The research within FIELD will be conducted by a team of 13 individuals from 6 different UK universities, and from three different scientific disciplines. Find out more about the different team members below.

Sept 2019 Team Photo


Prof Abigail Woods

King's College London

History

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Abigail Woods is Head of the Department of History, and Professor in the History of Human and Animal Health at King's College London. Reflecting her earlier career as a veterinary surgeon, her research focuses on the history of animal health in 19th and 20th century Britain, and its intersections with the histories of human health and livestock production. Her recent research has explored the history of veterinary expertise, policy and practice; the changing concepts of animal health, welfare and productivity; and how patterns and perceptions of livestock disease have changed over time. As principle investigator of the FIELD project, she is developing the first social histories of BVD and cattle lameness, and bringing them into dialogue with contemporary scientific and social scientific perspectives.


Nicole Gosling

King's College London

History

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Nicole Gosling is a PhD student at King’s College in London and will be writing her dissertation as a contribution to the FIELD project. She studied her BSc in Ecology at the University of Victoria, and recently completed an MA in Environmental History at Uppsala University. Broadly speaking, Nicole’s interests include how humans interact with nature, with a focus on human-animal relationships. She explored these relationships in her master’s thesis ‘Making Sense of Cattle: A story from farm to food’ where she looked at how different actors experience cattle bodies during the production of beef. Building on this line of thinking, Nicole’s role in the FIELD project will be focused on the history of lameness in sheep.


Prof Karen Sayer

Leeds Trinity University

History

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Professor of Social and Cultural History at Leeds Trinity University, Leeds, UK, Karen Sayer specialises in the study of British agriculture, landscape and environment in the 19th and 20th centuries. Her first monograph, Women of the Fields: Representations of Femininity in Nineteenth Century Rural Society (MUP 1995) used a discursive and interdisciplinary approach to assess the representation of women’s work in agriculture in Parliamentary Reports alongside art, literature and the press, to explain legislative intervention and control of their employment. She built on this work with her second monograph Country Cottages: A Cultural History (MUP, 2000). Drawing on the work of the social sciences, architecture and geography to scrutinise the values attached historically to the idea and material culture of the cottage, and the experiences of those who inhabited it, the book encompassed a spatial reading of the political and material effects of the rural idyll that impact at the level of national identity and ‘race’, class and sex. She has continued to address the shape of, values attaching to and understandings of the British landscape and environment, and experiences of those living in the countryside. Today she works on energy landscapes – e.g. with P. Brassley & J. Burchardt Transforming the countryside? The Electrification of Rural England 1890-1970 (Routledge, 2016) – the managed spaces of the farm, history of livestock agriculture and animal history.

Within the FIELD project, she addresses the tensions that beset the ‘modernisation’ of UK livestock farming after 1947 and the different, competing messages attaching to animal welfare and consumption, as seen in the use of the British countryside as site of amenity and site of production. This work incorporates ideas of animals as active agents of history, and is framed by notions of interconnectivity of farm, the farm animal, disease organisms, farmers, labourers, marketeers, sales reps, government officials, journalists and the non-farming public over time.


Dr James Bowen

Leeds Trinity University

History

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James P. Bowen is a Post-Doctoral Research Associate in History based at Leeds Trinity University with research interests in agricultural and rural history. He was formerly a Research Associate (Victoria County History-Cumbria Project) in the Department of History, Lancaster University and was the Contributing Editor for The Herefordshire Victoria County History Trust Short on the parish of Colwall. He was formerly a Post-Doctoral Research Associate based at the Department of Geography and Planning, University of Liverpool employed on ‘Spaces of experience and horizons of expectation: the implications of extreme weather events, past, present and future’, a three-year project, funded as part of the Care for the Future programme of the Arts and Humanities Research Council. He completed a PhD at Lancaster University supervised by Professor A.J.L. Winchester and held the Economic History Society’s Tawney Junior Research Fellowship in 2012-13 at the Institute of Historical Research, London.


Sue Bradley

Newcastle University

History

Sue Bradley is an oral historian in the Centre for Rural Economy, Newcastle University, where her research has ranged from flood risk to honey bee health and veterinary practice. She is interested in how oral history can help to address current concerns, and in using audio testimonies from older practitioners as a basis for discussions with their counterparts today. Her work for FIELD includes recording a collection of life-story interviews that will contribute insights from first-hand accounts of working with cattle and sheep in the north of England since the 1940's. This collection will be archived at the Museum for English Rural Life to serve beyond the project as a permanent public research resource. Sue also works part-time in Newcastle University’s Oral History Unit. Before coming to Newcastle she was responsible for creating the British Library’s Book Trade Lives collection of recordings with booksellers and publishers.


Dr Amy Proctor

Newcastle University

Social Science

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Amy Proctor is based at the Centre for Rural Economy at Newcastle University. She is interested in agricultural extension and processes of expertise exchange within rural land management and has published widely on this. Her research has focused on the knowledge-practices of farmers and their advisors and the performance and practice of the advisory encounter. Amy is also interested in developing innovative and interactive ways of engaging with stakeholders and has co-led Landbridge, a national knowledge exchange network for rural professionals which provides a platform for inter-professional learning and debate among farm advisers and opportunities for exchange with research communities. In FIELD, Amy will develop and conduct the social science aspects of the project including in-depth interviews and ethnographic research with farmers and advisers and focus groups with farmers and consumers.


