The Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures is powered by some of the most esteemed researchers at the University of Sheffield. These expert scientists, engineers and social scientists have made major discoveries, and they supervise the research projects that our PhD students, the Grantham Scholars, are working on.

The Grantham Centre brings together these individuals, and the departments and research centres they are based in, to foster new collaborations between disciplines, and across the worlds of academia, industry and policymaking. Our research community spans ambitious postgraduates, to enterprising academics, to Fellows of the Royal Society.

Grantham Scholar research projects

Below you can find out about the research projects being completed by our PhD students, the Grantham Scholars. To find out more about the training they completed alongside their research, see Training.

Cohort one: 2014-2018

Assessing the impact of climate change on crop yields in Europe
Grantham Scholar: Monica Ortiz
Supervisor: Dr Julie Jones
Co-supervisors: Professor Edward Hanna, Professor Rob Freckleton, Professor Adam Scaife (UK Met Office)

Automating agriculture: using UASs to monitor for environmental and management benefits
Grantham Scholar: James Lambert
Supervisor: Professor Rob Freckleton
Co-supervisors: Dr Dylan Childs, Professor Tony Prescott, Professor Sandor Veres

Computational simulation of plant-soil-water processes for design of agricultural production
Grantham Scholar: Angesh Anupam
Supervisor: Professor Visakan Kadirkamanathan
Co-supervisors: Professor David Beerling, Professor Steve Banwart

Delivering food security through small-scale farmers – lessons from Brazil
Grantham Scholar: Cecilie Dyngeland
Supervisor: Dr Karl Evans
Co-supervisor: Dr Chasca Twyman

Global food security – identifying and isolating genes for engineering improved drought-tolerance of crops in a CO2-rich world
Grantham Scholar: Hannah Sewell
Supervisor: Professor David Beerling
Co-supervisors: Dr Stuart Casson, Professor Julie Gray

Improving crops’ resilience to climate change by understanding the molecular basis of seedling establishment
Grantham Scholar: Peter Venn
Supervisor: Dr Karim Sorefan
Co-supervisor: Professor Jurriaan Ton

Improving food security by reducing loss to plant pathogens
Grantham Scholar: Christian Dutton
Supervisor: Professor Julie Gray
Co-supervisor: Professor Jurriaan Ton

New avenues to improve crops with C4 photosynthesis: How did nature build efficient C4 enzymes?
Grantham Scholar: Nicholas Moody
Supervisor: Dr Jim Reid
Co-supervisor: Dr Pascal-Antoine Christin

Reducing environmental impacts through sustainable food choice
Grantham Scholar: Fiona Graham
Supervisor:Professor Michelle Holdsworth
Co-supervisors: Dr Manoj Menon, Dr Margo Barker

Sustainable agricultural soil management by recycling algal biomass to land
Grantham Scholar: Emanga Alobwede
Supervisor: Dr Jagroop Pandhal
Co-supervisor: Professor Jonathan Leake

The Big Seed Sunshine Project
Grantham Scholar: James Thackery
Supervisor: Dr Karim Sorefan
Co-supervisor: Dr Marta Milo

Cohort two: 2015-2019

Engineering sustainable phosphorus-rich organic fertilisers
Grantham Scholar: Niall Bradshaw
Supervisor: Dr Robert Falconer
Co-supervisor: Professor Duncan Cameron

Evaluating the role of public-private partnerships in the delivery of ecosystem services in UK agriculture
Grantham Scholar: Daniel Casey
Supervisor: Dr Ruth Little
Co-supervisor: Professor Lorraine Maltby

From nature to nano: Learning and mimicking evolution’s designs for efficient conversion of solar energy to electrical current
Grantham Scholar: Guy Mayneord
Supervisor: Dr Matt Johnson
Co-supervisors: Professor Neil Hunter, Dr Ashley Cadby

High mobility materials for sustainable organic optoelectronic devices
Grantham Scholar: Oleksandra Korychenska
Supervisor: Dr Ahmed Iraqi
Co-supervisor: Dr Jenny Clark

