Session 1 Speakers

Dr Anna Krzywoszynska (Chair)

Faculty Research Fellow Geography, The University of Sheffield

Anna Krzywoszynska is a Faculty of Social Sciences Research Fellow. She is also an Associate Director at the University of Sheffield Institute for Sustainable Food. Her research concerns agriculture and food as the key spheres for the interaction between human and more-than-human worlds. She is especially interested in environmental knowledge, ethics, and affect, and how these shape and are shaped by rural and food-related spaces and practices. Her work engages frequently with the natural sciences. Consequently, her research also investigates the potential for ‘opening up’ the spaces of scientific knowledge production to non-certified expertise, as well as challenging the persistent division of labour between social and natural sciences in speaking about materiality, life, and ecology. For the last few years Anna has been exploring the reconceptualization of soils as lively ecosystems in conventional agricultural practice and its related knowledge fields, and the consequences of this for the future of agriculture and land use.

Anna graduated in European Social and Political Studies, specialising in Anthropology, at University College London (2002), and obtained her PhD degree in Geography at the University of Sheffield (2012). She then held a position as a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at the department of Geography, Durham University, as part of a transdisciplinary project funded by the EPSRC. During that time she also worked as an ESRC Nexus Network-funded Fellow at the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). Anna’s research to date has engaged with key sustainability themes, including food production and consumption (PhD), renewable energy (PDRA), and waste and sustainability (PhD).

Professor Tim Daniell (Chair)

N8 Chair in Soil Microbiology, The University of Sheffield

After a PhD in Warwick and post-docs in Durham, Lancaster and York Tim took up a Principal Investigator position at the Scottish Crop Research Institute (now James Hutton Institute) in Dundee in 2000 as a research lead in soil ecology and later Theme Leader in Sustainable Production Systems (2013-16).  At the Institute he developed a group focusing on soil ecology, especially in linking activity to the dynamics of the relevant microbial groups. In 2016 he became ‘Professor of Soil Microbiology’ at the University of Sheffield maintaining a 30% position at the Hutton. His current research focuses mainly on:The interaction between plants and soil function, Arbuscular mycorrhizal ecology andThe application of nematode dynamics as a measure of soil health.

Dr Beth Brockett

Senior Specialist, Natural England

Beth currently works in an interdisciplinary team supporting the development of the new Environmental Land Management system. She has a particular interest in the role of advice and working with different forms of knowledge to promote sustainable land management. Beth’s background is in social science, ecology and soil science and she has previously worked as a farm conservation advisor, an interdisciplinary academic researcher and as a community development practitioner. Beth has published in a range of peer-reviewed journals, a Parliamentary briefing paper and for specialist magazines.


Dr Tracie Evans

Head of Natural Science, Environmental Land Management, DEFRA

Tracie currently leads the natural science workstream within an interdisciplinary evidence team supporting the design and development of the new Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme. Their workstream comprises a wide range of expertise including climate change science, hydrology and ecology. As a workstream they are responsible for providing cross-cutting evidence to support policy decisions including: which environmental outcomes we should pay for in ELM; how environmental outcomes can be delivered and how we can monitor change in environmental outcomes and thus, the success of ELM. Her background is in ecology and entomology, having worked in numerous research institutes looking at plant-insect-crop relationships and studying for a PhD looking at the implications of land management on the movement and behaviour of pollinators.