George Garbutt


Research Groups


George Garbutt

Research Associate


George Garbutt is a researcher at the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford, and a member of the University of Oxford’s Food Systems Research Group. Currently, George is engaged with a project concerning the UK Fresh Fruit and Vegetable (FFV) System’s resilience to water-related risk. To this BBSRC funded project, George applies participatory practices, critical systems thinking, and a material-semiotic sensibility to engage with, and bring together, stakeholders within the UK FFV System. In doing so, the research seeks to collectively explore the web of relations of which the system comprises and therein co-develop understandings of how water-risk and resilience are embodied and performed between and across multiple levels of the FFV System; here, also including the South African FFV System.

To this extent, George’s research aims to map the FFV System, its vulnerabilities to water-risk and the different ways it rearranges itself as it moves through uncertain environmental, socio-economic and socio-political futures. Here, the research seeks to contribute to the development of Resilience Theory and explore the ways in which it can be useful in guiding practical responses to water-risk in and between given contexts.

Whilst formally trained as a mechanical engineer and techno-anthropologist, George’s work draws together experiences focused on unpacking the socio-technical assemblages of water and sanitation interventions in rural communities in Sierra Leone, on-the-ground participatory water-governance, planning and capacity development. His experiences further draw on work concerning strategy and capacity development within Engineers Without Borders Denmark and Australia, and several years as a mechanical engineering consultant working in the commercial and industrial building sector applying integrated technical, analytical and management disciplines for project execution.