CFS Associates

Below you can find information on all the academics from across the University who are involved in the Centre's research.


Dr Francisco Areal

Francisco's main areas of research include environmental economics, agricultural economics and applied econometrics. His current research interests include understanding and measuring the provision of environmental goods and biodiversity by farmers, farm technical efficiency analysis, GM crop adoption and the impact of regulations on farmers' attitudes. His research attempts to find ways to account for sustainability within technical efficiency analysis, as well as attempting to tackle the growing concerns over the scarcity of food through GM crop adoption.

Dr Alex Arnall

Specialising in sub-Saharan Africa, in particular Mozambique, Alex's research focuses on three important food security issues: the displacement and settlement of people, land rights and ownership, and farmer responses to climate stresses and shocks. Alex's work explores how different socio-economic groups are affected by these issues and how resilient their food production systems are.

Alison's research focuses on farm business management and the agricultural environment. Her work informs policy makers of the costs involved in policy implementation as well as investigating the attitudes of farmers and their decision making processes.

Professor Kelvin Balcombe

Kelvin's main area of research is focussed on applied econometrics. Previous research he has completed includes looking at time series and investigating the behaviour and volatility of food prices as well as looking how shocks in the markets can impact on food prices. Currently Kelvin focusses on 'choice modelling' and investigating the value of non-market goods. This involves ascertaining what value producers or consumers would be willing to attribute to non-market goods, in particular those goods or services that would improve food security.

Professor Nick Battey

Nick is a Developmental Biologist, and has spent over 20 years researching soft fruit crops, in particular strawberries. Involved in the National Fruit Collection at Brogdale, Nick's research looks at the way flowering and fruiting patterns are regulated, with the objective of optimizing yield, fruit quality and the timing of crop production.

Emily's research involves looking at the way societies understand and manage climate change risks, in particular investigating how governments, scientists and communities respond to these risks and manage for resilience. Current projects include looking at how marginal communities in Maputo perceive and adapt to climate change and how farmers in India are planting trees for carbon credits. Emily's work aims to help understand that resilience in practice is about seeing climate change is one of many competing stressors that affect societies. Ensuring that people have access to food and important ecosystem services, and are not disadvantaged by government policies is as important (if not more) as getting the science right.

Dr Dimitris Charalampopoulos

Dimitris's research involves utilising and exploiting novel ways of adding value to by-products or waste products via different processing techniques with the aim of improving the value of products and minimising waste in agricultural production. 

Dr Angelique Chettiparambil

Angelique's research focusses on governance issues and urban agriculture and identifying ways to increase regional resilience as well as looking at what factors can affect this. More specifically, Angelique has been looking at school meal provision and establishing what is needed in order to guarantee food security to specific and vulnerable age groups with very specific needs. She also highlights the importance of scale and looks at ways in which policies should be structured in order to ensure food security for specific target groups.

Dr Joanna Clark

Joanna's research focuses on understanding carbon cycling in terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems. Her research primarily looks at upland environments and potential problems caused due to climate change and atmospheric pollution. Recently Joanna has been looking at the effects of applying Biochar to agricultural land in order to improve soil conditions, increase drought resistance and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Dr Sandrine Claus

Sandrine is an expert in metabolomics technology and her research primarily focusses on the metabolic effects of diet by assessing the metabolic profile of an animal or human after a dietary intervention. Using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy and Mass Spectrometry, Sandrine aims to make foods safer for human consumption.

Dr Chris Collins

Chris's research centres on pollutants in soils, particularly organic pollutants such as pesticides. His research looks at developing techniques to measure the fraction of these pollutants available to biota in soils and human gut flora with the aim of reducing the risks to humans and the ecosystem.

Dr Daniel Commane 

Daniel's research focuses on diet and gut health, in particular cancer of the colon, IBS, Crohns disease and coeliac disease. He is currently interested in the function and structure of the gut wall, and how this is related to health and affected by diet.

Professor Rainer Cramer

Rainer is primarily interested in proteomics and his research is technology based and data driven. He focusses on the molecular level and provides important information and data which could be used, for example, to improve plant breeding or to create genetically modified products. Rainer has a particular interest in the fundamentals of mass spectrometry and chromatography and their application to biomolecular analysis.

