsayStringer


Lindsay's research advances understanding of human-environment relationships focusing on: 1) the links between livelihoods and environment; and 2) science, policy and environmental governance and the practical and policy mechanisms that can advance sustainable development. Her work is interdisciplinary and uses theories and methods from both the natural and social sciences. Lindsay’s research has enhanced understanding of the drivers, processes, trade-offs and relationships within socio-ecological systems, particularly in the world’s drylands, and has demonstrated significant engagement with research users, being instrumental in informing international policy interventions through the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).

Lindsay has worked and travelled in Africa, Asia, Europe and South America. She has published numerous peer-reviewed articles in leading international journals, as well as book chapters, working papers, book reviews, magazine articles and policy reports. She has also presented her work at international conferences across the world. In addition, Lindsay has an international consultancy reputation, having undertaken commissioned work on several occasions for the United Nations, as well as for the UK Government's Department for International Development and other agencies and organisations.

Lindsay has recently been involved in projects funded by bodies such as the UK's Joint Research Councils (NERC, ESRC, BBSRC) under the Rural Economy and Land Use Programme, the European Commission (Framework Programmes 6 and 7), the British Academy, the Climate and Development Knowledge Network, the Economics of Land Degradation Initiative, and DfID/NERC/ESRC under the Ecosystem Services and Poverty Alleviation Programme.

Current research projects include:

  • Advancing knowledge on the costs, benefits, trade-offs of sustainable land management in southern Africa’s rangelands (Funded through the Economics of Land Degradation (ELD) Initiative). This project assess the costs, benefits and trade-offs associated with different land uses and management strategies in rangeland systems in southern Botswana.
  • Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy (CCCEP). CCCEP is funded by the ESRC. I am involved in research on adaptation to climate change and human development. This programme aims to advance our understanding of the socio-economic impacts of climate change, the capacity of public and private decision-makers to adapt, and the policy responses needed to reduce the costs of climate change on social and economic development.
  • Catastrophic shifts in drylands: how can we prevent ecosystem degradation? (CASCADE) This project is funded through EU FP7. The aim of CASCADE is to obtain a better understanding of sudden ecosystem shifts that may lead to major losses in biodiversity and ecosystem services, and to define measures that can be used to prevent such shifts.
  • Sustainable Liquid Biofuels from Biomass Biorefining (SUNLIBB). SUNLIBB is funded through EU FP7 and brings together researchers and industrial innovators to overcome technical barriers for second generation bioethanol production. The project aims to ensure that the new processes developed fulfil sustainability requirements across environmental, social and economic dimensions and is working in cooperation with CEProBIO, Brazil.

Recently completed projects include:

  • Assessing institutional and governance partnerships for climate compatible development in southern Africa (Funded through CDKN). This project identifies and analyses successful climate compatible development models and institutional and governance partnership activities involving different stakeholders in complex and dynamic governance and political-economic contexts in sub-Saharan Africa. It focuses specifically on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
  • Managing land for carbon in southern Africa: Relationships between carbon, livelihoods and ecosystem services(Funded through the DFID/NERC/ESRC Ecosystem Services and Poverty Alleviation programme, part of the Living with Environmental Change Programme). This project considers carbon stores and fluxes relating to soil and vegetation along a transect through Namibia-Botswana-Zambia-Malawi, examining tradeoffs between land use shifts, the continued provision of ecosystem services and the ways they link to livelihoods of the poor.
  • Involved: What makes stakeholder participation work? (Funded by the British Academy). This project investigates what makes stakeholder participation in environmental management work. By understanding why different approaches work in different contexts, more appropriate participatory processes can be designed.
  • Sustainable Uplands: Transforming Knowledge for Upland Change (Funded through the Joint Research Councils' Rural Economy and Land Use programme). This project develops new approaches that can stimulate knowledge exchange, learning and innovation between researchers, policy makers, businesses, local stakeholders and the wider public with an interest in Upland Sustainability.
  • Desertification Mitigation and Remediation of Degraded Land (DESIRE- funded through EU FP6). This project examines alternative strategies for the use, protection and rehabilitation of 18 international desertification 'hotspots' and brings together 28 research institutions, non-governmental organisations and policy makers from all over the world.
  • Sustainable delivery of pollination services for African food production. (Funded through the DFID/NERC/ESRC Ecosystem Services and Poverty Alleviation programme). This project aims to identify the knowledge gaps and scientific challenges currently hampering the sustainable delivery of crop pollination and honey production services to rural Sub-Saharan Africa.

Lindsay is also involved in PhD student supervision in the Climate Compatible Development Partnership.


