Harriet Smith

Harriet Smith

Research Fellow at the University of Leeds. For more information see: https://environment.leeds.ac.uk/see/staff/1543/dr-harriet-elizabeth-smith

Location UK


  • You're absolutely right @ADRUPIOSCOVIA - effective communication is such an important factor in building climate resilience.

  • That's really interesting! I wonder, why do you think the two crops had such different outcomes?

  • Model error is certainly a big challenge - and these can be amplified in time. This is why models are typically associated with level of uncertainty, and why these levels increase as we model further into the future!

  • Great point @REJINAVASUDEVANT - although even if models match historical data, this doesn't necessarily mean they will be able to accurately model the future hence why models are often associated with uncertainties

  • Thanks for your insights. As you've explained, there are many complex factors that affect crop-climate interactions - some of which are incredibly hard to model!

  • Excellent point about learning from the past to inform future plans!

  • You're completely right - it can only ever be an educated guess!
    Although, even with historical testing we can never be certain that a projected future is accurate.

  • You're absolutely right @LauraLong - Data availability is certainly one of the challenges. Testing using historical data is also a great way to validate models, although it's important to note that this does not mean that projecting into the future will be accurate - hence why models are associated with levels of uncertainty.

  • Absolutely! It's very important to test models, but even with testing and validation there are still uncertainties.

  • @MOYEEricKONGNSO You're absolutely right - data availability is certainly a big challenge for modelling.

  • Thanks for your request Joanna. Research linked to this course has been looking at how climate modelling can be used to support crop breeding activities. If you want to learn more about this, take a look at our recent Webinar (recorded), here: https://africap.info/crop-breeding-for-climate-resilience-in-southern-africa-webinar-recap-recording-and-slides/

  • Thanks for your insights Gloria!

  • Thanks for you reflections! If you're interested to learn more about some of the technologies and practices for resilient food systems, take a look at the material in Week 2, where we explore some the opportunities and challenges surrounding these issues.

  • Thanks for this insight Overton. The links between crop and livestock production is certainly a really important one. Livestock is certainly important for income and nutrition, but can also add complexity, especially given the link between carbon emissions and livestock production.
    There's also another challenge, ass ome agricultural practices such as...

  • Thanks for your insights Paige, are you able to share a link to the project you're working on?

  • You raise a really valid point about climate induced migration - and of course this is already something that is occurring and expected to increase.

  • Really excellent point about the need for institutional support! WE look a bit more at this in Week 2, where we focus on the actors and governance of food system transformation.

  • Thanks for the shared link Rachel.
    You're right, there are also impacts on the nutritional quality of crops. In part, it's linked to the ability of a plant to accumulate minerals and protein (which underlies their nutritional qualities) - and these abilities are affected by both climatic factors and soil quality. Here's a great (open access) review paper,...

  • Great point about the links between politics and climate change!

  • Thanks for sharing the article Joyce! Indeed, there's huge disparity around food waste within and between countries.

  • Really great example of the complexity of food systems, and how they intersect with multiple sectors (e.g. energy, transport infrastructure).

  • Some great points here. I wonder, how are consumer demands changing the food system?

  • Thanks Enkas - some great points here. Important to recognise how cultural and social values interact with, and can shape food systems. Likewise, really important to recognise how differing values can be in conflict.

  • Thanks Flora. Some really interesting points, really important to recognise that there are multiple factors affecting food systems.
    I wonder, why do you think the subsidy programme has struggled to have the desired impact of improving smallholder farmers' access to inputs?

  • Anna, great points about the economic shift, and implications of diets on human health. Do you think COVID will have any lasting affects on the food system, beyond the impacts on supply chains?

  • Thanks Hadden, really interesting points about the youth-push for a more sustainable and ethical food system. Do you think it's possible to balance the demand for more affordable and convenient food, alongside the rising demand for higher ethical standards -especially given the higher costs of organic foods, for example?

  • Whilst not directly related to different ethnicities and culture, we explore some of the challenges in balancing differing stakeholder views in week two. Certainly a big challenge for building fair food systems!

  • Hi Silvana, thanks your your really insightful comment. Indeed, there is a big gap in our understanding, especially on how best to support farmers. It would be really interesting to hear your thoughts on how to address the 'missing middle' - between bottom up and top-down approaches.

  • Hi Salim, thanks for joining us.

  • Hi Enkas, fantastic to have you with us. I am sure you will be able to contribute a lot from your experience and expertise.

  • Welcome Jo-Ann, great to have you on the course!

  • Harriet Smith replied to [Learner left FutureLearn]

    Hi Valerie, bienvenida al curso. It will be great to hear more about the food system in Honduras as we progress through the course.

  • Welcome Rachel, great to have you on the course.

  • Hi Laura, welcome to the course. We look forward to engaging with you more - great to have you with us!

  • @MengistuSeketeti Hi Mengistu - great to have you on the course. We look forward to your contributions as we progress!