Dr Mark Hirons
Departmental Lecturer and Director of the MSc/MPhil in Environmental Change and Management
Mark is Research Fellow in Environmental Social Science who is interested in addressing inter-linked social and environmental challenges through interdisciplinary research. He is broadly engaged with research that investigates issues of well-being, inequality and justice with respect to climate change and natural resource governance. He is interested how different values and knowledges interact with institutional and cultural contexts in driving the governance decisions which underpin environmental and social change across a range of scales.
Previously Mark worked as a post-doctoral researcher working on the Ecosystem Services and Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) ECOLIMITS project. This interdisciplinary project investigated the linkages between ecosystem service provision and the multiple dimensions of poverty in coffee- and cocoa-dominated agricultural settings, focusing on Ethiopia and Ghana respectively. The project used a range of methods to develop a holistic understanding of how ecosystems influence, and are influenced by, socio-economic, political and cultural conditions across various scales. Mark completed his PhD at the University of Reading which examined land-use conflicts between mining and forests in Ghana.
- Agrawal, T., Hirons, M. and Gathorne-Hardy, A. (2021) Understanding farmers' cropping decisions and implications for crop diversity conservation: Insights from Central India. Current Research in Environmental Sustainability, 3. 100068.
- Grasham, C.F., Calow, R., Casey, V., Charles, K.J., de Wit, S., Dyer, E., Fullwood-Thomas, J., Hirons, M., Hope, R., Hoque, S.F., Jepson, W., Korzenevica, M., Murphy, R., Plastow, J., Ross, I., Ruiz-Apilánez, I., Schipper, E.L.F., Trevor, J., Walmsley, N. and Zaidi, H. (2021) Engaging with the politics of climate resilience towards clean water and sanitation for all. npj Clean Water, 4(42).
- Hirons, M. (2021) Governing natural climate solutions: prospects and pitfalls. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 52: 36-44.
- Maguire-Rajpaul, V.A., Sandbrook, C., McDermott, C. and Hirons, M.A. (2021) Climate-Smart Cocoa Governance Risks Entrenching Old Hegemonies in Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana: A Multiple Environmentality Analysis. Geoforum.
- Asaaga, F.A., Hirons, M.A. and Malhi, Y. (2020) Questioning the link between tenure security and sustainable land management in cocoa landscapes in Ghana. World Development, 130. 104913.
- Beauchamp, E., Hirons, M., Brown, K. and Milner-Gulland, E.J. (2020) Twenty priorities for future social-ecological research on climate resilience. Environmental Research Letters, 15. 105006.
- Hirons, M. (2020) How the Sustainable Development Goals risk undermining efforts to address environmental and social issues in the small-scale mining sector. Environmental Science and Policy, 114: 321-328.
- Hirons, M., Beauchamp, E., Whitfield, S., Conway, D., Asare, R. and Malhi, Y. (2020) Resilience to Climate Shocks in the Tropics. Environmental Research Letters, 15. 100203.
- Maguire-Rajpaul, V.A., Khatun, K. and Hirons, M.A. (2020) Agricultural information's impact on the adaptive capacity of Ghana's smallholder cocoa farmers. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems, 4(28).
- Asaaga, F.A. and Hirons, M. (2019) Windows of opportunity or windows of exclusion? Changing dynamics of tenurial relations in rural Ghana. Land Use Policy, 87. 104042.
- Beauchamp, E., Moskeland, A., Milner-Gulland, E.J., Hirons, M., Ruli, B., Byg, A., Dougill, A., Jew, E., Keane, A., Malhi, Y., McNicol, I., Morel, A., Whitfield, S. and Morris, R. (2019) The role of quantitative cross-case analysis in understanding tropical smallholder farmers' adaptive capacity to climate shocks. Environmental Research Letters.
- Beyene, A.D., Mekonnen, A., Hirons, M., Robinson, E.J.Z., Gonfa, T., Gole, T.W. and Demissie, S. (2019) Contribution of non-timber forest products to the livelihood of farmers in coffee growing areas: evidence from Yayu Coffee Forest Biosphere Reserve. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management.
- McDermott, C., Acheampong, E., Arora-Jonsson, S., Asare, R., De Jong, W., Hirons, M., Khatun, K., Menton, M., Nunan, F., Poudyal, M. and Setyowati, A. (2019) SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions – A Political Ecology Perspective. Chapter 16 in, Katila, P., Pierce Colfer, C.J., De Jong, W., Galloway, G., Pacheco, P. and Winkel, G. (eds.) Sustainable Development Goals: Their Impacts on Forests and People. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. pp. 510-540. ISBN: 9781108765015.
