A social and institutional perspective is at the centre of his work, which explores the linkages between local knowledges and practices and the processes of scientific enquiry, development policy-making and field-level implementation.
1981 – 84 New College, Oxford University. Exhibitioner in Zoology; First Class Honours Degree; Gibbs Prize for top first across science subjects.
1985 – 89Centre for Environmental Technology, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, University of London
– MSc in Ecological Management (Distinction). Thesis: Ecology and Environmental Impact Assessment (NERC funded)
– PhD student in Renewable Resources Assessment Group. Thesis: Livestock populations and the household economy: a case study from southern Zimbabwe. (SERC/ESRC grant, 1986-7 and IIED, 1988) (supervisors: Professor Gordon Conway and Professor John Beddington)
2002Professorial title, University of Sussex
1981Volunteer, Hiranpur Hospital, Bihar, India.
1983Study of Conservation status of Baly Bay, N.W. Madagascar (IUCN).
1985 – 89Research Associate, Renewable Resources Assessment Group, Centre for Environmental Technology, Imperial College of Science and Technology, London. Also, Associate Researcher, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Zimbabwe, Harare.
1985Consultant to IUCN. Conservation status of tortoises in southern Africa.
1986Consultant to IIED, Drylands Programme. Literature research for Sustainable Pastoralism: an annotated bibliography.
1986 – 87Fieldwork for PhD research; resident in Mazvihwa Communal Area, Zvishavane District, Zimbabwe.
1986 – 88ENDA-Zimbabwe Community management of indigenous woodland project and Zvishavane Water Resources Management Project (OXFAM).
1989 – 95Research Associate, Drylands and Sustainable Agriculture Programmes, International Institute for Environment and Development, London.
1995 -Fellow in Environment and Development, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex.
1999 – 2000Co-Director ESRC Global Environmental Change Programme.
2002 -Professorial Fellow, IDS/University of Sussex
-Coordinator, Future Agricultures Consortium, 2004 – (www.future-agricultures.org)
-Co-Director, STEPS Centre, 2006 – (www.steps-centre.org )