Dr. Fergus Sinclair is leader of systems science at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) in Nairobi, on the faculty in the School of the Environment Natural Resources and Geography at Bangor University, Wales, UK and Visiting Professor at the Centre for Agricultural Research and Higher Education (CATIE) in Costa Rica.
He is best known for his pioneering work on:
- local knowledge (http://akt.bangor.ac.uk/), and
- the measurement and modelling of complex social-ecological systems (http://www.cifor.org/realizingfutures/_ref/home/index.htm).
Most recently he has been engaged in:
- developing negotiation support tools for exploring trade-offs and synergies amongst impacts of land use change on ecosystem services (http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10980-013-9983-9; http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0169204612003532), and
- a new research ‘in’ development paradigm that applies systems research methods at the scale of impact (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877343513001437).
He obtained a first class BSc degree in Agricultural Systems from the University of Reading, inspired there to develop a career in applying systems methods in agricultural development by Sir Colin Spedding. He then worked for the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Development in Zambia and evaluated Mike Collinson’s farming systems research training at the University of Zimbabwe, put in practice as Adaptive Research Planning in Zambia. He went to do a PhD on modeling agroforestry systems with Prof. Paul Jarvis at the University of Edinburgh from where he was recruited by the University of Wales, Bangor to develop a new degree programme in Agroforestry. He has worked in 36 countries throughout the developing world.
Three recent YouTube videos show the tangible results of applying systems methods in development: