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Dr Alastair Smith

Dr Alastair Smith


Speaking to me:

Please call me Alastair; pronounced "æləsteə"

Listen to me pronounce my nameLink opens in a new window.

My chosen pronouns are: he/his

Tel.: +44(0)24765 28869
Room: R3.30 Ramphal Building


Arranging a conversation:

1) Diary Appointment

My strong preference is to meet students by mutually convenient appointment. To make one, please request a Teams chat through Outlook Web (here's my video of how (Eco365),Link opens in a new window or an alternative (YouTube)Link opens in a new window and this is good learning for life/work).

If you have tried the above, and it has not worked for any reason, other options are:

2) Email me.

Associate Professor

Education for Sustainable Development Officer


One of the main characteristics of my academic career has been my highly inter- and multi-disciplinary approach to the issues of Global Sustainable Development. Following an undergraduate education in History and Politics (B.A. Hons, Joint Equal, York University) I worked in Central and South America on micro-business/income generation projects for rural communities. On my return to the UK I completed an interdisciplinary MPhil research master’s degree at the University of Oxford, learning the additional disciplinary approaches offered by Anthropology and Economics. I then furthered my interests through PhD research at Cardiff UniversityLink opens in a new window, where I critically investigated the public purchases of ‘fair trade’ rice from Malawi, for use in Scottish schools, as a tool of UK international sustainable development policy.

Following my academic apprenticeship I worked at Cardiff University, being involved in a wide range of externally and institutionally funded projects, covering issues of market creation for fair trade products in Europe and the developing world (Brazil, Kenya and South Africa), microfinance access and governance (Africa and India), and food security in the ecologically fragile context of Caribbean islands. I have also regularly undertaken consultancy work for national and international NGOS and the UK Government Department for International Development (DFID), for example building resources for development practitioners promoting sustainable urban livelihoods.

A second defining aspect of my work has been significant investment in my role as a university teacher. Despite initially working as a Research Assistant (ESRC center for Business Relationships, Accountability, Sustainability and Society) and then Research Fellow (School of Planning and GeographyLink opens in a new window) I became increasing involvement in teaching and completed a Postgraduate Certification in University Teaching and Learning (PCUTL), leading to Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (HEA). In order to develop my experience I spent time outside the UK, working as Resident Lecturer at an independent research and teaching center (administered by the US based not-for-profit the School for Field Studies) in the ecologically and socially fragile area of Bocas del Toro, Panama. Here I developed my understanding of place-based and holistic research-led teaching and learning.

Sustainable Development Goals

All the UN Sustainable Development Goals are inherently interconnected. However, Alastair's research and teaching predominantly focuses on: