Dr Ruth Little
Department of Geography
Lecturer in Human Geography
+44 114 222 7983
Full contact details
Department of Geography
Geography and Planning Building
Ruth Little is a qualitative social scientist specialising in agricultural and food-related research.
Since 2012, Ruth has divided her time between the University of Sheffield and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), first working with the Animal and Plant Health Evidence and Analysis (APHEA) team and latterly with the Environmental Land Management team on the redesign of the post-Brexit agricultural payments system.
Her research has included a focus on animal and plant health management, policy evaluation and piloting innovative approaches to increase involvement of stakeholders and the wider public in decision-making on policies related to agriculture and the environment.
Ruth has recently been awarded an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) grant under the Governance After Brexit programme to analyse the future development of agri-environmental policies.
Ruth has over 15 years research experience conducting interdisciplinary agri-food projects funded by the Rural Economy and Land Use Programme (RELU), the ESRC and Defra. Before this, Ruth completed her PhD in collaboration with the Soil Association on collective food purchasing groups and food co-ops.
Ruth is a Co-Investigator on the ESRC project Landscapes of Support: Farmer wellbeing and rural resilience through and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Playing games with 'good farming': exploring the potential impact of disease control policies on farmers’ cattle purchasing practices. Journal of Rural Studies, 92, 371-382.
- Co‐designing the environmental land management scheme in England : the why, who and how of engaging ‘harder to reach’ stakeholders. People and Nature.
- Wildlife surveillance using deep learning methods. Ecology and Evolution. View this article in WRRO
- Negotiated Management Strategies for Bovine Tuberculosis: Enhancing Risk Mitigation in Michigan and the UK. Frontiers in Veterinary Science, 6. View this article in WRRO
- The ‘Good Farmer’: Farmer Identities and the Control of Exotic Livestock Disease in England. Sociologia Ruralis, 58(1), 3-19.
- Developing a risk-based trading scheme for cattle in England: farmer perspectives on managing trading risk for bovine tuberculosis. Veterinary Record, 180(6). View this article in WRRO
- Compensation and exotic livestock disease management: the views of animal keepers and veterinarians in England. Veterinary Record, 179, 513-513.
- Risk perception, crop protection and plant disease in the UK wheat sector. Geoforum, 50, 129-137.
- Plant health challenges for a sustainable land use and rural economy.. CAB Reviews: Perspectives in Agriculture, Veterinary Science, Nutrition and Natural Resources, 7(063).
- Rationalising risk: Grower strategies to manage plant disease in the UK wheat and potato sectors. Geographical Journal, 178(4), 338-347.
- Plant disease risk and grower–agronomist perceptions and relationships: An analysis of the UK potato and wheat sectors. Applied Geography, 34, 306-315.
- Integrating natural and social science perspectives on plant disease risk, management and policy formulation. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 366(1573), 2035-2044.
- Collective Purchase: Moving Local and Organic Foods beyond the Niche Market. Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, 42(8), 1797-1813.
- Inclusive design of post-Brexit Agri-Environmental Policy: Identifying and engaging the 'Harder to Reach' Stakeholders. An Empirical Study.
- Inclusive design of post-Brexit Agri-Environmental Policy: Identifying and engaging the 'Harder to Reach' stakeholders. A Quick Scoping Review.
- Co-Design, Co-production and Participatory Policy Making - Insights From the Social Sciences.
- Factors Influencing Farmer Participation In Agri-Environment Schemes (AES) – Evidence From The Social Sciences.
- Research group
Ruth Little is currently supervising three PhD students funded by the Grantham Centre and other sources. Enquiries from prospective PhD students are always welcome.
- Teaching activities
Ruth Little currently teaches on several undergraduate modules including:
- GEO115 Introduction to Environmental Geographies
- GEO248 Research Design for Geography and Environmental Science
- Professional activities
Ruth Little is a member of the Joint Defra-Natural England Expert Panel on Social Science Evidence for Improving Environmental Land Management Outcomes and the Defra bTB biosecurity advisory group.
She is also on the technical advisory board for the TB Advisory Service.