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Our Team

The SysRisk team comprises social scientists, biologists and chemists from the Universities of Reading, York and Surrey. Our team combines academics embedded in Government (Defra) and a leading UK research centre for evaluating complexity (CECAN).


Tom Oliver (Principal Investigator)

Tom is a Professor of Applied Ecology at the University of Reading with a background in quantitative ecological modelling including forecasting. He has experience at the science-policy interface, as senior fellow ‘design authority’ role in the Defra Systems Research Programme and as socioecological systems expert on the European Environment Agency scientific committee. He has authored a recent popular science book on the importance of mindset and self-identity in underpinning environmental sustainability.


Kelly Boazman

Kelly is an Impact and Project Manager at the University of Surrey and a member of the Centre for the Evaluation of Complexity Across the Nexus (CECAN). Before joining CECAN, Kelly was the Director of Operations for Industrial Doctorates in Surrey’s Centre for Environment and Sustainability, where she established a first-of-its-kind doctorate programme entirely funded by industry. Kelly has continued to work closely with academics, researchers and practitioner partners, building up a strong background in stakeholder engagement and complex project management within an inter-disciplinary setting.


Bob Doherty (Co-Investigator)

Bob is Professor of Marketing and Chair of Agrifood at the University of York. He leads two large, interdisciplinary research programmes on food resilience (‘IKnowFood’ and ‘Transformations to Regenerative Food Systems’) and is the research theme leader for food in the York Environmental Sustainability Research Institute (YESI) as well as the first Director of the N8 Food Systems Policy Hub. He is Founding Editor Emeritus of the Social Enterprise Journal and spent five years as the Head of Sales and Marketing at the Fairtrade social enterprise pioneer Divine Chocolate Ltd prior to moving into academia. Specializing in research on pro-social market mechanisms, including hybrid organizations and certification bodies, Bob is a trustee on the board of the Fairtrade Foundation and a member of the Grow Yorkshire Board and Fera Science Committee. In 2019 Bob was seconded into Defra as a policy fellow to work on Food Systems policy development.


Nigel Gilbert (Co-Investigator)

Nigel is Distinguished Chair in Computational Social Science at the University of Surrey, Director of the Centre for Research in Social Simulation, of the Centre for the Evaluation of Complexity Across the Nexus (CECAN) and of the University’s Institute of Advanced Studies.


Matthew Greenwell

Matthew is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Reading.


Laura Harrison

Laura is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of York. She is an ecologist with research interests in the physical and mental health benefits of nature, indicator development and ecological risk assessment.


Ian Jones (Co-Investigator)

Ian is a Professor of Virology and world leading expert in virus evolution based at the University of Reading.

Alastair Lewis (Co-Investigator)

Alastair is Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry at the University of York, Science Director at the National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) and Chair of the Defra Air Quality Expert Group (AQEG).


Sarah Moller (Co-Investigator)

Sarah is a NERC Knowledge Exchange Fellow embedded in Defra, a member of the Defra Air Quality Expert Group and a Senior Fellow in the Defra Systems Research Programme leading on air quality science.


Shona Wilde

Shona is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of York working on air quality and health.

Staff from the Defra Chief Scientific Advisor’s Office are closely involved in this project (including both the Systems Research Programme and Defra Futures team) and we are working with a range of civil servants across Whitehall in our three case studies.