Laxmi Pant

  • Senior Lecturer of Human Geography and Food Systems - Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich

Research interests

Dr Pant’s current and future research interests involve the following three overlapping streams of work.

Geographies of regional and rural innovation

This stream of research is the latest in the field of agricultural and environmental sustainability. Innovation and development performance of a region depends not only on scientific research excellence and technological innovations but also on how the public, private and non-profit private actors, in their effort to co-create and use knowledge, interact with each other and with the enabling environment (e.g., policy and infrastructure). Dr Pant’s research and development practice aim to promote accessibility and adaptability of new and emerging technologies through stakeholder participation in co-creation and development of low-carbon and climate-resilient food systems.

Community engagement

Dr Pant recognises that community engagement in the 21st-century is an applied field of knowledge translation and exchange, also called knowledge mobilization in some quarters. Conventionally, community engagement in agricultural science, technology and engineering involved ‘transfer of technology’ interventions, such as field trials, field days, demonstrations, citizen panels and consensus conferences. As a departure from the conventional practice, Dr Pant has taken an innovation systems approach to community engagement involving end-users in the design and delivery of extension and advisory services, such as farmers’ field schools, innovation platforms, and community-based participatory research and development.

Pedagogy and the practice of teaching controversial topics

Dr Pant acknowledges that students bring their passion for solving societal problems, such as poverty, hunger, malnutrition, ecological degradation, and climate change. He is always prepared to listen and share his passion with students and yet remains critical to the controversial nature of many interventions. In his effort to inspire learning and motivate critical thinking, Dr Pant has contributed to course design/redesign initiatives and also conducted research on pedagogy and the practice of teaching controversial topics, such as climate change, genetically modified foods, fracking and geoengineering. He presented this research in various scholarly events, including the annual meetings of the Canadian Association of Geographers.