Dr Stephen Whitfield is the Associate Director of the Global Food and Environment Institute as well as Programme Leader, BSc/MEnv Sustainability and Environmental Management, at the University of Leeds (UoL). His main research interests are in the socio-politics of agri-food systems and the multiple priorities and challenges associated with these systems, both in the UK and overseas.
In recent research, he has taken a critical political look at conservation agriculture as a climate-smart agricultural development pathway in Zambia and Malawi. His 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, he explored who is framing development agendas, through what narratives, on the basis of what evidence and assumptions, and with what implications?
Dr Whitfield has worked on projects in the UK as well as in Africa and Latin America and has a broad interest in agricultural development, climate change adaptation, natural resource management, and ecosystem services.