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Personal profile

Research

Research

I'm a sustainability researcher, with a background in development studies, human ecology and gender studies. My research revolves around agriculture and food systems, rural development and natural resource use and governance and is broadly situated in the field of political ecology. Transdisciplinary collaboration and engagement with societal actors is a key motivational driver in my work.

I am currently leading a research project which deals with crop pest challenges and use of pesticides in Ugandan smallholder agriculture. It is carried out in collaboration with Ellinor Isgren and funded by the Swedish Research Council Formas. While the use and promotion of pesticides have increased rapidly in recent years, poor regulation and control implies significant risks to human health and sustainability. At the same time, crop loss due to pests is a serious challenge to food security. Through a lens of environmental justice, our objective is to contribute to a much needed understanding of how pesticide use and governance in a changing agro-political landscape impact on rural communities and agricultural pathways. In addition, we ask questions about how pest management could be improved through action research involving farmers and other actors.

I am also part of an interdisciplinary research project on perennial crops and their potential to contribute to increase the sustainability and resilience of agriculture. Together with smallholder farmers in Uganda, we are experimenting with various perennial farming systems as a way to decrease vulnerability to extreme weather events, land degradation and other environmental stressors. The project is carried out in collaboration with colleagues at The Land Institute (USA) and Makerere University and NARO (Uganda).

I am also involved in another interdisciplinary project on perennial agriculture, based at the Pufendorf Institute. Our starting point is that current sustainability challenges requires a rethinking of the way food production systems are organized and we explore the opportunities and potential barriers of perennial agriculture as a pathway towards more sustainable land use and food production. 

In my PhD thesis, defended in 2014, I explored the ‘everydayness’ of soil use and degradation in smallholder farming in Uganda, with focus on local experiences of environmental change and various forms of collective strategies mediated by farmer groups in response to changing livelihood conditions. In an attempt to co-produce knowledge with a transformative potential, I also explore how action research can be used to envision, implement and evaluate a locally anchored practice to improve soil fertility.

Teaching

I’m course coordinator and teacher in the LUMES course Political Ecology and Sustainabiliy and also teach in other LUMES courses, as well as other programs and courses at LU, on topics related to sustainability, natural resource management, development studies and methodology. I have also supervised students in thesis writing in LUMES and other programs for many years.

Keywords

  • agriculture and food systems, rural livelihoods and development, natural resource management, political ecology, gender, environmental justice, transdisciplinarity and action research, sub-saharan Africa, Uganda

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