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Dr James Fraser

Senior Lecturer

LEC Building



Tel: +44 1524 592196

Research overview

My research takes a critical approach to questions of sustainable farming, social justice and biodiversity conservation in the majority world.

I work at the intersections of Environmental Geography and Anthropology; Development and Postcolonial Studies and Political Ecology.

My most sustained fieldwork collaborations are in Brazilian Amazonia, and I have also worked in West Africa (Liberia) and Central America (Nicaragua). I work and publish with a variety of scholars and activists, many of whom are from the majority world.

My research is transdisciplinary, combining engagement with social movements with both critical and quantitative social science and GIS, along with natural science (ecology and soil science) methods.

This research has developed through two distinct strands:

The first seeks to comprehend the knowledge(s) and social institutions that shape  forest and rural peoples' agroecological practices of horticulture and agroforestry and the sustainbility of these social-ecological systems. See recent interview in Emergence.

The second is concerned with understanding and supporting forest and rural peoples’ political struggles for recognition, autonomy, territory, food sovereignty and decolonization along with social, environmental and  climate movements. See recent interview in Mongabay.

Current Projects:

I am a Co-I on the project Forest citizenship for disaster resilience: Learning from COVID-19 focusing on the Brazilian Amazon, funded under the Trans-Atlantic Platform Recovery, Renewal and Resilience in a Post-Pandemic World (RRR) call

I hold a CONFAP UK Academies Fellowship Socio-ecological resilience, territory and conflict in Western Pará, Brazilian Amazonia based at the Federal University of Pará, Brazil.

You can watch a film associated with this project entitled The Vaccine (2022) here

I am also part of the Fapesp-Fapespa project Traditional communities, environmental conservation and territorial policies: a comparative study in Brazil.


I am convener for:

LEC.322 Environment, Society and Politics in Amazonia (taught with Luke Parry)

LEC.331 Food and Agriculture in the 21st Century  (taught with Rebecca Whittle)

I also teach the Environmental Geographies block in the Part 1 module LEC.114 Society and Space, and contribute to the masters module LEC.401 Perspectives on Environment and Development.


I am Part II Director of Studies for Geography (3rd year)


Office B538 in LEC 1 / Green Zone 


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