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Photo of Dr Tom Powell

Dr Tom Powell

Research Impact Fellow, Global Systems Institute


As a Research Impact Fellow in the Global Systems Institute, Tom helps to develop action orientated research with partners in industry, policy, third sector and communities. With a background in ecology, food systems, land use change, regenerative agriculture and land-surface modelling, he specialises in trying to understand how managed land and the food system might be adapted to form more sustainable long-term relationships with the Earth system, while building resilient and secure livelihoods and supply chains. Recently he has been involved in developing a framework for understanding how we might trigger positive tipping points in food and land use systems to help achieve this goal.

Tom is committed to participatory approaches to research and engagement, and collaborates with several community-led natural resource management initiatives in the global south. He currently leads a GCRF Facilitation Fund project with Meru University of Science and Technology and The International Small Group and Tree Planting Programme called Restoration of Soil Health and Biodiversity by Smallholder Farmers in Kenya. He also advises the UNESCO project Biosphere and Heritage of Lake Chad, and supervises Guy Lomax, a PhD student working on sustainable rangeland management in Kenya with the Northern Rangelands Trust. Tom also often works with arts practitioners on participatory and experiential projects exploring relationships between humans, ecology and earth systems processes, currently including Tidelines in the Exe Estuary.


PhD students:

Guy Lomax

Tom Ball (UEA)



GCRF Facilitation Fund: Restoration of Soil Health and Biodiversity by Smallholder Farmers in Kenya

Ruby Country Net Zero Beef Farming Forum


Tipping points for food and land-use transformations