Judith TsouvalisJudith Tsouvalis

Research Associate

Email: judith.tsouvalis@sheffield.ac.uk


Judith has a B.Sc. (Hons.) in Geography from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and a D.Phil from the University of Oxford. She lectured at the University of Oxford for three years before embarking on a full-time research career. Judith has worked on new participatory approaches (the RELU-funded Loweswater Care Project, where participation was modelled on Bruno Latour’s understanding of ‘new collectives’); science-publics-politics relations; plant biosecurity and ash dieback; precision farming; industrial forestry; and trees. She has a strong interest in theory and enjoys grappling with complex concepts and ideas, exploring what they enable us to achieve in practice or what they foreclose.


Research Interests

I am committed to theoretically informed and empirically situated research and experienced in building on collaborative partnerships and ethnographic work with local and expert communities. My research tends to be interdisciplinary, qualitative, and participatory in nature and informed by theoretical insights from critical geography and anthropology, political ecology, process philosophy, new materialism and Science and Technology Studies (STS). Empirically, the broad focus of my research is on science-society-nature relations, which I have investigated in the contexts of catchment management, farming, forestry, plant biosecurity, and science advice to government. I am particularly interested in how these relations are (de)constructed, (re/un)made, represented and performed and in how they become materially manifest (e.g. as ‘plantation forests’ or ‘ancient woodlands’).

Current Research

I joined the Department of Geography at Sheffield in 2018 and work with Dr. Ruth Little and colleagues from the Social Science Unit of Natural England (NE) on the project “Brexit and the Environment: Using Social Science to Redesign Environmental Land Management Payments”. The aims of the project are to assist government in a) using the available social science evidence on farmer decision-making and farmer uptake of agri-environment schemes to identify barriers and enablers for participation in the new scheme, and b) to co-design pilot schemes in collaboration with land managers to create a viable and implementable evidence-based Environmental Land Management (ELM) policy that will achieve high levels of participation and deliver environmental benefits. The project aims to ensure that views of relevant stakeholders – farmers and others - are included in the co-design of a viable new ELM scheme; that social science evidence on agri-environment schemes and farmer decision-making is taken seriously; and contributing to the design of ELM pilot projects.



Tsouvalis, J. (2000): A Critical Geography of Britain’s State Forests. Oxford: OUP

Journal articles

Pearce, W., Grundmann, R., Hulme, M., Raman, S., Hadley Kershaw, E., and Tsouvalis, J. (2017): A Reply to Cook and Oreskes on Climate Science Consensus Messaging. Environmental Communication, Vol. 11, Nr. 6, pp 736-739

Pearce, W., Grundmann, R., Hulme, M., Raman, S., Hadley Kershaw, E., and Tsouvalis, J. (2017): Beyond Counting Climate Consensus, Environmental Communication, Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17524032.2017.1333965

Tsouvalis, J. 2016. ‘Latour's object-orientated politics for a post-political age.’ Global Discourse, Vol. 6, Issue 1-2, pp 26-39 dx.doi.org/10.1080/23269995.2015.1011915

Tsouvalis, J and Waterton, C. 2015. ‘On the Political Nature of Cyanobacteria: Intra-Active Collective Politics in Loweswater, the English Lake District.’ Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, Vol. 33, No. 3, pp 477-493, DOI 10.1068/d14117p

Waterton, C., Maberly, S.C., Tsouvalis, J., Watson, N., Winfield, I.J., Norton, L.R. 2015. ‘Committing to place: the potential of open collaborations for trusted environmental governance’. PLOS Series ‘Open Engagement: Exploring Public Participation in the Biosciences’. DOI:10.1371

Tsouvalis, J and Waterton, C. 2012. ‘The Loweswater Care Project, Cumbria: building ‘participation’ upon critique’. RELU Special Issue on Expert Opinion in Environmental Management and Modelling. Environmental Modelling and Software 36, 111-121

Watson, N.M., Heathwaite, L., Maberly, S., Norton, L.R., Waterton, C., Tsouvalis, J., Haygarth, P.M. 2009. ‘Integrated catchment management and the WFD: Dealing with the complexity and uncertainty of diffuse pollution’. Tearmann: Irish Journal of Agri-Environmental Research, 7: 195-210

Tsouvalis, J., Seymour, S., and Watkins, C. 2000. ‘Exploring Knowledge-Cultures: Precision Farming, Yield Mapping, and the Expert/Farmer Interface’. Environment and Planning A, 32, 5, 909-924

Gerber (maiden name), J. 1998. ‘Beyond Dualism – the Social Construction of Nature and the Natural and Social Construction of Human Beings’. Progress in Human Geography, 21, 1, 1-17

