Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Systems

Staff/Student Journal Club

Journal club listings for staff and students of the Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Systems and related schools.

If you are a staff member or student and wish to be added to the list to receive Journal Club notifications, please contact:

                                      JOURNAL CLUB 2023/24



22 May 2024 12-1pm

Patrick Miner will be presenting the results of the article  Car harm: A global review of automobility's harm to people and the environmentand discussing the implications of this study.

8 May 2024 12-1pm

Prof Martin White from the MRC Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge will be presenting his team's work on "Avoiding conflicts of interest and reputational risks associated with population research on food and nutrition: the Food Research risK (FoRK) guidance and toolkit for researchers”.

10 April 2024 12-1pm

Kate Lewis will be presenting the results of the article Quantification of the effect of in-utero events on lifetime resilience in dairy cowsand discussing the implications of this study.

28 February 2024 1-2pm

Prof. Lindsay Jaacks of the Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Systems will be leading an open discussion on the following article The New Colonialist Food Economy: How Bill Gates and agribusiness giants are throttling small farmers in Africa and the Global South’.

14 February 2024 12-1pm

Sander Biesbroek will be presenting the results of the article Toward healthy and sustainable diets for the 21st century: Importance of sociocultural and economic considerationsand discussing the implications of this study.

31 January 2024 12-1pm

Dr Wisdom Dogbe will be presenting the results of the article  Could taxes on foods high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) improve climate health and nutrition in Scotland?and discussing the implications of this study.

17 January 2024 12-1pm

Peter Sandøe will be presenting the results of the article Dairy cattle welfare–the relative effect of legislation, industry standards and labelled niche production in five European countriesand discussing how dairy cattle welfare standards differ across the EU.

27 September 2023 12-1pm

Carys Redman-White will be presenting the results of the recent article ‘A review of the predictors of antimicrobial use and resistance in European food animal production’.

We hope that this report will lead to some interesting discussions about antimicrobial resistance, farm management practices, and the impacts on food systems.
11 October 2023 12-1pm

Kirsty Paterson and Helen Hughes will be presenting the results of the recent article ‘Towards a farmer-feasible soil health assessment that is globally applicable and discussing current and future work on this topic.

25 October 2023 12-1pm

Nathan Jensen will be presenting the results of the article  ‘Does the design matter? Comparing satellite-based indices for insuring pastoralists against drought and discussing current and future work on this topic.

8 November 2023 12-1pm

The next Journal Club session will be in collaboration with FRIED, and we will be welcoming Dr Sylvia Mitchell, Senior Lecturer at The University of the West Indies. 

FRIED has provided the details below as well as supplementary reading before the talk. 

I am pleased to announce that the first of two FRIED events in November will be a joint seminar with the Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Systems. This will a hybrid event taking place on Wednesday 8th November 12.00 to 13.30. Our speaker will be Dr Sylvia Mitchell, Senior Lecturer, Medicinal Plant Research Group, The Biotechnology Centre, at The University of the West Indies. Sylvia’s research includes development of medicinal plant monographs, in vitro physiology, on-farm research, plant tissue culture, and product development, working on plants such as ackee, bamboo, ginger, neem, pineapple, sarsaparilla, sweet potato, turmeric and yam. A copy of one of her recent publications is attached to this email and you can find out more about her work here.

Title: Ethnobiotechnology: Tailoring Biotechnology Towards Sustainable and Equitable Development


The emerging field of ethnobiotechnology seeks to develop a new paradigm in biotechnology, one that does not exploit but rather works with the caretakers of the world’s endangered and endemic biodiversity in the pursuit of sustainable and equitable development. With its emphasis on new knowledge (a requirement of patents), modern biotechnology tends to ignore traditional knowledge developed and sustained by local and indigenous communities over generations. Scientists working under the biotechnology paradigm tend to extract traditional knowledge and raw plant material from people and forests in biodiversity-rich tropical countries, patenting them as new in their countries without acknowledging the sources of their knowledge. Hans Sloane obtained a patent for making chocolate in 1687; yet the people from the Caribbean who shared their knowledge and plants with him remain nameless. More recently, research in biotechnology has been associated with the genetic modification of organisms and gene editing. Treated as a natural science, this form of biotechnology gleans little or no insight from Indigenous Studies, Development Studies, and other relevant fields in the social sciences and humanities. As with Sloan’s early biotechnology, the ultimate ends of this kind of research are the development of patents for new products such as foodstuffs, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals. This paper aims to show how the science of biotechnology can be made compatible with the desires and needs of indigenous and local communities in the tropical biodiversity ‘hotspots’ of the world, with lessons shared from decades of ethnobiotechnology research in Jamaica.

22 November 2023 12-1pm

Rebecca Grant will be presenting the results of the article  ‘An Ecohealth approach to energy justice: Evidence from Malawi’s energy transition from biomass to electrification’ and discussing current and future work on this topic.