Dr Marina Della Giusta

Marina is a behavioural economist and studies social norms and how these can affect individual and collective behaviour and decision making. She also looks at conformism, what is normal behaviour and why people make certain decisions. In relation to food security, Marina studies consumer choices and ideas, as well as decision making and resistance to adopt more sustainable farming practices.

Professor Jim Dunwell

Principally concerned with primary production in both tropical and temperate crops, Jim's main areas of research are based at a molecular level and aim to increase the efficiency of crop production, as well as increasing crop yields. In particular, Jim focuses on haploid breeding techniques and reproductive biology in order to increase efficiency and yields and thereby reducing the pressures on extensification. Jim is also interested in gene expression and transcript analysis, in particular in cereals and horticultural species, with the aim to achieve a better understanding of responses to biotic and abiotic stress at a molecular level.

Dr Ruth Evans

Ruth's research looks at the relationship between food security and poverty, in terms of access to land, gender relations and inheritance. Ruth's primary focus is on Sub-Saharan Africa and how inequalities in access to land and resources affect a household's food security.

Dr Giuseppe Feola

Giuseppe's research aims to explain the persistence of unsustainable forms of human activity, and to explore the social and social-ecological change required for a transition towards sustainability. Particularly, his work focuses on issues of resilience, transition and transformation of agri-food systems in the face of multiple socio-ecological pressures. Giuseppe also studies the cultural basis and diffusion of novel forms of socio-economic organization (e.g. grassroots innovations) that may be compatible with a lighter material living on the planet, and their interconnections with sustainable agri-food systems.

Dr Colette Fagan 

Colette's research is concerned with the optimisation of food safety by working to improve the quality control and safety in food processing application. Currently Colette is working on projects to develop sensors to detect chemical and microbial changes in food to ensure safety in the food chain.

Dr Hilary Geoghegan

Hilary is a human geographer whose research focuses on lay and expert motivations for participation in science. Her research primarily looks at how emotions, knowledges, technologies and actions influence relationships between individuals, communities, institutions and non-humans. Building on her interests in enthusiasm, technology and effective scientific intervention, she is currently researching in the area of tree health and the potential of citizens as early-warning systems for pests and diseases. In relation to food security, Hilary analyses the impact of citizen science on public understandings of nature and scientific controversies, for example in tree disease identification. She collaborates with Forest Research, the Sylva Foundation and the Science Museum, London.

Professor Glenn Gibson 

Glenn's research is focussed on human gut microbiology in health and disease, trying to understand the composition of gut bacteria and what they do and looking at dietary interventions to improve the microbiota composition (prebiotics, probiotics). The aim is to tackle gut related diseases and use foods as preventative strategies to reduce problems before they arise. Interventions are tested in models of the gut as well as in human trials.

Professor Ian Givens

Ian's a trained biochemist and nutritionist. His research focusses on food chain nutrition and its impact on health, and in particular, the relationship between the consumption of food produced by animals, nutrient supply and chronic disease outcome. Ian's research involves investigating ways in which consumers can get the energy they need from the right kind of foods, and looking at the ways in which we can achieve the best long-term outcomes in a way that is sustainable.


Mike's research is centred on improving the sustainability of wheat production. His current research seeks to improve our understanding of resource capture and use-efficiencies of wheat, develop production practices and crops that can cope with and adapt to environmental change, and improve the nutritional and functional quality of wheat.

Rob specialises in bacteria, specifically looking at bacteria interacting with plants. His work focusses on analysing bacteria that cause disease in crops or contaminate crops, as well as establishing which bacteria can help plants grow. By understanding how each bacteria works we can identify ways to stop plants being killed by pathogen or spoiled by contaminants and improve both plant yield and quality.

Professor Julie Lovegrove

Julie investigates the impact of diet and food nutrients on metabolic syndrome development and the increased risk of cardiovascular disease, developing dietary strategies to promote health. Genomics also forms part of Julie's research, in particular the impact genotype can play on the responsiveness of individuals to different diets, with the aim to provide more personalised dietary advice, in addition to population dietary recommendations through policy development.

Dr Rachel McCloy

Rachel specialises in human decision-making and risk understanding, looking at people's behaviours and identifying what factors influence the choices we make. In particular Rachel's research aims to improve communication of the risks and the science in this area in order to help consumers make better informed, healthier and more sustainable choices.

