United Kingdom

The Universities

The Team

Professor Guy .M. Poppy,
UoS – Centre for Biological Sciences
ASSETS Principle Investigator, overall coordination & leads ASSETS Policy and impact issues
Guy Poppy is a professor in ecology, specialising in managing ecosystems for food security at the University of Southampton. 2012 to 2014 he was the university’s director of multidisciplinary research. Currently Guy holds the position of the Chief Scientific Advisor at the Food Standards Agency.

Professor Nyovani J. Madise
UoS – Faculty of Social and Human Sciences
Leads ASSETS Household surveys, Capacity building and Ethics
Nyovani Madise obtained her PhD in 1993. It investigated the interface between birth interval length and infant mortality in Malawi using multilevel modelling. Before joining the University of Southampton in 1994, Nyovani worked as a lecturer in statistics at the University of Malawi. Nyovani co-directed Opportunities and Choices, a DFID-funded knowledge programme of research in reproductive health between 1999 and 2001 and was the first director of the Centre for AIDS Research. Nyovani is currently director of the Centre for Global Health, Population, Poverty, and Policy. She is also continuing to work on child survival, nutrition, HIV/AIDS and contraceptive use dynamics in sub-saharan Africa.

Professor Barrie Margetts
UoS – Medicine

Having grown up in Australia, Professor Margetts was shocked when as a new graduate he came face-to-face with a malnourished aboriginal child, and did not know what to do. This lead him to focus his career towards nutrition and subsequently in nutritional epidemiology so that he could work out what to do, and how to apply this to a wider population. Most recent research and scholarship of Barrie Margetts has focused on work in India and Africa, and increasingly trying to understand how to turn knowledge into policy into action. He has been a consultant over a number of years for the World health Organization, as well as various development agencies and national governments.

Dr Kate Schreckenberg
UoS – Engineering and the Environment
Leads ASSETS Participatory workshops
Kates research experience spans over 20 years in Africa, Asia and Latin America and includes work with UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere Programme, a PhD at the School of Oriental and African Studies and 13 years of policy-focused research with the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), London. Throughout, her main focus has been on investigating how farmers can individually and collectively obtain greater benefits from their natural resources and how regulations can support or constrain them in this endeavour.

Dr Felix Eigenbrod
UoS – Centre for Biological Sciences
Felix is a spatial ecologist broadly interested in understanding how human-induced land use changes affect biodiversity and ecosystem services. He is particularly interested in quantifying the often complex interactions between biodiversity, society and ecosystem services, and at identifying the spatial and temporal scales at which tradeoffs and interactions occur. In his research he uses GIS and statistical techniques to take advantage of existing environmental and biological datasets, and increasingly collaborate with specialists from other fields (such as geography, economics, hydrology, agriculture, human health) to fully understand the processes underlying the wide range of ecosystem services used by humans.

Dr Malcolm Hudson
UoS – Engineering and the Environment
Malcolm Hudson works on interdisciplinary projects with a focus on human impacts on natural systems. His current research  includes conservation management in Africa, sustainable food systems in Latin America, evaluating human impacts on sea bird ecology, resource management and risk assessment and modelling for shorebirds in industrial estuaries, marine pollutants and avian ecology, coastal management and sediment budgets as well as habitat management and behavioural ecology of sand lizards. 

Professor Terry Dawson
University of Dundee  – Geography, Part of School of the Environment
Leads ASSETS FEED ME modelling


Dr Carlos Torres Vitolas
UoS – Social Sciences
ASSETS Postdoctoral researcher


Dr Simon Willcock
UoS – Centre for Biological Sciences
ASSETS Postdoctoral researcher
Simon did his PhD thesis at Leeds University. He studied the carbon dynamics of tropical forests in Tanzania with the Valuing the Arc programme (www.valuingthearc.org). His main research interests are based within the broad themes of ecology and conservation. Specifically, he is interested in the interaction between natural biomes and people, mapping and modelling these complex processes with hope to increase the sustainability of resource extraction whilst simultaneously increasing human welfare through equitable payment for ecosystem services mechanisms (e.g. REDD+). Simon will be continuing this work for ASSETS, modelling the provision of ecosystem services and their use by the local people.

Carolin Bothe-Tews
UoS – Centre for Biological Sciences
Team communication and assistant to ASSETS PI
Carolin holds a Diploma in Geography from the University of Heidelberg. She has almost 20 year of experience in communication and knowledge management mainly the field of development cooperation. For GTZ/GIZ she worked on the communication and information aspect of various projects in field of agriculture and environment and was seconded to the FAO Headquarters as deputy project manager for INPhO, the ‘Information Network on Post-harvest Operations’. Her thematic background is agriculture, environment and sustainability.



Associated PhD students

f-harrietHarriet Smith
Harriet holds a Masters in Environmental Science (MEnvSci) from the University of Southampton, and started her PhD at the beginning of 2013. Her research interests predominantly focus upon socio-ecological systems and poverty alleviation through natural resource management. More specifically, the PhD will be looking at the social and environmental impacts of woodfuels in Malawi. Harriet is blogging at https://charcoaldiaries.wordpress.com/.

f-samSamantha Dobbie
Samantha began her PhD towards the end of 2013. Her research focuses on the use of simulation tools to explore complex social, ecological and political aspects of food security. As part of her PhD, Samantha is working alongside ASSETS to construct an agent-based model of food security in rural Malawi.

f-myriamMiriam Joshua
Miriam holds a Master of Science Degree in Environmental Sciences (MScENV) obtained from the University of Malawi in 2002. Miriam is a lecturer in Geography at the University of Malawi since 2005. She is currently studying for her PhD under ASSETS Project at the University of Southampton since December 2012. Her work focuses on water governance – specifically the effect of local formal institutions on access to potable water for marginalized households in sub Saharan Africa using Malawi as a case study. Her other research interests are in food security, climate change adaptation and rural livelihoods.

f-alisonAlison Simmance
Alison holds a MSc Marine Science, Policy and Law from National Oceanography Centre (University of Southampton)She studied Environmental Science Aquatic Pathway at the Queen Mary University of London. Prior to starting her PhD at the University of Southampton, she gained over four years of professional experience in the field of marine resource management both nationally and internationally. This included: her role as a scientific officer for the UK Government’s marine science unit and management of the EU MariFish project; and her role as a socio-economic marine resource field researcher for an NGO in Madagascar. Alisons main research interests lies in integrating natural and social sciences to address fisheries and aquaculture management issues in the context of developing countries. These experiences led her to study a PhD at Southampton University. Alison’s PhD investigates the role of aquaculture in Malawi to food security.

f-fionaFiona Simmance
Fiona holds a MSc Environmental Technology and Policy from the Imperial College London and a BSc Environmental Science Aquatic Pathway from the Queen Mary University of London. Prior to joining the University of Southampton, she worked with an environmental consultancy undertaking environmental impact assessments (EIAs) of coastal infrastructure projects in the UK and internationally. Fiona also held a post as a socio-economic marine resource field researcher for an NGO in Madagascar. Through these professional and academic experiences she gained a deeper understanding of the complexities of sustainable development and socio-ecological systems. This led her to study a PhD at Southampton University investigating the relationships between ecosystems and livelihoods. Fiona’s PhD investigates the role of Lake Chilwa’s fishery to food security and climate adaptation.



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