J dot Mcdonagh at uea dot ac dot uk
Tel: +44 (0)1603 59 3371
My interests centre around land and soil management, tropical farming systems and rural livelihoods. I have most recently been involved in DFID NRSP-funded research developing tools and approaches for soil management professionals in eastern Uganda. I was also involved in the Ugandan and Malawi components of the ODG Livelihoods research project, LADDER.
Originally trained as a botanist I worked in botany for a couple of years before doing a MSc. in tropical soil fertility management and then a PhD in tropical agronomy looking at the use of legumes in rice and maize based systems in northeast Thailand and southern Sumatra.
I then lived and worked in Madagascar for two years working both as a botanist in some of the national parks and reserves (particularly Zahamena and Andringitra reserves) and also in soil conservation and soil fertility management.
From 1995-1997 I was employed by the Royal Vetrinary and Agricultural University of Copenhagen (KVL) as a researcher on an interdisciplinary research project funded by DANIDA looking at sustainable agriculture and livelihoods in a number of communities located in Iringa Region in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania.
I have been a lecturer in the School of International Development since late 1997.
Tropical soil fertility management, sustainable farming systems; nutrient and water balance studies. Tanzania, Madagascar, Namibia, Thailand.
Research Groups: Land Resources
My research interests centre around agriculture, land management and rural livelihoods. Much of my training and long-term research interests have been in soil fertility management in tropical cropping systems. I have recently worked on this in both northern Namibia and eastern Uganda.
I am also interested in the support and policy environment in the agricultural sector in sub-saharan Africa. I was involved in the recent ODG LADDER project that looked in this in some detail. Information and outputs from this work are available here.
I am currently working with the FAO and other organizations developing a methodology for the assessment of land degradation in drylands. (the LADA project).
Hillyer, A. and McDonagh, J.F.1999, 'A Survey of Pearl Millet Cultivation in the North Central Districts of Namibia', paper presented at The Third National Annual Agriculture Research Reporting Conference, The Directorate of Agricultural Research and Training, Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Rural Development, 6-10 September 1999, Swakopmund, Namibia
McDonagh, J.F., J. Boesen, T. Birch-Thomsen, J.R. Jensen, E. Friis-Hansen, N.E. Nielsen & J.P. Møberg, 'Household nutrient balances and soil fertility management in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania' paper presented at Sustainable Agriculture in Semi-arid east Africa, Centre for Development Research, Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University and the Geography Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, November 1999
Link to abstract
McDonagh, J.F., and A. Hillyer, 'Soil fertility, legumes and livelihoods in northern Namibia' in DFID Plant Sciences Research Programme Annual Programme Report 1999, pp39-47
McDonagh, J.F., and A.E. Hillyer, 'Soils and Nitrogen fixation in northern Namibia', paper presented at The Third National Annual Agriculture Research Reporting Conference, The Directorate of Agricultural Research and Training, Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Rural Development, 6-10 September 1999, Swakopmund, Namibia
Birch-Thomsen, T., J. Boesen and J.F. McDonagh, 'Plant nutrient balances, resource and management constraints at household level in Iringa Region, Tanzania' in Proceedings of the workshop on Sustainable Use of Natural Resources in Developing Countries, The Danish Strategic Environmental Programme, Mols, Denmark, June 1997
Lewis, B.A., P.B. Phillipson, M. Andrianarisata, G. Rahajasoa, P.J. Rakotomalaza, M. Randriambololona & J.F. McDonagh, 'A Study of the Botanical Structure, Composition, and Diversity of the Eastern Slopes of the Reserve Naturelle Integrale d'Andringitra, Madagascar' in Fieldiana 85: 24-71
Link to journal article
I teach on several undergraduate and postgraduate units though my inputs vary from year to year depending on other commitments. I commonly teach on the principle undergraduate Natural Resources and Environmental Management units: NR1and NR2. I also often teach the final year undergraduate unit Resource Development and Conservation (RDC) and the under-graduate Field Course, which we have taken to Ireland for the last four years. At postgraduate level I teach on Tools and Skills for Environmental Management (TSED).
I have supervised undergraduate and MSc. dissertations in a number of different areas in recent years including agricultural development, rural livelihoods, soil and land management, community based natural management and renewable energy.
I currently have six PhD students - details of their work can be found on my main page.
I am acting as Chief Executive of the Overseas Development Group for three years from August 2005 and this takes up approximately one third of my time. Consequently I am doing less teaching during this period.
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