University of Oxford

Dr John Ingram (Lead Academic and Programme Leader)

Trained in soil science, John gained extensive experience in the 1980s working in Africa and Asia in agriculture and forestry research projects. In 1991 John was recruited by NERC to help organise, coordinate and synthesise research on global change and agroecology, part of IGBP’s international global change research programme. In 2001 he was appointed the Executive Officer for the international research project “Global Environmental Change and Food Systems” (GECAFS). John now oversees the Environmental Change Institute’s Food Programme which aims to enhance the efficiency of food systems to improve food security while minimising environmental impacts. See here for more about John.

Dr Bex White (Education Coordinator)

After completing an undergraduate degree in Ecology, Bex wanted to dig a bit further around the human-linked causes of environmental change and related negative impacts. It was during her MSc in Environmental Change and Management, at the University of Oxford, and while exploring ‘food miles’ as a concept, that she became seriously interested in the relationships between food systems and the environment. A PhD looking at supply-chain-based carbon governance followed. Building on this, she undertook post-doctoral research looking at environment-labour links in India’s rice sector and explored the concept of resilience with respect to community food growing in the UK. At the heart of her academic work she has always tried (and not always succeeded!) to engage with notions of power, politics, systems, interdisciplinarity and research that has real-world application. See here for more about Bex.


City, University of London

Professor Martin Caraher (Lead Academic)

Having originally trained as an environmental health officer in Dublin, Martin is Professor of Food and Health Policy at the Centre for Food Policy at City University, London. His research focuses on issues related to food poverty, cooking skills, local sustainable food supplies, the role of markets and co-ops in promoting health, farmers’ markets, food deserts & food access, retail concentration and globalisation. Alongside this he has worked for and acted as a consultant for a range of organisations including the UK’s Department of Health, the World Bank and the WHO, and he sits on the International Obesity Task Force Scientific Committee. You can read more about Martin here.

Dr Rebecca Wells (Education Coordinator – job share with Annabel de Frece)

Formerly a radio producer on BBC Radio 4’s The Food Programme, Rebecca has been a visiting lecturer at City University London for three years, teaching master’s students in the Centre for Food Policy and the Department of Journalism. Now finishing her PhD, her research investigates the links between food policy and media coverage. Her research interests include media coverage of food policy, food poverty and food banks. See here for more about Rebecca.

Dr Annabel de Frece (Education Coordinator – job share with Rebecca Wells)

A BA (Hons) in Development Studies and Geography (SOAS) followed by an MSc in Rural Resources and Environmental Policy (Wye) led to Annabel’s interest in agricultural livelihoods and the links between policy, the environment and social and cultural systems. Her doctoral research in the Yucatán, Mexico explored local meanings attached to the milpa and the interactions between farmers, development interventions and environmental narratives in examining the role of the milpa in explaining resistance to agricultural change. Annabel’s research interests are interdisciplinary in nature, exploring the connections between representation, discourse and the cultural and political interactions between people and the environment with a focus on social inequality and gender issues. She also works at the Centre for Environment, Development and Policy (CeDEP) at the School of Oriental and African Studies where she teaches gender and social inequality and supervises research students.


The Leverhulme Centre for Integrative Research on Agriculture and Health (LCIRAH) (Royal Veterinary College, School of Oriental and African Studies, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)

Dr Barbara Häsler (Lead Academic, RVC)

Barbara originally trained as a vet, specialised in animal health economics, and is now working as a Lecturer in Agrihealth with the Leverhulme Centre for Integrative Research on Agriculture and Health (LCIRAH). She has a strong interest in applying interdisciplinary approaches to better understand food systems and how changes in those impact on food safety and food security and to improve the wellbeing of people and animals through better resource allocation. See here for more about Barbara.