BSc Geography (University of Sheffield); MSc Environmental Monitoring and Assessment in Drylands (University of Sheffield); PhD Geography (University of Sheffield)


Lindsay sits on the editorial board of the journals Land Degradation and Development; Food Security; and Resources. She is an elected advisory board member of international scientific network DesertNet International for which she also chairs the Food Security Working Group, and she represents the University of Leeds in the international OSLO consortium. Lindsay is also a working group member for Global Soil Week and an IPCC reviewer.

Research Interests

Environmental and land use change (including social, political and economic dimensions); land degradation and desertification; participatory processes; livelihood dynamics; environmental governance.

PhD student supervision:

Lindsay is currently supervising/co-supervising the following PhD students:

  • Ms Cecilia De Ita - Factors affecting Environmental Sustainability in Planned Tourism Developments: The Case of Cancun, Mexico (Co-supervised with Dr Keith Hamer; funded by Conacyt)
  • Mr Nicola Favretto - Powering Mali with sustainable biofuels? Livelihood opportunities and policy challenges of Jatropha curcas (Co-supervised with Prof Andy Dougill; funded by a University of Leeds Overseas Research Scholarship)
  • Mr Jose Octavio Velazquez Gomar - Institutional interactions among biodiversity-related conventions: How interplay management can improve global environmental governance (Co-supervised with Prof Jouni Paavola; funded by Conacyt)
  • Mr Steven Orchard - NGO mangrove restoration interventions and their influence on social capital: implications for climate change adaptation in coastal villages of Vietnam (Co-supervised with Dr Claire Quinn; funded by ESRC/CCCEP)
  • Ms Jami Dixon - A holistic approach to crop and climate prediction to enhance adaptation policy and practice (Co-supervised with Prof Andy Challinor; funded by an ESRC-NERC studentship)
  • Ms Elizabeth Harrison - Assessing lessons from Community-based natural resource management for the implementation of carbon sequestration schemes in Dryland Africa (Co-supervised by Prof Andy Dougill and Dr Deborah Sporton (University of Sheffield); funded by an ESRC White Rose Doctoral Training Centre scholarship)
  • Ms Rebecca Howard - Carbon standards and carbon projects: enquiries for participation, equity and justice in mitigation and development processes (Co-supervised by Dr Anne Tallontire and Dr Rob Marchant (University of York)); funded by an ESRC-NERC studentship)
  • Mr Uche Okpara - Climate, Water and Conflict in the African Lake Chad Basin: Evidence and Proposed Policy Responses (Co-supervised with Prof Andy Dougill; funded by the Nigeria Education Trust Fund Scholarship/University of Nigeria Staff Development Scheme)
  • Mr Ben Wood – Climate compatible development in Malawi; funded by a University of Leeds Research Scholarship (Co-supervised with Prof Andy Dougill and Dr Claire Quinn)
  • Mr Augustin Oyiyole Entonu - Creating markets, enabling environments and frameworks for the deployment and diffusion of low-carbon technologies in Africa (Co-supervised with Prof Jouni Paavola)
  • Mr Gerald Yiran- Hazards and vulnerability to climate change in northern Ghana; funded by a Commonwealth Scholarship (Co-supervised with Prof Andy Challinor)

Completed Leeds-based PhD students:

  • Dr Philip Antwi-Agyei - Vulnerability to climate change in food systems (Co-supervised with Dr Evan Fraser, University of Guelph, Canada and Prof Andy Dougill; funded by a Commonwealth Scholarship)

  • Dr Jen Dyer - Assessing the impacts of biodiesel crop Jatropha curcas on livelihoods in rural Malawi (Co-supervised with Prof Andy Dougill; funded by an ESRC-CASE studentship)

Completed externally supervised PhD students:

  • Dr David Glew - Validating the sustainability of biorenewable replacements for petrochemical products (Co-supervised with Prof Simon McQueen-Mason, University of York; funded by a White Rose studentship). David was based at the University of York, UK.
  • Dr Ian Duvenage – Sustainability frameworks for biofuel production in Africa. Ian was based at Bond University, Australia.
  • Dr Julia Leventon- “We don’t eat fish…” Science, policy and governance: the implementation of arsenic limits for drinking water in a Hungarian case study. (Funded by an EU Marie Curie Network Award). Julia was based at the Central European Univesity, Budapest, Hungary. She passed with Summa cum Laude honours.

Lindsay is interested in supervising PhD students with an interest in any of the following themes:

  • Adaptation to environmental (including climate) change;
  • Participatory processes (including a focus on knowledge flows and social learning) in managing natural resources and social-ecological systems;
  • Sustainability and livelihood implications of biofuel cultivation and land use changes;
  • Synergy and multiple benefits in implementing global policies to address environmental change (e.g. UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, UN Convention to Combat Desertification, UN Convention on Biodiversity, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation - REDD).