An ECR’s travel diary

Thanks to the CEED Early Career Researcher Travel scheme, I spent April and May visiting a bunch of research centres in the UK and the Netherlands. It was wonderful to experience how people work at other universities, and to establish links with several interesting colleagues.

My research is based around two main themes: agri-environmental management by private landholders, and evidence-based environmental decision making; and my travel focussed on meeting researchers working on these two themes.

The trip began with the conference of the Agricultural Economics Society (AES) in Warwick, Coventry. I organised a workshop on interdisciplinary/integrated bio-economic modelling. It seemed that the agricultural economists presenting at this workshop, all of who worked in different fields, were experiencing similar challenges when it came to interdisciplinary research. Language barriers, time commitments, flexibility, and disciplinary epistemologies were all identified as the key challenges that need to be overcome to improve the integration of biophysical science and economics. An important message was the need for more integrative researchers, and greater recognition of interdisciplinary work. Together with the workshop participants, I will be writing a paper to summarise the lessons and recommendations from this workshop.

Other personal highlights of the AES conference were the presidential address by the legendary Rob Fraser, and the conference dinner during which I received the prize for the 2013 Agricultural Economics Society’s Essay Competition. This prize is awarded each year to an ECR in agricultural economics…

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