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Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (CAWR)

Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (CAWR)
Coventry University
Ryton Gardens
Wolston Lane
Coventry CV8 3LG

Tel: +44 (0) 2477 651 679


Institution Profile

The Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (CAWR), based at the University of Coventry is the only fully resourced academic institution in the UK with a remit to carry out both research and teaching in the subject of agroecology. It has strong associations with the national horticultural charity Garden Organic, where some of its research is carried out. CAWR is a transdisciplinary international research initiative focused on the understanding and development of resilient food and water systems. CAWR's research will develop and integrate new knowledge in social, agroecological, hydrological and environmental processes, as well as the pivotal role that communities play in developing resilience. CAWR incorporates citizen-generated knowledge, i.e. the participation of farmers, water users and other citizens in transdisciplinary research, using holistic approaches which cross many disciplinary boundaries. They are also engaged in a process of democratising agricultural research both in Europe and further afield.

Watch this video to find out more.

Key Staff

Their staff specialisations include:

  • Michel Pimbert (Director) – Agroecology, food sovereignty and the right to food, delivering democratic processes, the governance of biodiversity and natural resources.
  • Damian Lawler (Deputy Director) –  Floods and climate drivers ; Urban hydrology and water quality ; Fluvial processes and bank erosion dynamics.
  • Julia Wright – Quantum Thinking for Agroecology, Cuban farming and food systems, Agriculture and human nutrition.
  • Moya Kneafsey – Culture economies, Participatory research methods, Short food chains, local and community food initiatives.

You can view the interests of our other staff members by clicking here.

Research Focus

CAWR is driving innovative transdisciplinary research on socially just resilient food and water systems in the following themes:

  • Resilient Food and Water Systems in Practice
    • Agrobiodiversity and invasive species
    • Agroecological farming systems
    • Urban and peri-urban food and water systems
    • Environmental remediation and ecological restoration
    • Stabilisation Agriculture
    • Soil-plant-human health relationships.
  • Fundamental processes and resilience
    • River processes, flood generation, erosion, modelling landscape/catchment instability, and ecological impacts
    • Climate impact on hydrological systems, droughts, soil erosion, water resources and water pollution
    • Dynamics, fate and impacts of pollutants, including new and emerging contaminants
    • Urban water, including river flow response, sediment mobility, and water quality dynamics
    • Hydroecological processes and ecosystem responses to disturbance and management interventions
    • Water resource systems, social processes and communities.
  • Community self-organisation for resilience
    • Territorial food systems and short supply chains
    • Food justice and food sovereignty
    • Gender, nutrition and health
    • Food and the city
    • Community enterprise, ethics and social innovation
    • Food and digital/online spaces
    • Animal geographies and cross-species resilience
    • Food consumption and waste
    • Water - society relations.
  • Policies and institutions to enable resilient food and water systems
    • Strengthening the human rights to ‘food’ and ‘water’ through transdisciplinary and gender transformative research
    • Enabling conditions for equitable property rights and community control over natural resources for food and water sovereignty
    • Strengthening the roles of local organisations and collectives in the management and governance of food and water to enhance social justice and socio-ecological resilience
    • Identifying enabling policies for the spread of resilient food and water systems in the context of climate change as well as increasing natural and human induced disasters
    • Re-governing markets, trade and investments for socially just and resilient food and water systems
    • Working towards transdisciplinarity and post-disciplinarity in policies and institutions for resilient food and water
    • Democratising knowledge and policies governing food and water systems.
  • People’s Knowledge
    • This cross-cutting and transdisciplinary research group is based on the premise that all people, from whatever background, are capable of contributing insights to the production of new knowledge. People’s Knowledge aims to break down the barriers that exist between those who work as educators and researchers, those who have gained skills through formal training as experts and those whose expertise comes through their life experience.
  • Stabilisation Agriculture Unit
    • Stabilisation Agriculture unit research focuses on enhancing the social and ecological resilience of communities to withstand and respond to adverse conditions in locations affected by disasters.

You can find out more information about our current projects by clicking here.

MSc Agroecology, Water and Sovereignty

The course includes modules which address key themes in:

  • resilient food and water systems
  • agroecological processes and practices
  • fundamental process in relation to soil and water management
  • climate change
  • governance and institutional frameworks
  • communities self-organisation for resilience
  • knowledge integration
  • gender studies
  • economics of sustainable food and water system
  • secological management of freshwater systems
  • stabilisation agriculture.

To find out more about this course and to speak to our Postgraduate team please email:

For more information on our MSc course click here.

Useful links