                                      JOURNAL CLUB ARCHIVE 2023



25th January 2023 12-1pm

Dr JP Villanueva-Cabezas is visiting us from Melbourne, Australia and presenting in person. The session will be hosted in the Alexander Robertson Building, Room 1.07, as well as on Teams. We will officially start at 12:10pm, but please feel free to join us for tea and coffee from 12pm.

Dr  Villanueva‐Cabezas is an epidemiologist with a background in veterinary medicine. JP has been actively involved in national and international responses to pandemic events of animals and humans, and frequently works in collaboration with communities, governments, and international agencies. JP has a strong interest in developing One Health system approaches and is actively involved in One Health curriculum development and instruction at the University of Melbourne and the Asia Pacific region.

Dr Villanueva-Cabezas will present on the topic of One Health, focusing on syndemics and linkages to food security and One Health. Please see below a paper for discussion on the topic of syndemics, as well as three brief perspective papers from Dr Villanueva-Cabezas on some of his views regarding One Health, including the new OHHLEP definition, One Health beyond zoonoses, and how they teach One Health at the University of Melbourne.

8th February 2023 12-1pm

Prof Lindsay Jaacks and Divya Veluguri

Impact of large-scale, government legislated and funded organic farming training on pesticide use in Andhra Pradesh, India: a cross-sectional study

24th February 2023 12-1pm

Dr Taro Takahashi will be presenting on the topic: Introducing the SNEAK project: Sustainable nutrition, environment and agriculture without consumer knowledge.

Taro Takahashi is jointly appointed as a Senior Lecturer in Sustainable Livestock Systems and Food Security at the University of Bristol’s Veterinary School and a Research Scientist at the Net Zero and Resilient Farming Directorate of Rothamsted Research. Originally trained as a mathematical economist, he is an agricultural economist whose research interests surround the roles of agriculture in the wider society, and include bioeconomic modelling and life cycle assessment of farming systems, as well as programme evaluation studies and general equilibrium modelling of farming-based economies. Taro is a co-investigator on SNEAK (funded under the UKRI Transforming UK Food Systems Programme), which seeks to design non-nudge behavioural interventions to food choices. He is also a Co-I for Soil to Nutrition (S2N), a BBSRC Institutional Strategic Programme (2017-2022), and sits on the management committee for the North Wyke Farm Platform (NWFP), a BBSRC National Capability facility to improve the sustainability of pasture-based livestock production systems.

In this seminar Taro will address some of the challenges and innovations in the design of experimental interventions architectures relevant to food choice behaviours, in the subcontext of optimal land use for UK farmlands.

8th March 2023 12-1pm

Dr Fiona Borthwick

Michaud et al. (2019) – ‘Militaries and global health: peace, conflict, and disaster response’ – linkages with food systems

23rd March 2023 12-1pm

Prof Dominic Moran

Christopher Bene (2012) – ‘Why the Great Food Transformation may not happen – A deep-dive into our food systems’ political economy, controversies and politics of evidence’

5th April 2023 12-1pm

Dr Natalia Mamonova from RURALIS to present her paper, recently published in the Journal of Peasant Studies: ‘Food sovereignty and solidarity initiatives in rural Ukraine during the war.’

Dr Mamonova is a rural (political) sociologist with over 10 years of research experience in rural politics, agrarian transformation, social movements, food sovereignty and right-wing populism in post-socialist Europe. She received her PhD degree from the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) of Erasmus University, the Netherlands in 2016. Since then, she was a researcher/lecturer at the University of Oxford, the New Europe College in Bucharest, the University of Helsinki, and the Stockholm Centre for Eastern European Studies. Natalia is the principal coordinator of the European team of the Emancipatory Rural Politics Initiative (ERPI Europe). Natalia’s current research at RURALIS is mainly focused on the impact of the war in Ukraine on the Ukrainian and global food systems. Natalia is a research consultant at the University of Notre Dame and a member of the International Advisory Board of the Journal of Peasant Studies.

19th April 2023 11.30am-12.30pm

Elise Wach

Wach (2021) – ‘Market Dependency as Prohibitive of Agroecology and Food Sovereignty—A Case Study of the Agrarian Transition in the Scottish Highlands

Dr Elise Wach is a Research Advisor within the Resource Politics and Environmental Change research cluster at the Institute of Development Studies in the University of Sussex. Her work focuses on pathways for realising food systems which are ecologically regenerative, and which provide healthy food for the human population on an equitable basis. More about her work can be found here.

3rd May 2023 1-2pm

Dr Kate Schneider will present: ‘The State of Food Systems Worldwide: Counting Down to 2030.’ More information on the Food Systems Countdown Initiative can be found here.

