Researcher biography

Dr Severine van Bommel is an interdisciplinary social scientist working in the field of extension and rural development in agri-food systems. She is the leader of the Rural Development Group within the School of Agriculture and Food Sciences. She also coordinates the broader Social Science group within that school. She holds a PhD from Wageningen University (NL), where she worked as Associate Professor with the Communication Studies Group until 2018.

Her research and teaching focus deliberative, participatory practices in agri-food systems. Taking an interpretive, practice-based approach, she investigates what is meaningful to people, and how those meanings - often plural, at times clashing - are enacted, as well as the consequences of this. When possible she moves beyond explanation to co-design and social learning intended to improve the situation, such as for marginalised actors (both human and non-human). She has a track record of successful, innovative, social science research in this domain through international projects such as SLIM, LEARNing, and CADWAGO. She has more than 15 years of experience of working in Africa, Latin America and Europe. She is currently mainly working in Australia and the Pacific.

She has published and presented papers on the above mentioned topics in journals and international congress proceedings, been a co-editor in scientific journals and publications and served as a member of the boards of relevant scientific societies and international conferences and meetings. Her publications include the co-edited books Forest-People Interfaces (Wageningen Academic Publishers 2012) and Forest and Nature Governance: a Practice based Approach (Springer 2013). She is currently working on a book on Rural Development in Social-Ecological Systems. Her teaching includes various interdisciplinary BSc and MSc courses on Stakeholder Engagement. Leadership, Working in groups and teams, and Management of human-wildlife conflicts. She also supervises PhD students.

She is a member of the Advisory Board of the International Interpretive Policy Analysis conference (IPA) and she runs a Virual International Community of Practice for Interpretive Practitioners. She is also part of in the International Farming Systems Association (IFSA) and the Australasia-Pacific Extension Network (APEN).