Dr Stephen Whitfield
Lecturer: Climate Change & Food Security
+44(0) 113 34
Email address: S.Whitfield@leeds.ac.uk
Affiliation: Sustainability Research Institute
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 am currently working on a project on documenting change in agricultural practice in the Yorkshire Dales, with particular emphasis on the role of agricultural subsidy reform in guiding these changes.
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 managemet and ecosystem services.
2011-2014 PhD (Development Studies)
Institute of Development Studies/STEPS Centre, University of Sussex (supervised by Prof. Ian Scoones) :
‘Negotiating an Uncertain Future: A Multi-Sited Study of Narratives of Kenyan Agricultural Climate Change Adaptation’
Funded through the ESRC Open Competition – In affiliation with the CGIAR’s Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) Group
2008-2009 MSc (Environment and International Development)
University of East Anglia
(+ Winner of UEA School of International Development Postgraduate Dissertation Prize)
2004-2007 BA Honours (Geography)
Sidney Sussex College, University of Cambridge
Part 2 Dissertation: (First Class) (+ Winner of the UK’s Rural Research Group’s Undergraduate Dissertation Prize and the University of Cambridge’s William Vaughan Lewis Prize)
I teach the Undergraduate modules 'Environmental Science for Environmental Management (SOEE1460)' and 'People, Environment and Sustainability (SOEE2371)'
I contribute to the Masters module 'Critical Perspectives in Environment and Development (SOEE5483M)'
- Dougill AJ; Whitfield S; Stringer LC; Vincent K; Wood BT; Chinseu EL; Steward P; Mkwambisi DD (2017) Mainstreaming conservation agriculture in Malawi: Knowledge gaps and institutional barriers, Journal of Environmental Management, 195, pp.25-34. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2016.09.076
- Challinor AJ; Koehler AK; Ramirez-Villegas J; Whitfield S; Das B (2016) Current warming will reduce yields unless maize breeding and seed systems adapt immediately, Nature Climate Change, 6, pp.954-958. doi: 10.1038/nclimate3061
- Whitfield S; Benton TG; Dallimer M; Firbank LG; Poppy GM; Sallu SM; Stringer LC (2015) Sustainability spaces for complex agri-food systems, Food Security, 7, pp.1291-1297. doi: 10.1007/s12571-015-0512-3
- Whitfield S (2015) Adapting to Climate Uncertainty in African Agriculture: Narratives and Knowledge Politics, pp.1-189. doi: 10.4324/9781315725680
- Sumberg J; Anyidoho NA; Chasukwa M; Chinsinga B; Leavy J; Tadele G; Whitfield S; Yaro J (2015) Young people, agriculture, and employment in rural Africa, African Youth and the Persistence of Marginalization: Employment, Politics, and Prospects for Change, pp.111-132.
- Whitfield S; Dougill AJ; Dyer JC; Kalaba FK; Leventon J; Stringer LC (2015) Critical reflection on knowledge and narratives of conservation agriculture, Geoforum, 60, pp.133-142. doi: 10.1016/j.geoforum.2015.01.016
- Whitfield S; Dixon JL; Mulenga BP; Ngoma H (2015) Conceptualising farming systems for agricultural development research: Cases from Eastern and Southern Africa, AGRICULTURAL SYSTEMS, 133, pp.54-62. doi: 10.1016/j.agsy.2014.09.005
- Whitfield S (2014) Weighing up the risks: the challenge of studying "risk" in empirical research, IDS Bulletin, 45, pp.7-17. doi: 10.1111/1759-5436.12079
- Whitfield S (2013) Uncertainty, ignorance and ambiguity in crop modelling for African agricultural adaptation, Climatic Change, 120, pp.249-256. doi: 10.1007/s10584-013-0795-3
- Whitfield S (2012) Evidence-based agricultural policy in Africa: critical reflection on an emergent discourse, Outlook on Agriculture: an international review of agricultural science, economics and policy, 41, pp.249-256. doi: 10.5367/oa.2012.0101
- Whitfield S; Reed MS (2012) Participatory environmental assessment in drylands: Introducing a new approach., Journal of Arid Environments, 77, pp.1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.jaridenv.2011.09.015
- Whitfield S (2012) Open Educational Resources: the challenges of "usability" and copyright clearance, Planet, pp.51-54. doi: 10.11120/plan.2012.00250051
- Whitfield S (2011) Deliberative assessment in complex socioecological systems: recommendations for environmental assessment in drylands, Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 183, pp.465-483. doi: 10.1007/s10661-011-1933-x
- Slee B; Whitfield R; Whitfield S (2011) Discourses of power: The development of small-scale hydropower in North East Scotland, Rural Society, 21, pp.54-64. doi: 10.5172/rsj.2011.21.1.54
- Whitfield S; Reed MS; Thomson K; Christie M; Stringer L; Quinn CH; Anderson R; Moxey A; Hubacek K (2011) Managing peatland ecosystem services: current UK policy and future challenges in a changing world, Scottish Geographical Journal, 127, pp.209-230. doi: 10.1080/14702541.2011.616864
- Whitfield S; Marshall A (Accepted) Defining and Delivering 'Sustainable' Agriculture in the UK after Brexit: Interdisciplinary Lessons from Experiences of Agricultural Reform, International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability, .