Skip to main content

Centre for Rural Policy Research


The Centre for Rural Policy Research is co-directed by Professor Matt Lobley and Professor Harry G West.  The centre administrator is Melissa Hawkins

Name Role Keywords
Professor Matt Lobley Co-Director, Professor, Rural Resource Management Sociology of agriculture; Health and well-being in agriculture; succession and retirement; land and agri-environmental management; agricultural restructuring
Professor Harry G West Co-Director, Professor, Anthropology Political anthropology; history and culture of agrarian societies; food studies; food systems and alternative food networks;  heritage foods; geographical appellations and indications; terroir; artisan cheesemaking.
Professor Michael Winter Chair of Management Board, Professor, Land Economy and Society Sociology of agriculture; agrarian history; agro-food systems; land use change. 
Professor Stewart Barr Professor of Geography  
Dr David Benson Associate Professor, Politics (Cornwall)  
Professor Steffen Boehm Professor in Organisation and Sustainability (Cornwall)  
Dr Paul Cleave Honorary Research Fellow  
Professor Adrian Collins Honorary Professor Rothamsted Research
Catherine Broomfield Postgraduate Research Associate Rural sociology, farming and society, farmer public engagement, farmer-nonfarmer relationship, food system transition, sustainable livestock farming
Dr Angela Cassidy Senior Lecturer, SPA  
Professor Claire Dunlop

Professor of Politics and Public Policy

Dr Steve Emery 

Senior Lecturer, SPSPA

Dr Steve Guilbert

Research Fellow

Dr Eleanor Hadley Kershaw

Senior Research Fellow 

Melissa Hawkins

PA/Administrator to Directors of CRPR  

Professor Mickey Howard

Professor of Supply Management

Dr Keith Howe Senior Research Fellow.  
Professor Jo Little Professor in Gender and Geography  
Dr Caroline Nye Senior Research Fellow  
Professor Stefano Pascucci Professor in Sustainability and Circular Economy  
Dr Carolyn Petersen Research Fellow Environmental governance, policy learning and change; nature-based solutions and climate change adaptation; links between environment and health and wellbeing; sustainable tourism
Dr Celia Plender Lecturer, Sociology of Food Anthropology of food; food cooperatives; community organising; mutual aid; food and housing insecurity; everyday politics
Professor Duncan Russel Professor, Politics  
Dr Clare Saunders Associate Professor, Environment & Sustainability Institute (Cornwall)  
Dr Karen Scott Senior Lecturer, Environment & Sustainability Institute (Cornwall)  
Dr Eva Thomann Senior Lecturer  
Dr Virginia Thomas
Research Fellow  
Dr Rebecca Wheeler Research Fellow Health and well-being in agriculture; Environmental land management; Rural sustainability and resilience; Public engagement in farming; Rural sociology
Dr Tim Wilkinson Research Fellow  
Dr Joanie Willett Lecturer, Politics (Cornwall)  
Dr Hugh Williamson Research Fellow  
Dr Rosalie Jones Mcvey Research Fellow Anthropology, ethics, morality, mental health, horses, politics, green social prescribing
Dr Charles Masquelier Associate Professor  
Dr Lucy Szaboova Postdoctoral Research Fellow   

Other staff

The Centre for Rural Policy Research receives input from a number of University of Exeter academics from other departments and disciplines, plus visiting staff from other institutions.

The Centre is also home to a number of PhD researchers, and is guided by an expert Advisory Board.

Name PhD title
Catherine Broomfield

Making it work here: enabling grassland farming communities to develop a place-based response to the global challenge of living within planetary boundaries

Jessica Fagin

Boundary and Identity making in “Conventional” and Halal Sheep Slaughter in England

Jed Hilton

The Chef as Activist: The Changing Role and Activism of Contemporary Chefs

William Jaggard

Painfully delicious: What producing and consuming chilli says about individual identity in British society

Megan Larmer

Towards an edible ethic: land-use, gastronomy, and the politics of rurality in the Hudson Valley 

Jill Lidgey

The role and future of town markets in the 21st Century

Aoife Maher

Exploring the barriers to alternative horticultural uses for grazing lands

Oliver Moore Feeding time at the zoo: post-war to present day
Hannah Mortimer Human-animal interactions and feeding practices on British farms
Anna Seecharan

Food knowledge in migratory bodies: an embodied approach to taste/smell memories through time and space.