How does the mining sector impact on Peruvian communities through its influence on migration?
Grantham Scholar: Sally Faulkner
Supervisor: Dr Tom Goodfellow
Co-supervisor: Professor Andrew Geddes

Integrating quantitative and qualitative data for improved food supply chain analysis
Grantham Scholar: Patience Muchada
Supervisor: Professor Peter Jackson
Co-supervisor: Dr Farida Vis

Measuring tropical forest degradation and its consequences using satellite data
Grantham Scholar: Matthew Hethcoat
Supervisor: Professor Shaun Quegan
Co-supervisors: Dr David Edwards, Dr Robert Bryant, NERC National Centre for Earth Observation

Meat consumption and the idea of animal resources
Grantham Scholar: Diana Webber
Supervisor: Dr Robert McKay
Co-supervisors: Dr John Miller, Dr Alasdair Cochrane

Plant-soil interactions: the impact of plant water use on root architecture and soil structure
Grantham Scholar: Tinashe Mawodza
Supervisors: Dr Stuart Casson, Dr Manoj Menon
Co-supervisor: Professor Damien Lacroix

Public-private partnerships in carbon sequestration projects in the Global South
Grantham Scholar: Robert Hardie
Supervisor: Dr Chasca Twyman
Co-supervisors: Dr Chris Jones, Dr Matthew Cotton

Social representations of climate change adaptation
Grantham Scholar: Emma Stevens
Supervisor: Dr Stephen Connelly
Co-supervisors: Dr Chris Jones, Dr Matthew Cotton

Sustainably expanding tropical agriculture: Preventing perverse market outcomes from high-yielding crops
Grantham Scholar: Felix Lim
Supervisor: Dr David Edwards
Co-supervisor: Dr Jolian McHardy

The geography of emissions and forward-looking responsibility
Grantham Scholar: Anton Eriksson
Supervisor: Dr Holly Lawford-Smith
Co-supervisors: Dr Genevieve LeBaron, Dr Chasca Twyman

The green economy and protected areas – constraint or opportunity?
Grantham Scholar: Bowy den Braber
Supervisor: Dr Karl Evans
Co-supervisors: Dr Rob Bryant, Dr Johan Oldekop

The impact of rural-to-urban migration on the sustainability of urban diets in sub-Saharan Africa
Grantham Scholar: Carolyn Auma
Supervisor: Professor Michelle Holdsworth
Co-supervisor: Dr Megan Blake

Understanding the fate and response of soil carbon to climate change in the Arctic
Grantham Scholar: Magdalena Matysek
Supervisor: Dr Donatella Zona
Co-supervisor: Professor Steve Banwart

What consequences does the decentralisation of energy production have for local energy demand?
Grantham Scholar: Katie Sumner
Supervisor: Dr Matt Watson
Co-supervisor: Dr Alastair Buckley

Cohort three: 2016-2020

Arguing about GM – an analysis of the use of science in the GM food debate in traditional and social media
Grantham Scholar: Roberta Fabrizi
Supervisor: Dr Margo Barker
Co-supervisors: Professor Jurriaan Ton, Dr Jean Russell

Assessing the potential of no-­till farming across European soils
Grantham Scholar: Jennifer Veenstra
Supervisor: Dr Manoj Menon
Co-supervisors: Dr Colin Smith, Dr Anna Krzywoszynska

Biodiversity, the economy and public policy
Grantham Scholar: Kaisa Pietilä
Supervisor: Professor Rosaleen Duffy
Co-supervisors: Professor Colin Hay, Prof James Wilsdon and Prof Peter Horton

Characterising uncertainty in complex environmental simulations for public engagement with climate change conscious sustainable planning and design
Grantham Scholar: Jonathan Sykes
Supervisor: Dr Chengzhi Peng
Co-supervisors: Dr Richard Wilkinson, Professor Helen Kennedy

