Doctorial alumni wins presitgious 'Land 2019 Best Paper Award' for published thesis

MarcelloAE2The School of Agriculture, Policy and Development announced today that Postdoctoral Researcher, Marcello De Maria, based within the School has been awarded “The Land 2019 Best Paper Award” for an article developed as part of his PhD thesis entitled: ‘Understanding Land in the Context of Large-Scale Land Acquisition: A Brief History of Land in Economics’

Speaking of his achievement, Marcello said: “It is a real honour to receive an award from such a prestigious academic journal as Land. It is an international and cross disciplinary peer-reviewed open access journal that provides a platform for the publication of advanced scientific research in the areas of land use and land governance, so I am delighted to have been recognised in this way.”

Marcello’s article was chosen from thousands of papers submitted to the editorial board of the Multi-Disciplinary Publishing Institute (MDPI) Land journal throughout the year of 2019. Commenting on his work, he said: “My article explores the most recent land rush in human history and how the contemporary surge in Large Scale Land Acquisition (LSLAs) is connected to key socio-economic and environmental challenges of the 21st Century which includes food security, climate change and rural development, and investigates what makes land a peculiar and complex commodity.”

Marcello believes that the skills he learnt in School have developed his research capabilities which can be used to provide solutions to global challenges. He continued: “Land is a very peculiar and complex commodity and through land, we can understand ways to effectively manage major challenges, particularly in developing nations.

I have benefited here, as there is a clear focus on addressing global threats within the School which gives students the opportunity to make ground-breaking research, in the hope for change. I am passionate about this topic, and I did not want my thesis to become just another dusty book on a shelf. I learned how open research tools such as open data and open access publications are crucial for improving and designing actual policies that make a difference.”

He added: “Though my research, I am trying to understand how we trade portions of land internationally and how this will impact food security and climate change. My Supervisors, Professors, Giacomo Zanello and Elizabeth Robinson, were very helpful throughout the process and I am extremely grateful to them.”

Having successfully completed his PhD, Marcello is thankful for his time at Reading and said: “The University is committed to promoting Open Research and offers a great opportunity for anyone who is interested in pursuing a career in research as advice is readily available from your peers.”

Follow this link to read Marcello’s paper: https://www.mdpi.com/2073-445X/8/1/15  

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