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Maddy Pearson is a social anthropologist with a longstanding interest in human-environmental relations. Maddy has a BA and MSc from the London School of Economics in social anthropology and anthropology and development. Maddy recently submitted her PhD based at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine which focused on river relations on a drying chalk stream in South-East England. Her thesis considered how environmental, climactic, and pandemic uncertainty, impacted river relations and came to bear on considerations of health as a more-than-human, intimate public practice.


  • Royal Anthropological Institute
  • Avon Wildlife Trust
Head shot of FR staff Member Maddy Pearson

Maddy Pearson

BA, MSc, PhD
Social Scientist | Anthropologist
Society and environment research group (SERG)

Forestry Commission Office

620 Coldharbour Lane


BS16 1EJ


Related Publications


In Brief: Increasing tree cover on dairy farms in England: The role of farmers' values

Understanding the range of values held by farmers in relation to trees allows us to learn how, when, and where farmers may embrace having trees on their land. Explicit consideration of these values will better enable those working to design policies, incentives, tools, advice, or other communications to do so in ways which are more […]



Paths to embracing trees on farms: The role of social and cultural values

What leads some farmers to dramatically increase the number of trees on their land? What role do social and cultural values play? And how do values and behaviour interact? Increasing tree cover across England is a key priority for the UK government, driven by the benefits that trees and woodlands offer, such as climate change mitigation […]

Increasing tree cover on dairy farms in England: The role of famers' values

This Research Report explores the issues that matter to dairy farmers in England regarding trees and increasing tree cover on farms. It looks beyond financial considerations to explore the other factors which guide and shape farmer attitudes and behaviours in this area. Understanding the range of values held by farmers in relation to trees allows […]

Other Research

Alongside her PhD studies, Maddy worked as a teaching assistant at King’s College London for three years prior to her time at Forest Research. Maddy’s time in teaching has made her passionate about knowledge exchange as well as diversity and inclusion in education and research settings.

As a researcher at SERG, Maddy is bringing her skills of in-depth ethnography, interdisciplinary theoretical engagement, and qualitative analysis, to projects spanning natural colonisation, land manager values, public access to woodlands, and community tree nurseries.

Maddy is further interested in social studies of riparian landscapes and would like to connect and collaborate with other researchers in this area.