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CAWR Newsletter

June 2017 

Our monthly newsletters are an easy way to keep up-to-date with new developments at our research centre. From successful project bids to upcoming events, our newsletter informs you on how we are 'driving innovative transdisciplinary research on resilient food and water systems.'





 CAWR Retreat to Hawkwood College in Stroud

CAWR Staff spent two days in Stroud to discuss and exchange ideas about the strategies developed for the research themes:
Community self-organising for resilience
- Resilient food and water systems in practice
- Fundamentals of resilience 
- Policies and institutions for resilient food and water systems
- People's Knowledge and transdisciplinarity

The retreat also explored the theories of change used by CAWR researchers as they seek to generate knowledge and impacts (academic, policy-related, and societal impacts).

The meeting in Stroud was convivial and constructive. It re-affirmed CAWR as a safe space that values diversity and open communication



HLPE releases new report

The High Level Panel of Experts (HLPE) on Food Security and Nutrition is pleased to announce the launch of its 11th report to the UN's Committee on World Food Security (CFS): Sustainable forestry for food security and nutrition

The event will be chaired on 27th June by the Chair of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS), HE Amb.Amira Gornass. Opening remarks by Ms Maria Helena Semedo (DDG-N).

Michel Pimbert (Professor and Director of CAWR) is a co-author of this peer reviewed report which focuses on the science-policy interface of sustainable forestry and food security.


Discussing Global Food Governance at the Citta dell'Altra Economic (CAE), Rome 

Josh Brem-Wilson (Research Fellow) participated in a seminar entitled: “The Committee on World Food Security at a Crossroad” in Rome. The seminar, which brought together social movement leaders, academics, NGOs and UN officials, commemorated the launch of a book by Ingeborg Gaarde (Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations): “Peasants Negotiating a Global Policy Space: La Vía Campesina in the Committee on World Food Security”. Josh’s presentation, “The Role of Institutional Actors in Enabling Non-Elite Participation in Transnational Policy-Making”, drew from his ongoing research into the relationship between different types of (democratic) agency and the participation of non-elites in policy-making processes.


Coventry University discuss Brexit on Deutsche Welle TV

 Julia Wright (Senior Research Fellow) discusses what Brexit means for UK science on the Deutsche Welle TV, aired as part of the DW Science's Show.


Poster presentation at the Dresden Nexus Conference (DNC2017)

The title of the poster presented was 'Evaluating surface water retention ponds for improving ecosystem services: a case study on a holding in southern Spain'.  Immo Fiebrig (Research Fellow, CAWR) and Marco Van De Wiel (Reader in Fluvial Processes, CAWR) used rainfall data on a digital elevation model of the farm's catchment. Four new ponds had been established using a holistic design approach called 'permaculture'. They assessed viability of the investment and expected benefits. The poster was designed to link to the so called 'nexus approach', a concept central to the event looking at the inter-connectedness between water, soil, food, energy and waste.


Newton Fund ‘Researcher Links’ workshop in Southern Brazil

Dr. Luke Owen (Senior Research Associate, CAWR) participated in a recent Newton Fund ‘Researcher Links’ workshop between 29th May – 1st June, held at the ‘University Center for the Development of the Upper Itajaí Valley (UNIDAVI) in Rio do Sul, Southern Brazil.

The workshop was titled ‘A pathway to global sustainability: the role of local food supply logistics in global sustainability’ and brought together over twenty academics from British and Brazilian universities.  

Discussions focused on the key challenges and opportunities faced by Small-Medium Enterprises and family farms in Brazil. Luke is now exploring further collaboration opportunities in this network, with a particular focus on Short Food Supply Chains and agroecological food and farming systems.



To book email:


Food, Agriculture and Social Change

 4th July, 11:30-13:30

Also available on Facebook Live


 Empirical methods for seasonal climate prediction

13 July 11:30-12:30

Also available on Facebook Live


Did you miss our seminar on The Challenges of Institutionalizing Food Sovereignty ? 


PhD Highlights


Final of the 2017 Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Competition

The 3MT is an academic competition that challenges PhD students to describe their research within three minutes to a general audience. 3MT celebrates the discoveries made by research students and encourages their skill in communicating the importance of research to the broader community.

Their 3MT titles were:

Donna Udall: ' Carbon Canapés and Nitrogen Noodles: how to feed the world with waste'

Morwenna Mckenzie: ' Does size matter?'

Natasa Tziampou: 'Thirsty and Suffocated'



Visit to Gothenburg University

Michael Warne (Senior Research Fellow, CAWR) gave a presentation to the Centre for Future Risk Assessment of Chemicals and Management (FRAM) at the Gothenburg University last week. The presentation was entitled “Monitoring and research to increase the health and resilience of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia”. While Michael was there, he was also on the panel that examined the PhD of Mikael Gustavsson. The title of his thesis was “Risk Assessment of Chemical Mixtures in the Aquatic Environment”. Mikael was granted his PhD.


CAWR Summer School Barbecue

CAWR’s PhD Summer School took place between the 14th and 16th June 2017. This was part of the Doctoral Training Programme. The 3 days covered workshops and discussions in a variety of topics from journal article critiques to surviving the PhD. It wasn’t all serious – our students got the chance to socialise and unwind at the BBQ on the 15th!


Congratulations to Katie!

CAWR would like to congratulate Katharine Hartless Rose on completing her PhD titled 'Building Resilient Farming Communities in the UK: Encouraging Agroecological Practices on UK Farms in Relation to Climate Change'. 


We wish you all the best for the future!


An insight into Christelle's PHD Thesis

The goal of Christelle Ledroit’s thesis is to study the ecological implication and sustainability of different cotton farming systems in India. Yearly, the cotton seeds are sown in end of May and the cotton buds will be harvested from September to December after, the plants will be uprooted. At the beginning of June, she completed her first biodiversity survey of the season. After this, she will complete four more surveys during the cotton season. For each survey, Christelle will collect arthropods (day and night survey), soil samples, and observe weed and earthworms.


Interesting in studying with us? We have a studentship available!