Dr Kate Schneider is a researcher in food policy, food systems, nutrition, equity and ethics as part of the Global Food Policy and Ethics program at Johns Hopkins University, led by Dr Jessica Fanzo.  She completed a PhD in Food Policy and Applied Nutrition at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. Prior to earning a PhD, she spent five years at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as a program officer in agricultural development. Her work there involved a wide range of issues including gender, food systems, nutrition, environment, data, policy research, evaluation, and measurement.

17th May 2023 12-1pm

Dr Calum Brown from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology will present his paper (see link): ‘Agent-Based Modeling of Alternative Futures in the British Land Use System.’

Dr Calum Brown researches the processes that cause change in land management and ecosystems. He uses statistical and computational methods to try and understand these processes, and to explore how they might develop in the future. His background is in physics and ecology, and his PhD was on the ecology of tropical rainforests. He still works on forest ecology, but now mainly focuses on human land use and its interactions with climate change. This work involves modelling the ways in which land management decisions are made, attempting to build on knowledge of underlying social and environmental processes.

31 May 2023 12-1pm

Jacqueline Tereza Da Silva will present a paper by Lescinsky et al. (2022) – “Health effects associated with consumption of unprocessed red meat: a Burden of Proof study.”

14 June 2023 12-1pm Alexa Bellows and Alexa Saddler will be presenting the results of the recent report published by Food Matters: The Sankofa Report: British Colonialism and the UK food system.
12 July 2023 12-1pm

Rowan Jackson will be presenting: Why are sustainable practices often elusive? The role of information flow in the management of networked human-environment interactions. 

                                      JOURNAL CLUB ARCHIVE 2022 

14th December 2022 12-1pm

Dr Peter Alexander will present the following paper: ‘High energy and fertiliser prices are more damaging than food export curtailment from Ukraine and Russia for food prices, health and the environment.’ This paper has been accepted for publication in Nature Food but is not yet available on the website, so please find the accepted version attached, and a pre-print version here.

1st December 2022 12-1pm

Dr Smaragda Tsairidou will present on the topic: ‘Towards Sustainable Aquaculture – Opportunities and Challenges.’ Smaragda will present her paper (at the following link) on cost-effective genomic selection for resistance to sea-lice, which was also featured in the Herald Scotland, as well as touching on other topics related to sustainable aquaculture.

16th November 2022 12-1pm

Dr Rafael De Oliveira Silva will present the following paper (see the following link): Rationalizing ex situ collection of reproductive materials for endangered livestock breed conservation.


November 2022

12-1pm Prof. Jon Hillier will present his paper (see the following link): “The potential to reduce GHG emissions in egg production using a GHG calculator – A Cool Farm Tool case study.”


October 2022


Dr Kirsteen Shields will present her paper: “Using property law to expand agroecology: Scotland’s land reforms based on human rights.”


                JOURNAL CLUB ARCHIVE 2021-22 

21st September 2021 2-3pm

 Dr Alfy Gathorne-Hardy and Daisy Martinez from GAAFS will discuss their recent paper in Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems, “When the Medicine Feeds the Problem; Do Nitrogen Fertilisers and Pesticides Enhance the Nutritional Quality of Crops for Their Pests and Pathogens?

5th October 2021 2-3pm

We will be discussing a paper by Matias Hargreaves et al. (2021), which highlights collaborative research on agricultural technology adoption in a Mozambiquan village called Chitima.  The field experience included planning, interviews and observation in a community facing severe food insecurity.

Matias is currently doing a PhD in the Agroecosystem programme at the Federal University of Santa Catalina in Brazil.  His current research area focuses on the social dynamics of agroecological transformation, regenerative farming, human-animal relations and animal welfare. 

19th October 2021 2-3pm

Gabriel Marques from GAAFS will present the study, named "Evaluating environmental and economic trade-offs in cattle feed strategies using multiobjective optimization", this was recently accepted by the journal "Agricultural Systems".

2nd November 2021 2-3pm No Journal Club this week due to COP26 activity
16th November 2021 2-3pm

Jacqueline da Silva will present her recently accepted (and published by that date) paper "Greenhouse gas emissions, water footprint, and ecological footprint of food purchases according to their degree of processing in Brazilian metropolitan areas: a time-series study from 1987 to 2018".


December 2021


Prof. Lisa Boden will discuss the opinion paper: 'How a tiny bit of gender bias adds up to hurt women's careers'


1 February 2022 2-3pm

Dr. Lily Bliznashka (GAAFS) will present her study "Changes and challenges in markets for animal source foods: a qualitative study among market vendors in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia".

15 February 2022


Dr Francesco Tubiello (ESS) will present his paper titled “Food systems are responsible for a third of global anthropogenic GHG emissions”.