Dr Simon Mortimer

Simon's research is primarily focussed on the interaction between agricultural land management and biodiversity. He has been looking at how the loss of some of our ecosystem services has impacted on the sector, as well as identifying and understanding the ways in which yields can be increased whilst minimising negative impacts to the environment. Simon is also interested in policy development and identifying what the social and economic barriers are to adopting sustainable management practices and how we can encourage farmers to change their behaviour. Similarly, Simon is also involved in evaluating policies that have been put into place, to measure their impact and effectiveness.

Irene specialises in analysing bioactive compounds in plants, such as tannins. The aim of her research is to identify plants and plant varieties that are particularly beneficial to animal nutrition, health and that also reduce greenhouse gas emissions. With the targeted use of tannins and the creation of new plant varieties, a sustainable farming system will be achieved.

Chukwumerije's research focusses on the links between global environmental governance and international development, particularly in Africa. More specifically, his main areas of research are looking at issues of equality and justice and how local people in developing countries are affected by international policies. He is interested in how best to achieve low carbon development in Africa, as well as in the relationship between climate change and food security.

Dr Henny Osbahr

Henny's research looks at climate change and climate related disasters and how these impact on rural livelihoods and food security. Her work explores the governance of successful adaptations to these impacts and ways to help farmers to experiment and innovate using crops that are more drought resistant for example, in order to achieve better food security. This requires an understanding of how different farmers and institutions learn from their experiences and how information is communicated to different stakeholders in order to help improve long term food security.

Dr Tom Osborne

Tom's research looks at the supply side of food security, trying to understand the coupled interaction between crops and climate and looking at the sustainability of our production systems. Tom creates simulation models to define climatic risk and its effect on crop production.

Professor Donal O'Sullivan

Donal’s research focuses on implementing cutting edge methods and technologies for efficient genetic dissection of useful phenotypic variation in arable crops. Current work in wheat uses association mapping approaches to discover and map quantitative trait loci underlying durable disease resistance and yield potential. In faba bean, a number of seed quality and crop productivity traits are being addressed. Donal works closely with commercial cereal and legume breeders who apply trait-linked molecular markers in the production of improved high-yielding, disease-resistant varieties. Donal is Deputy Director of the Centre for Food Security, and leads its Sustainable Food Production theme.

Professor Simon Potts

Simon's research identifies ways in which we can harness biodiversity to provide ecosystem services that help support food security. Working with producers and growers and recognising biodiversity as a natural resource, Simon looks to manage biodiversity in order to optimise service delivery underpinning food production, while minimising wider environmental impacts. For example, using uncultivated land, such as field margins, to provide better pollination and pest regulation services to crops, and introducing legumes in arable rotations to boost soil fertility.

Dr Tristan Quaife

Tristan is involved in remote sensing of vegetation and his research looks to understand the carbon cycle and how vegetation, in particular forests, respond to changes in climate. Part of this research involves utilising new mathematical tools to integrate satellite data with models of vegetation growth.

Professor Bob Rastall

Bob's research is based on looking at the manufacture of functional food ingredients, specifically targeted at gut health. He works on the creation of prebiotic carbohydrates in order to help develop positive bacteria in the gut, and identifies ways in which these can be developed sustainably from waste materials.

Professor Chris Reynolds

Chris is a Ruminant Nutritionist and focuses primarily on dairy cattle. His research includes looking at the efficiency of food production and resource utilisation and finding ways in which improvements can be made to improve sustainability. Chris's current studies include identifying ways methane emissions attributable to milk production can be reduced as well as modifying the composition of fats in milk in order to make the end product healthier for consumption.

Dr Caroline Rymer

Caroline's research looks at manipulating the composition of animal products through feeding, in order to advance their health benefits. The aim of her research is to understand how we can feed livestock more efficiently so that we can reduce their impact on the environment as well offering consumers different and healthier foods.

Professor Michael Shaw 

Michael's research attempts to reduce the unpredictability of crop yields by looking at factors that affect the level of disease in a population and identifying ways to manage it. Current studies that Michael is working on include studies of Botrytis - the grey mould on strawberries - and how diseases respond to changes in climate, in particular plant pathogens in oil seed rape. Internationally, he is involved in modelling to support management of Banana Xanthomonas Wilt, which threatens livelihoods in East Africa. Through these studies we can help people understand variations in yields, manage the diseases and improve crop resistance.

