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Siobhan Maderson

Dr Siobhan Maderson

Research Associate

School of Geography and Planning

43-45 Park Place, Cathays, Cardiff, CF10 3BB


I am a Human Geographer; my work combines academic knowledge and methods with the diverse experiential knowledge of non-academic partners to develop ways to improve food systems for the health and wellbeing of humans and other species, and environmental regeneration and resilience.  I am interested in how human societies co-exist with the myriad others species in their shared ecosystems, and what values and practices have the greatest capacity for interspecies and intergenerational justice. I have experience outside of academia working with environmental charities, and am committed to transdisciolinary research to support just transitions. My research and teaching have focused on:  

  • Pollinator policy and how to improve the agri-environment for biodiversity
  • Incorporating diverse knowledge into environmental governance and decision-making systems
  • Decreasing food waste to ensure better use of resources, and improve food justice
  • Urban food systems, and ensuring that food production in cities is environmentally sustainable, nutritionally beneficial, meets local community needs, and does not contribute to gentrification and displacement of communities at risk. 
  • Political Ecology, Sustainability and Resilience Studies





Food Trails

I am currently a Research Associate on the Horizons 2020 Food Trails Project. This project brings together a consortium of 11 European Cities, 3 Universities, and other stakeholder organisations. The consortium is working to operationalise the Milan Urban Food Policy pact, by co-designing urban food policies and practices that support human and planetary health.    Cities develop Living Labs to address food waste, public procurement, urban-rural linkages, food justice, and more, with an emphasis on co-benefits which address environmental, social and economic sustainability.

Past research and academic projects

ESRC Post-Doctoral Fellowship

My ESRC Post-Doctoral Fellowship allowed me to develop and promote my PhD research findings, on the environmental knowledge of long-term beekeepers, and how this can support pollinator policies and agricultural land management. This research combined a range of qualititative methods, including archival analysis, interviews and participant observation. Findings suggest that this group had high levels of hybrid knowledge. Their place-based experiential knowledge was often supplemented with additional formal education on bee health, botany, and other topics relevant to beekeeping and wider pollinator wellbeing, and holding the capacity to enrich policy development and implementation. 

Global Food Security Policy Lab

I took part in the 2021 GFS Policy Lab, where a team of ECR investigated the potential of True Cost Accounting to support collaborative multisectoral decreases in food waste. Focus groups with diverse food system stakeholders (retailers, wholesalers, civil society organisations, researchers, local government officials) explored the potential benefits, and shortcomings, of TCA to encourage efforts to decrease food waste.    Group participants explored food justice, the impact of TCA on communities experiencing food poverty, current food policies and food system logistics. Research findings were presented by UKRI at COP26.



  • 2015 –2019: PhD Human Geography, Aberystwyth University (Funded by ESRC grant 1645591) Thesis: The Traditional Environmental Knowledge of Beekeepers' Civil Society Organisations: A Charter for Environmental Sustainability?    
  • 2013-2014: MSc in Food and Water Security, Aberystwyth University.  (Distinction, 1st Class) 
  • 1986-89: BSc in Social Anthropology, London School of Economics  (2.1)  

Honours and awards

  • June 2020 ESRC Post Doctoral Fellowship  
  • June 2018: Aberystwyth University DGES Postgraduate Discretionary Research Fund 
  • May 2017: First Place, Aberystwyth University 3MT competition / Vitae 3MT®® semi-finalist 
  • February 2017: Finalist in ESRC "Making Sense of Society" Writing Competition 
  • September 2015: Economic & Social Research Council PhD Scholarship: Grant
  • August 2015: Macauley Development Trust Grant to attend and present at ESRS Conference, Aberdeen 
  • August 2013: European Social Fund Access to Masters Scholarship, to pursue MSc  

Professional memberships

  • Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society 
  • Member of British Ecological Society 
  • British Ecological Society Grant Review College 

Academic positions

  • Oct 2020 – Oct 2022 ESRC Post-Doctoral Fellow, Aberystwyth University (part-time) 
  • Sept 2018–Sept 2020 Lecturer (part-time): Graduate School of the Environment. Centre for Alternative Technology  

Committees and reviewing

  • Journal Reviewer, Human Ecology
  • Journal Reviewer, Journal of Rural Studies
  • Journal Reviewer, Science of the Total Environment