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Geoff Wells

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geoff.wells@ed.ac.uk

I am a doctoral candidate at the Global Change Institute, School of GeoSciences, at the University of Edinburgh, supervised by Dr Casey Ryan. I have also worked in community natural resource management programmes in various developing countries. Generally, I’m interested in land use change science, procedural and technological innovations for applied local natural resource management, and the sociopolitical aspects of the use of science and technology in land-based sustainability programmes.

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/geoff-wells/

ORCID id: orcid.org/0000-0002-5416-951X

Current work

Broadly, my current work assesses and aims to improve the effectiveness of scientific analyses in global and national programmes that seek to change land use by small-scale farmers. This research mainly relies on empirical analyses of the performance of smallholder payments for ecosystem service (carbon agroforestry) programmes across the tropics.

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I seek to conduct interdisciplinary research on socioecological systems using a variety of methods, ranging from field measurement of forests and quantitative modelling of land-based ecosystem services (e.g. carbon sequestration), to participatory household- and community-level social and environmental data collection and analyses, to critical political ecology and science and technology studies (STS) methods.

I am carrying out my current research in collaboration with the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) Sustainable Markets Group, the Plan Vivo Foundation, Ecotrust Uganda and Cooperativa AMBIO, Mexico. My studentship is funded as part of the UK NERC E3 Docotoral Training Partnership.

Other work and education

My previous work includes:

  • Consultancy work conducting quantitative modelling of greenhouse gas reductions in tropical carbon agroforestry projects
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  • Working as a research assistant at the University of Edinburgh investigating the monitoring of payments for ecosystem services, funded by the Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation programme
  • At the International Institute for Environment and Development, coordinating and implementing community natural resources management projects in East African drylands, aimed at building community resilience to climate change
  • Working as a researcher on international treaties in the Australian Parliament’s House of Representatives Committee Office.
  • I am also part of a community of researchers and practitioners supporting the development and application of the Smallholder Agriculture Monitoring and Baseline Assessment (SHAMBA) tool - a free and simple way to assess changes in greenhouse gases from land use in tropical areas

    I have an MSc in Ecosystem Services (Distinction) from University of Edinburgh, and a BA in International Studies from the University of Canberra, Australia.

    At the University of Edinbugh, I conduct occasional teaching on under- and post-graduate courses, and I advise a number of MSc students on their dissertation research. I am also currently the postgraduate representative on the School of GeoSciences Research Ethics & Integrity Committee.

    Publications and outputs

    Academic papers

    Wells, G., Fisher, J.A., Porras, I., Staddon, S. and Ryan, C., 2017. Rethinking Monitoring in Smallholder Carbon Payments for Ecosystem Service Schemes: Devolve Monitoring, Understand Accuracy and Identify Co-benefits. Ecological Economics, 139, pp.115-127. [open access]

    de Nijs, P.J., Berry, N.J., Wells, G.J. and Reay, D.S., 2014. Quantification of biophysical adaptation benefits from Climate-Smart Agriculture using a Bayesian Belief Network. Scientific reports, 4, p.6682. [open access]

    Wells, G.J. Furley, P.A., Ryan, C.M., Stuart, N. 2017. Ecosystem service analysis in marginal agricultural lands: a Belizean case study. In preparation.

    Blogs

    Bridging the two worlds of carbon forestry [link]

    The Paris Agreement, SDGs and simple local monitoring [link]

    Other reports

    Porras, I, Wells, G, Stephenson, C, Kazis, P (2016). Ethical carbon offsetting. Guidelines and lessons from smallholder and community carbon projects. IIED, London. [link]