DSA-ESRC Workshop series
MEETING THE CHALLENGES
Interdisciplinary research for global development
Responding to Environmental Change
How can researchers and practitioners from the natural and social sciences and humanities work together to respond to environmental change in a way that supports development? This was the core question of the fourth of the DSA-ESRC workshops, co-sponsored by the John Innes Centre, and the Schools of International development, Environmental Sciences and Biological Sciences and the Sainsbury’s Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, January 2019.
The workshop drew together specialists in anthropology, geography, computer science, environmental science, plant science, political science, economics, epidemiology, infectious diseases, economics, and value chain analysis. Of those attending, 29 were Early Career Researchers (defined as anyone below Senior Lecturer/Research Associate level), and eight came from the global South. The morning sessions concentrated on inter-disciplinary working. The afternoon focused more especially on how to support early career researchers from the global South.
Professor Cathie Martin of the John Innes Centre, Norwich, talks about her work to develop climate resistant crops, which can help to ensure food and nutrition security for everyone in the world.
Dr Mercy Afua Adutwumwaa Derkyi of the University of Energy and Natural Resources, Ghana, presents her research on global climate change and its effect on smallholder farmers in Ghana, and explores how these farmers could be better involved in planning and decision making around environmental change.
Anne Haour is Professor in the Arts and Archaeology of Africa at the Sainsbury Research Unit (UEA). Here she presents her research from West Africa which helps us understand people’s past activities and collaborations, the impact of historical climate change and the importance of valuing Sub Saharan Africa’s heritage.
Asimenye Chitika, a Programme Officer at DanChurchAid in Malawi, explains the importance of combining both indigenous and scientific knowledge in supporting agriculture.
Eric Opu discusses how his PhD at the University of East Anglia draws on different disciplines, and outlines the advantages and challenges of doing inter-disciplinary research.
Rose Kigathi, a lecturer in biosciences at Pwani University Kenya, explains how her scientific knowledge of developing drought tolerant crops is enhanced by collaboration with social scientists who can help share her work with local communities.