Dr Lauren Blake (Education Coordinator)

Lauren graduated from SOAS with an MA in the Anthropology of Food, conducting research on malnutrition, gender and intervention programmes with agricultural communities in rural Guatemala. Whilst at SOAS she also did some research on food labelling for the Social Science Research Unit of the Food Standards Agency. Lauren’s PhD at the University of Sheffield and in collaboration with the British Library, was based on in-depth oral history interviews and ethnography with UK based food activists, campaigners and policy makers. The recorded interviews form a new public sound archive at the British Library. See here for more about Lauren.

Each LCIRAH partner university also has a local representative:


University of Reading

Dr Alex Arnall (Lead Academic)

Alex has a PhD in Geography from the University of Oxford. His research focusses on climate change adaptation, human migration/mobility and rural livelihoods, with much of this work based in sub-saharan Africa, and Mozambique in particular. He has also carried out consultancy for a number of international NGOs and development agencies, including GIZ, Save the Children, Oxfam GB and WWF. Alex directs the MSc in Food Security and Development at Reading University. See here for more about Alex.

Dr Harley Pope (Education Coordinator)

Harley is an interdisciplinary social scientist with interests in systems thinking, science and technology studies, governance, agriculture, international development and the environment. He has a BSc in Biochemistry and an MSc in Environmental Technology (ecological management) from Imperial College. More recently he has completed his PhD entitled, “Participatory Crop Improvement: The challenges of and opportunities for institutionalisation in the Indian public research sector”.  While working as an Associate Researcher at the University of Sussex he provided subject matter specialist support in the areas of urban ecosystem services, sustainability and urban agriculture to an Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) project operating in Delhi. Find out more about Harley here.


University of Warwick

Dr Rosemary Collier (Lead Academic)

Rosemary trained as an entomologist and has worked on the pest insects of horticultural crops for many years. She is Director of Warwick Crop Centre and an Academic Lead for the Warwick Global Research Priority (GRP) on Food. Her main research interest is in the development and application of Integrated Pest Management strategies for horticultural crops. Rosemary is also interested in the wider aspects of food production and consumption and in recent years has collaborated with colleagues from a range of disciplines (sociology, geography, statistics, engineering, theatre studies) on projects associated with food and food security. See here for more about Rosemary.

Dr Michael Heasman (Education Coordinator)

Michael has worked on interdisciplinary food policy issues for more than 25 years. His work has focused on food consumption problems, in particular ‘healthy eating’ and the impact of nutrition advice on food business and food marketing, innovation and strategy. He has also completed projects on community food security, local food economies, sustainable food systems, food regulation, and the competitiveness of SME food businesses. Recent work has investigated jobs and skills in UK food business and the UK’s industrial strategy in relation to food manufacturing. In recent years Michael has focused on learning and teaching; he has held lecturing roles at universities in Denmark and the UK. He is the co-author of three books, most recently Food Wars: The Global Battle for Mouths, Minds and Markets with Professor Tim Lang (2nd Edition, 2015).


IFSTAL Programme Office (Oxford)

Roger Sykes (Programme Manager) 

Roger holds a BA in Human Geography and an MSc in Gerontology. Roger’s role involves day-to-day management of IFSTAL by providing support to team members; liaising with consortium partners and funders on administrative, financial and contractual issues; organising summer schools, workshops and meetings; and supporting the Programme Leader. See here for more about Roger.

Rosina Borrelli (Workplace Engagement Lead) 

Rosina Borrelli has a background in change management consultancy and food education with a first degree in European Business with Technology and a mid-career Master’s in food. She has worked in a variety of areas of the food system including hospitality, manufacturing, retail and FMCG. Her most recent experience is with the Children’s Food Trust, the National Childbirth Trust and Slow Food where she specialised in early years food education. She has tri-sector experience and therefore brings a wide range of workplace skills and understanding to the programme. She is passionate about effecting change through your work-based learning experiences and your eventual options and choices after graduating. She connects the food sector with the programme and raises awareness of the value and uniqueness of IFSTAL participants while looking for possible and exclusive opportunities.