- McDermott, C.L., Hirons, M. and Setowati, A. (2019) The interplay of global governance with domestic and local access: Case studies of FLEGT VPAs in Indonesia and Ghana. Society and Natural Resources, 33(2): 261-279.
- Morel, A., Adu Sasu, M., Adu-Bredu, S., Quaye, M., Moore, C., Asare, R.A., Mason, J., Hirons, M., McDermott, C.L., Robinson, E.J.Z., Boyd, E., Norris, K. and Malhi, Y. (2019) Carbon dynamics, net primary productivity and human‐appropriated net primary productivity across a forest–cocoa farm landscape in West Africa. Global Change Biology.
- Morel, A., Hirons, M., Demissie, S., Gonfa, T., Mehrabi, Z., Long, P.R., Rifai, S., Woldemariam Gole, T., Mason, J., McDermott, C., Boyd, E., Robinson, E.J.Z., Malhi, Y.S. and Norris, K. (2019) The structures underpinning vulnerability: examining landscape-society interactions in a smallholder coffee agroforestry system. Environmental Research Letters.
- Morel, A.C., Hirons, M., Adu Sasu, M., Quaye, M., Asare, R.A., Mason, J., Adu-Bredu, S., Boyd, E., McDermott, C.L., Robinson, E.J.Z., Straser, R., Malhi, Y. and Norris, K. (2019) The ecological limits of poverty alleviation in an African forest-agriculture landscape. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems, 3(57).
- Whitfield, S. Beauchamp, E., Boyd, D.S., Burslem, D., Byg, A., Colledge, F., Cutler, M.E.J., Bidena, M., Dougill, A., Foody, G., Godbold, J.A., Hazenbosch, M., Hirons, M., Speranza, C.I., Jew, E., Lacambra, C., Mkwambisi, D., Moges, A., Morel, A., Morris, R., Novo, P., Rueda, M., Smith, H., Solan, M., Spencer, T., Thornton, A., Touza, J. and White, P.C.L. (2019) Exploring temporality in socio-ecological resilience through experiences of the 2015-16 El Nino across the Tropics. Global Environmental Change, 55.
- Friedman, R., Hirons, M. A. and Boyd, E. (2018) Vulnerability of Ghanaian women cocoa farmers to climate change: a typology. Climate and Development: 1-13.
- Hirons, M., Boyd, E., McDermott, C., Asare, R., Morel, A., Mason, J., Malhi, Y., Norris, K. (2018) Understanding climate resilience in Ghanaian cocoa communities – Advancing a biocultural perspective. Journal of Rural Studies, 63: 120-129.
- Hirons, M., McDermott, C., Asare, R., Morel, A., Robinson, E., Mason, J., Boyd, E., Malhi, Y. and Norris, K. (2018) Illegality and inequity in Ghana’s cocoa-forest landscape: How formalization can undermine farmers control and benefits from trees on their farms. Land Use Policy, 76: 405-413.
- Hirons, M., Mehrabi, Z., Gonfa, T.A., Morel, A., Gole, T.W., McDermott, C., Boyd, E., Robinson, E., Sheleme, D., Malhi, Y., Mason, J. and Norris, K. (2018) Pursuing climate resilient coffee in Ethiopia – A critical review. Geoforum, 91: 108-116.
- Hirons, M., Robinson, E., McDermott, C., Morel, A., Asare, R., Boyd, E., Gonfa, T., Gole, T.W., Malhi, Y., Mason, J. and Norris, K. (2018) Understanding Poverty in Cash-crop Agro-forestry Systems: Evidence from Ghana and Ethiopia. Ecological Economics, 154: 31-41.
- Schaafsma, M., Utila, H., Hirons, M.A. (2018) Understanding trade-offs in upscaling and integrating climate-smart agriculture and sustainable river basin management in Malawi. Environmental Science and Policy, 80: 117-124.
- Hirons, M. (2014) Decentralising natural resource governance in Ghana: Critical reflections on the artisanal and small-scale mining sector. Futures, 62(A): 21-31.
- Hirons, M. (2014) Global Problem, Global Solution? Addressing the challenges of REDD governance. In, Gilberthorpe, E. and Hilson, G. (eds.) Natural Resource Extraction and Indigenous Livelihoods: Development Challenges in an Era of Globalisation. Ashgate, Surrey, UK.
- Hirons, M. (2014) Shifting sand, shifting livelihoods? Reflections on a coastal gold rush in Ghana. Resources Policy, 40: 83-89.
- Hirons, M., Hilson, G., Asase, A. and Hodson, M.E. (2014) Mining in a changing climate: what scope for forestry-based legacies? Journal of Cleaner Production, 84: 430-438.