Dr Liz Shaw

Liz is a soil microbiologist and biochemist and her research focuses on the root zone, looking at the beneficial functions and interactions of soil microorganisms in this zone. The aim of her research is to understand how the biodiversity of soil microorganisms is related to the below-ground processes that they mediate in order to minimise environmental pollution and increase soil quality and fertility.

Professor Peter Shewry 

Peter is a Plant Scientist whose research focuses on cereal grain quality. He examines the structure and composition of grain, in particular wheat, to determine how it develops and how this can affect the quality of the grain, as well studying wheat production and how the efficiency can be increased. In addition Peter also researches dietary fibre and its health benefits, in particular in relation to the metabolic syndrome.

Dr Jeremy Spencer

Jeremy's research focusses on the ability of diet to promote human health and can be divided into three main areas: Investigating the benefits of plant based foods and/or nutrients on cardiovascular health and cognitive performance, understanding how such nutrients work through their interactions with cells and tissues, and measuring the levels of compounds in foods and identifying how these change under different growing/processing conditions. 

Dr C S Srinivasan 

Srinivasan has three main areas of research: Economics of intellectual property rights of agricultural biotechnology innovations, Plant Genetic Resources policy (PGR) and diet and nutrition, including nutrition transitions. Srinivasan's research focuses on innovative processes to increase food production and agricultural yield, which therefore will improve food security.

Dr Jon Swann 

Jon's main research area involves the application of metabonomics (metabolic profiling) to understand the influence of gene-environment interactions on the mammalian host metabolic system and their influence on host health and disease. Specifically, the trans-genomic metabolic cross-talk between the gut microbiota and host are studied. Other research pursuits include the biochemical impact of malnutrition and infection in children in developing countries and the elucidation of novel biomarkers of gut health to identify children at risk of morbidity and mortality in such settings.

Dr Marcus Tindall

Marcus develops mathematical models to help and inform life science questions and problems relating to a number of areas: fat/cholesterol metabolism, bacterial chemotaxis, cardiovascular cell biology and tumour growth. He uses deterministic differential equations, numerical computations and analytical approximations. His work helps direct experimental systems, provides insight into the system being studied and helps test scientific hypotheses.

Mr Richard Tranter

Richard is an Agricultural Economist and is involved in a number of food security areas. Broadly, Richard's research includes analysing rural land use and rural development in Europe as well as researching into both farmers' and consumers decision making and behaviour, in particular their behaviour with respect to genetically modified seed, organic produce and low-input or welfare friendly production. Richard is also Director for the Centre for Agricultural Strategy.

Dr Carol Wagstaff

Carol's research aims to improve the quality of food, including the nutritional value, appearance, flavour and shelf life, as well as helping consumers to eat healthier. This has included research on lettuce, rocket, fruits and herbs. Carol works at the interface between plants and humans to investigate what parts of particular plants can be of benefit to the consumer, in particular focussing on gut health. She also looks at resource allocation in crops and ways in which yield can be improved.


Tim researches crops and climate, specifically how climate variability and change affects the sustainability of agriculture and food. Through forecasting how climate variability and change can impact on crops, Tim's research aims to identify ways that we can adapt to changes in climate in order to make our cropping systems more resilient and sustainable.

Dr Claire Williams

Claire's main area of research is behavioural neuroscience. She investigates the effects of cannabinoids and endocannabinoids in the regulation of appetite, body weight and reward. In addition, Claire also studies what the effects of short- and long-term exposure to flavonoids and other bioactive nutrients are on cognition. With an aging population, the need to discover ways to help or improve cognitive processes is ever important.

Professor Martin Woodward 

Martin's research focusses on animal health and welfare looking at the control of different animal diseases, many of which transmit to man such as Salmonella and E. coli O157. He investigates a number of interventions for the suppression of these diseases, especially those carried in the guts of animals, such as vaccines, antibiotics and alternative treatments such as probiotics, prebiotics and plant extracts added to animal feed. The overall aim of his studies is to reduce the burden of disease in animals in order to increase productivity and animal welfare as well as reduce risk to humans of food borne disease.

Professor Parveen Yaqoob 

Parveen's research is concerned with the influence of nutrition on immunity and inflammation. Her research investigates the effects of pre- and probiotics on the immune system, the effects of dietary fatty acids on inflammation and vascular function, and the effects of wholegrain on aspects of human health.

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