1 March 2022 2-3pm

Prof. Baojing Gu from the College of Environmental and Resources Sciences of Zhejiang University will discuss one of his recent articles, which was recently published in the Nature Food Journal and is titled, "Consolidation of agricultural land can contribute to agricultural sustainability in China".

15 March 2022 2-3pm

"Professor Matthew Canfield, PhD, from Leiden University Law School will present his paper UN Food Systems Summit 2021: Dismantling Democracy and Resetting Corporate Control of Food Systems".

29 March 2022 2-3pm

Tesfaye Hailu, a researcher at Ethiopian Public Health Institute and PhD candidate at Wageningen University, will present on a Methodology for developing and evaluating food-based dietary guidelines and a Healthy Eating Index for Ethiopia.  

12 April 2022 2-3pm

"Professor Hannah Gosnell from Oregon State University College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences will present her paper "Regenerating soil, regenerating soul: an integral approach to understanding agricultural transformation".

26 April 2022 2-3pm Myrtille Lacoste will present paper Farmer-centric On-Farm Experimentation to transform global agriculture
10 May 2022 2-3pm Professor Sarah Bridle, PhD, Chair in Food, Climate and Society, University of York.
14 June 2022 2-3pm

Dr Mahmoud Eltholth, Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Security, The University of Edinburgh.



23 September  2.30-3.30pm Dr. Celine Bonnet, Director of Research at Institut national de la recherche pour l'agriculture et l'environnement (INRAE) within the Toulouse School of Economics (TSE-R), will join us to discuss her paper, “Viewpoint: Regulating meat consumption to improve health, the environment and animal welfare,” recently published in Food Policy
7 October  2-3pm

Dr. Kirsteen Shields, Lecturer in International Law and Food Security, paper TBD

21 October  2-3pm

Dr. Paolo Agnolucci, Associate Professor, Bartlett School Env, Energy & Resources at University College London, will join us to discuss his paper, “Impacts of rising temperatures and farm management practices on global yields of 18 crops,” recently published in Nature Food, co-authored by Dr. Peter Alexander of GAAFS

4 November  2-3pm

Dr Rafael De Oliveira Silva, Chancellor’s Fellow, GAAFS, “Fire, deforestation, and livestock: when the smoke clears,” recently published in Land Use Policy

18 November  2-3pm Dr. Arindam Samaddar, International Rice Research Institute, “Capturing diversity and cultural drivers of food choice in eastern India,” recently published in the International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science
2 December  2-3pm

Yanik Nyberg from Seawater Solutions will be presenting an overview of their work followed by a discussion of potential academic research partnerships

16 December  2-3pm Prof. Dominic Moran, Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics, GAAFS,  will discuss the paper, “Food politics and development” by Melissa Leach et al., published in World Development
13 January 2-3pm

Dr Taddese Zerfu, Train@Ed Fellow, GAAFS, will discuss his work in progress, “The effect(s) of livestock farming on the nutritional and health status of children and women in low and middle-income settings”

27 January 2-3pm  Prof. Rosa Maria Poch discussing her paper “Soil: the Great Connector of Our Lives Now and Beyond COVID-19.”
10 February 2-3pm Dr. Lindsay Jaacks, Chancellor’s Fellow, GAAFS, “Association of prenatal pesticide exposures with adverse pregnancy outcomes and stunting in rural Bangladesh,” published in Environment International
24 February 2-3pm

Pietro Barbieri will discuss his conference paper, "Could N availability limit organic farming expansion at the global scale?"

10 March 2-3pm

Dr. Stephen Mackenzie, Research Fellow in AMR in Poultry Supply Chains, will discuss his paper, “Changes in the environmental impacts of pig production systems in Great Britain over the last 18 years"

24 March 1-2pm

Discussion session on “United Kingdom’s fruit and vegetable supply is increasingly dependent on imports from climate-vulnerable producing countries,” published in Nature Food by Pauline Scheelbeek, Cami Moss, Thomas Kastner, Carmelia Alae-Carew, Stephanie Jarmul, Rosemary Green, Anna Taylor, Andy Haines & Alan Dangour.

21 April 2-3pm

Dr Ann-Christin Zuntz, Lecturer in Anthropology of Development, and Mackenzie Klema, Research Assistant (Displacement And Modern Slavery), will discuss their work-in-progress paper exploring hospitality and food security using remote ethnographic research.

5 May 2-3pm

We will discuss the pre-print, “How One Pandemic Led To Another: Asfv, the Disruption Contributing To Sars-Cov-2 Emergence in Wuhan,” by Wei Xia, Joseph Hughes, David Robertson, and Xiowei Jiang.

19 May 2-3pm

Prof. Joyce Tait, Co-Director Innogen Institute, University of Edinburgh, will present her paper, “Responsible Innovation: its role in an era of technological and regulatory transformation,” published in Engineering Biology