Dr Ruth Little.

Dr Ruth Little is a Research Fellow in the Department of Geography at the University of Sheffield. She is funded by an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Future Research Leader grant (2014-2016) focusing on sustainable agricultural systems. She works closely with the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and world-leading research institutions in North America and mainland Europe to conduct research on animal health and disease management.

Since 2012, Ruth has divided her time between the University of Sheffield and the Animal and Plant Health Evidence and Analysis (APHEA) team within Defra. Her main focus has been increasing understanding of the human factors that influence the management of disease in livestock - analysing how and why livestock farmers make their decisions, and how this affects disease control – and piloting innovative approaches to increase involvement of stakeholders and the wider public in decision-making on Animal Health and Welfare Policy.

Previous research positions have included a Post-Doctoral position (2008-2011) at the Countryside and Community Research Institute (CCRI) working as part of a large interdisciplinary team on a Rural Economy and Land Use Programme project Growing Risk? The potential impact of plant disease on land use and the UK rural economy. Before this, Ruth completed her PhD, in collaboration with the Soil Association, on increasing the accessibility and affordability of local and organic foods through collective purchasing schemes.