Jo Furtando

Predicting future cultural and natural heritage scenarios on common land

Skylar Collins  Understanding Mental Health, Wellbeing and Risk in UK-small scale fisheries 


Recently completed PhDs

Name PhD title
Eimear Mc Loughlin Slaughterhouse Culture: An Ethnography of Animal Slaughter in Denmark
Hannah Chiswell Rising to the Food Security Challenge:  An Investigation into the Impact of the Food Security Agenda on Farmers and their Successors in the South West of England.
Charlotte-Anne Chivers Exploring the credibility, relevance and legitimacy of environmental advice provisioning surrounding diffuse water pollution from agriculture
Jen Clements  The Cornish agri-environment: attitudes, values and behaviour in uncertain times
Beth Dooly  The Rowan Johnstone PhD Studentship: Reorientating change: an ethnographic look at how farmer discussion groups within the South West promote social learning and build resilience
Adrian Colston Stakeholder attitudes to the Dartmoor Commons: tradition, conflict and the search for consensus in an age of atmospheric pollution and climate change
Georgina Crossman The Organisational Landscape of the English Horse Industry: a Contrast with Sweden and the Netherlands.
Pedro Andrés Garzon Delvaux Woodfuel Supply Chain Integration in the South West of England; A Transaction Costs Approach to Bioenergy Development
Nicholas Kirsop-Taylor Land use Futures - An Ecosystem Services Approach to the 'Land between the Moors'
Gordon Morris People Helping People - An Assessment of the Market Towns and Related Initiatives and the Extent to Which they Addressed Rural Poverty.
Polly Lord The application of employment law in agriculture
Colin Nolden Building Capacity for Climate Change Actions in Rural Communities.
Caroline Nye The John Oldacre Foundation PhD Studentship: Agricultural Labour in the UK: Change and Challenge in the Transition to Sustainable Intensification
Lauren Parry Policy and Practice for the Sustainable Carbon Management of Moorlands.
Celia Plender Food Co-ops in Austerity Britain: Negotiating politics, aid and care in changing times
Tom Richardson
Science and the Politics of Sustainability: An Analysis of Four Research-Council Funded Bioenergy Projects.
Virginia Thomas Navigating the landscapes and boundaries of rewilding
Tim Wilkinson Perceptions of Exmoor
Cheryl Willis Harnessing Nature’s Benefits: Problems and Prospects for Recognising the Environmental Basis of Regional Tourist Economies.
Name Position Organisation
Emma-Jayne Abbots Honorary Senior Lecturer  
Andrew Bell Honorary Research Fellow North Devon Biosphere and Forestry Commission
Dr Paul Brassley Honorary Research Fellow Freelance Researcher
Dr Paul Cleave Honorary Research Fellow  
Professor Adrian Collins Honorary Professor Rothamsted Research
Dr Mukta Das Honorary Research Fellow  
Dr Katharina Graf Honorary Research Fellow SOAS Food Studies Centre
Professor Rosie Hails Honorary Professor The National Trust
Dr Jilly Hall Honorary Research Fellow SPSN: Supporting the People who Support Nature
Kaley Hart Honorary Senior Research Fellow IEEP
Dr Matt Heard Honorary Professor The National Trust
Professor Natarajan Ishwaran Honorary Professor HIST-UNESCO
Dr Phil Le Grice Honorary Research Fellow Rothamsted Research
Professor John McInerney Emeritus Professor  
Richard Soffe Honorary Senior Research Fellow Duchy College Rural Business School
Dr Nick Sotherton Honorary University Fellow Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust
Dr Anne Stobart Honorary Research Fellow  
Sir Harry Studholme Honorary Professor Chair of the Forestry Commission
Dr Allan Butler Research Associate Environment Agency
Dr Madeleine Gustavsson Affiliate


Dr Gordon Morris Research Associate Freelance Researcher

Hear from some of our members