• United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Amidst ongoing tensions between land reform, labour and the financialization of arable land, I invite applications for the project

Cultivating hope from the finance-land-food nexus: working relations and the ‘value’ of land in 21st century Scotland

This PhD study investigates if and how corporate land grabbing, most commonly associated with new enclosures in Global South, is changing agricultural land value, use and ownership in Europe and Scotland. The project explores how tensions in the finance-food-labour nexus create or constrain new opportunities for working the land towards sustaining food production and meaningful livelihoods.

This is a fully-funded scholarship for 3 years that covers all university tuition fees (at UK level) and an annual tax-free stipend. International students are also eligible to apply, but they may need to find other funding sources to cover the difference between the home and international tuition fees. Exceptional international candidates may be provided funding for this difference.

The deadline for applications is 31 March 2022.

Personal profile

Personal Statement

My current research investigates local and global tensions regarding labour, land use and commodification of natural resources.  I have a particular interest in Scottish land reform, mineral prospecting in Ireland and the territorial demarcations and resistance by agrarian, traditional and indigenous communities in the Global South.  I currently work closely with academics and civil society organisations in Scotland, Europe, Africa, Brazil and Latin America and share an ambition to challenge Eurocentric and colonial paradigms in our collective research. I am co-founder of the Centre for the Political Economy of Labour, which seeks to reflect this ambition in its praxis. 

Teaching Interests

At the Department of Work, Employment and Organisation, I teach on several undergraduate and MSc courses and focus on labour, migration, organisational strategies and collective resistance linked to globalised commodity chains and extractive industries. I have supervised PhD and post doctoral studies on south-south migration, pesticide harm, forestry and land reform, labour organisation and gender, and community repsonses to dispoessession and deindustrialisation.  I welcome interest from potential PhD candidates on any of the broad themes of my research.

Expertise & Capabilities

I favour and am experienced in participative and action research methodologies. I have consistently worked across disciplines, including sociology, environmental studies, geography, engineering and law, to place changes to work and labour in the context of new technologies, new sites of production and emerging commodity chains.  I am regularly involved in creative group facilitation and worker representation beyond traditional academic practices.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, University of Sheffield

Award Date: 1 Jan 2004

Bachelor of Science, Queen's University Belfast

Award Date: 1 Jan 1998


  • Commodity chains
  • Labour
  • Conflict
  • Extraction


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