Climate-ready rice: protecting rice yields under global warming
Grantham Scholar: Ligia Bertolino
Supervisor: Professor Julie Gray
Co-supervisors: Professor Paul Quick, Dr Eran Elhaik

Development of a low ­cost, portable and solar­powered pump for improving income, food and energy security in developing countries
Grantham Scholar: Saeed Mohammed Wazed
Supervisor: Dr Ben Hughes
Co-supervisors: Dr Russell Goodall, Dr Andy Bell

Earthworm diversity and dynamics: The neglected component of soil sustainability
Grantham Scholar: Joseph Llanos
Supervisor: Dr Penelope Watt
Co-supervisor: Professor Jonathan Leake

Engineering the removal of metals from human waste to make it processable as a fertiliser
Grantham Scholar: James Bezzina
Supervisor: Dr Mark Ogden
Co-supervisor: Dr Robert Dawson

Enhanced rock weathering supply chain life cycle sustainability
Grantham Scholar: Eunice Oppon
Supervisor: Professor Lenny Koh
Co-supervisor: Professor David Beerling

Entropy calculation to help understand societal change
Grantham Scholar: Theresa Nelson
Supervisors: Dr Alastair Buckley, Dr Roger Doonan
Co-supervisors: Professor Martin Mayfield, Dr Iñaki Esnaola

Evaluating the influence of the reporting of natural disasters on public understanding of their causes and possible prevention solutions
Grantham Scholar: Ye Jiang
Supervisor: Dr Diana Maynard
Co-supervisors: Professor Jackie Harrison, Professor Shaun Quegan

How policy travels through people: Understanding the values and practices of actors in a water governance system
Grantham Scholar: Naomi Oates
Supervisor: Professor Frances Cleaver
Co-supervisors: Dr Steve Connelly, Professor Alan Macdonald

Reconstructing the past and predicting the future: what can ice­-cores tell us about climate?
Grantham Scholar: Fiona Turner
Supervisor: Dr Richard Wilkinson
Co-supervisor: Dr Julie Jones, Professor Caitlin Buck

Recyclable polymer foams as synthetic soils for cultivation of high­ value horticultural crops
Grantham Scholar: Harry Wright
Supervisor: Professor Tony Ryan
Co-supervisors: Professor Duncan Cameron, Dr Gareth Phoenix

Rural livelihoods within global supply chains: Food waste and recovery in East Africa from global supply chains to local food systems
Grantham Scholar: Jonas Cromwell
Supervisor: Dr Megan Blake
Co-supervisors: Dr Claire Quinn, Dr Stephen Whitfield

Understanding and formulation of the spatial effects of city economic and energetic characteristics on their resource consumption
Grantham Scholar: Ling Min Tan
Supervisor: Professor Martin Mayfield
Co-supervisors: Professor Gwilym Pryce, Dr Paul Brockway, Dr Danielle Densley Tingley

Urea­-ka! Public and political perceptions of carbon dioxide utilisation in the manufacture of urea-­based products
Grantham Scholar: Gloria Mensah
Supervisor: Dr Kate Dommett
Co-supervisors: Dr Christopher Jones, Professor Peter Styring

Cohort four: 2017-2021

Bioavailability of heavy metals to urban agricultural food and biofuel crops and their remediation potential
Grantham Scholar: Marta Crispo
Supervisor: Dr Jill Edmondson
Co-supervisors: Dr Manoj Menon, Dr Janice Lake

Contextualising e-agriculture: strengthening rural livelihoods through information and communication technologies in Tanzania
Grantham Scholar: Hannah McCarrick
Supervisor: Prof. Dorothea Kleine
Co-supervisors: Prof. Dan Brockington, Dr Anna Krzywoszynska

Development of an algal-bacterial consortium based scrubbing system for biomass combustion gases for protected crop cultivation
Grantham Scholar: Joanna Harley
Supervisor: Dr Jagroop Pandhal
Co-supervisors: Dr Jim Gilmour, Andrew Goddard