Book chapters

Tsouvalis, J. 2018. Monstrous materialities: ash dieback and plant biosecurity in Britain. In: Nerlich, B, Smith, A., Hartley, S., Raman, S. (eds.) ‘Here be monsters’: Science, politics and the dilemmas of openness. Manchester University Press

Waterton, C. and Tsouvalis, J. 2016. ‘An “experiment with intensities”: village hall reconfigurings of the world within a new participatory collective’. In Chilvers, J and Kearnes, M. (eds.) Remaking Participation: Science, Environment and Emergent Publics. London: Routledge

Waterton, C., Norton, L., Tsouvalis, J. 2015. ‘The Loweswater Care Project, Cumbria.’ In Catchment and River Basin Management: Integrating Science and Governance, a Volume of Case Studies and Synthesis, edited by L. Smith, K. Porter, K. Hiscock, M.J. Porter, and D. Benson. UK: Routledge (Earthscan Studies in Water Resource Management)

Tsouvalis, J, Waterton, C., Winfield, I. 2012: “Intra-actions in Loweswater, Cumbria: New Collectives, Blue-Green Algae, and the Visualization of Invisible Presences through Sound and Science”. In Gillian Rose and Diviya P. Tolia-Kelly (eds.) Architectures of Visuality. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate.

Tsouvalis, J. 2005: ‘Cyborg Cultures’ in Sibley, D., Jackson, P., Atkinson, D., and Washbourn, N. (eds.) Cultural Geography – A Critical Dictionary of Key Ideas, I.B. Tauris

Tsouvalis, J. 2005: State Management and ‘Scientific Forestry’. Chapter 15 in Langton, J. and Jones G. (eds.) (2005) Forests and chases of England and Wales c.1500-c.1800: towards a survey and analysis. St. John's College/Oxbow Books. 118 + xviii pp.

Tsouvalis, J. 2000: ‘Socialized Nature: England’s Royal and Plantation Forests’. In: Cook, I. Crouch, D., Naylor, S., and Ryan, J. (eds.) Cultural Turns / Geographical Turns: Perspectives on Cultural Geography. London: Longman

Tsouvalis, J. And Watkins, C. 2000: ‘Imagining and Creating Forests in Britain, 1890-1939). In: Agnoletti, M. and Anderson, S. (eds.) Forest History: International Studies on Socio-Economic and Forest Ecosystem Change. CABI Publishing

Tsouvalis, J. 1998: ‘Making the Invisible Visible – Ancient Woodlands, British Forestry Policy, and the Social Construction of Reality’. In: Watkins, C. (ed.) European Woods and Forests: Studies in Cultural History. CABI Publishing.

Gerber, J., Holloway, L., Seymour, S., Steven, M., and Watkins, C. 1998: ‘New Technologies and Old Knowledges: The Impact of ‘Precision Farming’ on the Management of the English Countryside’. In: Croix, N. (ed) Environment et Nature Dans Les Campagnes. Nouvelles Politiques, Nouvelles Practiques. Rennes: Presses Universitaires de Rennes


Tsouvalis, J. and Waterton, C. 2012. Public participation as a process of de-politicization. AHRC website

Maberly, S., Norton, L., Tsouvalis, J., Waterton, C., and Watson, N. 2012. New Approaches to Environmental Governance: the Loweswater Experience. Report from a Conference with Agency Representatives held in Penrith, December 2010

Maberly, S., Norton, L., Tsouvalis, J., Waterton, C., and Watson, N. 2011: Understanding and Acting in Loweswater: A Community Approach to Catchment Management. End of Award Report to the Rural Economy and Land-Use (RELU) Program.

Tsouvalis, J., Seymour, S., Watkins, C., Holloway, L., and Steven, M. 2000: Farmers and Precision Farming. A Study of Attitudes and Practices in Lincolnshire and Suffolk. Working Paper Nr. 34, University of Nottingham, Department of Geography, University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD

Seymour, S., Turner, R., Gerber, J., and Kinsman, P. 1998: Research Into Cost Effective Methods of Influencing Attitudes within the Agricultural Community in the Upper Hampshire Avon Catchment. The Case of Non-Point Source Agricultural Pollution and ‘Best Management Practices’. A Report commissioned by the Environment Agency, March 1998.


Tsouvalis, J., 11th January 2016: ‘Ash dieback (Chalara), science, and plant biosecurity’. Making Science Public Blog, University of Nottingham

Tsouvalis, J., 16th December 2015: ‘How social and citizen science help challenge the limits of the biosecurity approach: the case of ash dieback’. LSE ‘British Policy and Politics’ Blog

Tsouvalis, J., 2nd July 2015: ‘Ash dieback (Chalara), free-trade, and the technocracy of biosecurity’. Making Science Public Blog, University of Nottingham