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Melissa Leach

Melissa Leach is (from 2014) Director of the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex. As a Professorial Fellow of IDS, she founded and directed the ESRC STEPS (Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability) Centre ( from 2006 – 2014. Her research in Africa and beyond has integrated social science with science-policy and natural sciences across many environmental, agricultural, health, technology, and gender issues. She has written several books, including Misreading the African Landscape (1996); Reframing Deforestation (1998); Science, Society and Power (2003); The Lie of the Land: Challenging Received Wisdom on the African Environment (1996); Dynamic Sustainabilities: Technology, Environment, Social justice (2010); and Green Grabbing (2012). She has led and managed many large, interdisciplinary research and policy engagement programs including ‘Innovation, Sustainability, Development: A New Manifesto’ (2010, ongoing) and the 19-partner, ESPA-funded Dynamic Drivers of Disease in Africa Consortium (2011 – 2015). Her contributions to shaping global sustainability agendas include roles in the closed High-Level Dialogue on Global Sustainability at Rio+20, the Royal Society Global Science Report, and the Science Committee of Future Earth.

Selected Publications