Evaluating the Transition towards a Circular Economy in the Global Agri-Food Supply Chain
Grantham Scholar: Meletios Bimpizas
Supervisor: Dr Andrea Genovese
Co-supervisors: Prof. David Evans, Dr Sonal Choudhary, Dr Estrella Luna-Diez

Exploring the Implementation of an Accounting and Engagement Framework for Extinction Prevention
Grantham Scholar: Mira Lieberman
Supervisor: Prof. Jill Atkins
Co-supervisors: Dr Robert McKay

Fully integrated EV energy storage using transport infrastructure
Grantham Scholar: Teng Zhang
Supervisor: Prof. David Stone
Co-supervisors: Dr Erica Ballantyne

Improving carbon uptake in soils by designing carbon fertilisers
Grantham Scholar: Aneesa Ahmad
Supervisor: Dr Natalia Martsinovich
Co-supervisors: Dr Maria Romero-Gonzalez

Improving sustainability of quantitative disease resistance against plant disease: a project to understand and counter host adaptation by downy mildew
Grantham Scholar: Emma Smith
Supervisor: Prof. Jurriaan Ton
Co-supervisors: Prof. Micheal Brockhurst, Dr Karin Posthuma, Dr Joost Stassen

Measuring resource use in Informal Settlements in Developing Countries
Grantham Scholar: Adriano Dias
Supervisor: Dr Danielle Densley Tingley
Co-supervisors: Dr Seth Schindler

Minimizing ecological and social externalities in tropical crop expansion
Grantham Scholar: Maria Wang
Supervisor: Dr David Edwards
Co-supervisors: Sanjay Lanka, Martin Hollands and Roman Carrasco

Molecular and process simulation of CO2 adsorption on Hydrotalcites as solid adsorbents
Grantham Scholar: Phebe Linette Bonilla Prado
Supervisor: Prof. Meihong Wang
Co-supervisors: Mathew Aneke

Pushing electrons: How does Nature make it work in natural two dimensional solar cells?
Grantham Scholar: Thomas Davies
Supervisor: Dr Matt Johnson
Co-supervisors: Prof. Neil Hunter, Prof Mark Dickman

Rice, rocks and the parasitic weed Striga: Increasing sustainable cereal production and protection in sub-Saharan Africa
Grantham Scholar: David Rapley
Supervisor: Prof. Julie Scholes
Co-supervisors: Prof. David Beerling, Prof. Jurriaan Ton, Dr Mathias Lorieux

Solar fuels from sustainable feedstock using Earth-abundant catalysts
Grantham Scholar: James Shipp
Supervisor: Prof. Julia Weinstein
Co-supervisors: Prof. Tao Wang, Dr Alastair Buckley, Dr Stephen Ebbens

Sustainable Diets and State Policy
Grantham Scholar: George Coiley
Supervisor: Dr Alasdair Cochrane
Co-supervisors: Christopher Bennett

The green economy, resource governance and pastoralism: transforming livelihoods and institutional landscapes
Grantham Scholar: John Ulumara Nnko
Supervisor: Prof. Frances Cleaver
Co-supervisors: Prof. Dan Brockington

Transforming organic waste to valuable chemicals
Grantham Scholar: Eleanor O’Doherty
Supervisor: Dr James McGregor
Co-supervisors: Dr Marco Conte, Dr Nick Taylor Buck

Water purification by zeolites supported on carbide foams
Grantham Scholar: Changyan Zhou
Supervisor: Dr Marco Conte
Co-supervisors: Prof. Kirill Horoshenkov

Why is the atmosphere becoming drier? The roles of atmospheric processes and vegetation feedbacks, and their implications for future climate change
Grantham Scholar: Florentine Weber
Supervisor: Dr Julie Jones
Co-supervisors: Prof. Colin Osborne, Dr Willett, Dr Robert Bryant

Research centres

We work closely with other sustainability teams at the University of Sheffield. The researchers behind these groups are mentors to many of our Grantham Scholars and are coming up with innovative new solutions to sustainability challenges.