Dr Beth Clark

Newcastle University

Social Science

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Beth’s research background in sports, exercise and nutrition and food marketing reflects her research interests in food and communication. She is particularly interested in exploring how people relate to animal products and different food production practices, such as motivations for food choice, innovation and technology in production, knowledge of food production practices, and food cultures. Through this she works with a range of stakeholders from across the food supply chain, which has fuelled an interest in communication, including how individuals and groups share information and trust different information sources.She has two roles on the FIELD project. The first is part of the social science research team, involving interviews, focus groups and observations with farmers, farming advisors and the public, to explore their different experiences and perceptions of endemic livestock disease. The second role focuses on public engagement, including the online communications and website for FIELD, as well as identifying and organising opportunities for greater interaction with the projects many stakeholders, including members of the farming community and the public.


Dr Lewis Holloway

University of Hull

Social Science

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Lewis Holloway is a Reader in Human Geography at the University of Hull. He has research interests in food, farming and the countryside, and has a particular interest in farm animals and agricultural technologies. Recent research has focused on the ways in which genetic, information and robotic technologies have affected livestock farming, and has involved in-depth research with farmers and technology developers to understand how new technologies are engaged with, adopted and contested by farmers. Lewis is interested in the situated ethics associated with animal agriculture, and in how technologies can transform farming ethics and knowledge-practices. Lewis will be involved in developing and conducting the social scientific elements of the FIELD project. This will include on-farm interview and observational work with farmers, farm animals and expert advisors, and focus groups with farmers and public groups.


Dr Niamh Mahon

University of Hull

Social Science

Niamh is a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at the University of Hull. In this role she is involved in the social science components of the FIELD project. This includes in-depth interviews and observational work with farmers and expert advisors, and focus groups with farmers and the public, conducted to explore their different experiences and perceptions of endemic livestock disease. Prior to this Niamh under took a PhD at Nottingham Trent University developing stakeholder-sensitive indicators of the Sustainable Intensification of UK agriculture and a Master’s degree from the University of East Anglia in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security. She has also worked as a research assistant in socio-economics and policy for the Organic Research Centre. Niamh is a member of the Food and Climate Research Network and the Sustainable Intensification Research Network.


Dr Ewan Coleman

University of Edinburgh

Epidemiology & Economics

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Ewan Colman is a post-doctoral research associate at the Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh. He has a background in mathematics, particularly in applied probability, data science, and network science. His research uses computational modelling to explore the relationship between behaviour and the spread of infectious disease. Ewan's past interests include the dynamics of conversations on social media, the social and spatial organisation of ant colonies, and the how the ever-increasing amount of public health data can be exploited to detect and mitigate epidemic diseases. As a member of the FIELD project, he will focus on the spread of BVD through cattle trade, and how changing attitudes towards biosecurity can reduce the prevalence of BVD on a national scale.


Prof Rowland Kao

University of Edinburgh

Epidemiology & Economics

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Rowland Kao is Chair of Veterinary Epidemiology and Data Science at the Roslin Institute at Edinburgh University. He is interested in studying infectious disease dynamics through the development of theoretical models of disease transmission, to inform disease management and control. To do this he has integrated data on genetics, social neworks and demographic factors to explore a range of different livestock diseases including foot and mouth disease, avian influenza, bovine tuberculosis and monkey malaria. As part of the FIELD project, Rowland will be developing models of BVD transmission in cattle, including the prediction of individual famer responses to range of different on and off farm factors.


Maria Suella Rodrigues

University of Glasgow

Epidemiology & Economics

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Maria Suella Rodrigues is a doctoral candidate at the University of Glasgow, supervised under Professor Nicholas Hanley (MVLS), Dr Keila Megennis at the University of Glasgow and Professor Rowland Kao from the University of Edinburgh. Maria holds a BSc degree in Economics from Lancaster University. Following that she moved to the University of Glasgow where she pursued the MRes in Economics, graduating in 2018. She is interested in investigating research questions in the areas of agricultural and environmental economics as well as applied micro-econometrics and choice-modelling theory. During her MRes dissertation she modelled consumer preferences for forest disease management with use of Choice modelling data. Additionally, she has received extensive training in choice-modelling from the Choice Modelling Centre, University of Leeds. As part of the FIELD project, Maria will design field experiments and model both farmer and consumer preferences in relation to farm animal welfare.


Prof Nick Hanley

University of Glasgow

Epidemiology & Economics

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Nick Hanley is a Professor of Environmental and One Health Economics at the University of Glasgow. His PhD was in Agricultural Economics. His current main research interests include behavioural economics, the design of Payment for Ecosystem Service schemes, environmental valuation, one health economics, the economics of sustainable development, markets for biodiversity offsets, and the economics of invasive species. He is an honorary professor at the universities of St Andrews and Stirling. Nick is co-author of a textbook in environmental cost-benefit analysis with Edward Barbier; and two textbooks on environmental economics (with Jason Shogren and Ben White).