Capability – Land-use Geographies and Health


Our capabilities in land-use geographies and health are being applied to understand the uneven and socially contested discourses and practices of land use and fire management. We bring established excellence in case-based political ecology into critical conversation, with spatial-analytic approaches of land-use/land-cover change science. We have experts and projects in area studies, Indigenous knowledges, agent-based modelling, risk and health to inform wider public deliberation about human-environment-fire relations.

Who to Contact

If you have general queries about our capabilities and research in this area, please get in touch with our key contact point below.

Dr Cathy Smith (RHUL) Email:

Dr Cathy Smith

People working in this area

Prof. Jay Mistry (lead – Indigenous & local knowledge) (RHUL) – Professor in Geography – read more
Prof. David Demeritt (lead – risk) (KCL) – Professor of Geography – read more.
Prof. Kate Schreckenberg (KCL) – Professor in Environment and Development – read more
Dr Alex Arnell (Reading) – Associate Professor – read more 
Dr Morena Mills (ICL)-  Reader in Environmental Policy and Practice – read more
Dr Emma Tebbs (KCL) – Lecturer in Physical Geography and Earth Observation – read more
Dr Jem Wood (ICL) – Reader in Sustainable Development – read more

Dr Cathy Smith (RHUL) – PDRA – Global analysis of local sociological case studies of fire practices within smallholder and subsistence-oriented livelihoods – read more
Dr Li Wang (KCL) – PDRA – local diversities and effectiveness of agricultural burning regulation in China

Abi Croker  (ICL)- PhD student – Community-based Fire Management: A colonial narrative?
Kayla de Freitas (RHUL) – PhD student – Indigenous fire management and protected areas in Guyana
Daniel Gallaghar (RHUL)- PhD student – Long-term interactions between vegetation, fire and human impact in Guyana
Sophie de Pauw (Reading) – PhD student – Farmers burning practices and conservation in Mozambique
Angel Goldsmith (KCL) – PhD student – integrated wildfire risk-based mitigation model in South Africa
Rahinatu Sidiki Alare (KCL) – PhD student – Understanding the trade-offs between traditional and government approaches to fire management in the savannah woodlands of northern Ghana
Michel Valette (ICL) – PhD student – Assessing social and ecological drivers of fire regimes in the Brazilian Amazon in the context of changing forest governance
Kapil Yadav (KCL) – PhD student – Contested fire management in India’s forests

Agent-based modelling:
Dr James Millington (KCL) – Reader in Landscape Ecology – read more
Ol Perkins (KCL) – PhD student – Agent-Based methods for representing anthropogenic fire in Dynamic Global Vegetation Models (DGVMs)
Viera Ukropcova (KCL) – PhD student – Corporate and financial actors’ impacts on deforestation and forest fires in the tropics

Prof. Majid Ezzati (ICL) – Chair in Global Environmental Health – read more
Vissia Didin Ardiyani (Public Health) (KCL) – PhD student –  alteration of pregnancy related birth weight in pregnant women exposed by toxic air during Indonesia peat fires
Yanan Liu (Environmental Health) (KCL) – PhD student – potential impacts of smoke from landscape fires on migratory insects


LIFE: Database of subsistence-oriented and smallholder fire use and mitigation

Leadership Team