Prof Michael Stocking Prof Michael Stocking


With sadness, the death is announced of Michael Stocking, Prof Emeritus in the School of International Development, on 21 May 2018. 

He completed his PhD at Oxford University in 1969 and, over almost 50 years, developed an international profile and reputation as a researcher and adviser in tropical agricultural development, land resources, conservation of biodiversity and soil conservation. He was one of very few soil scientists known by anthropologists and political economy specialists. 

“Michael joined UEA in 1978 as a Lecturer in DEV and retired from the School as a Professor in 2008,” said John McDonagh, Senior Lecturer, DEV. “His achievements were immense, particularly in the area of land degradation assessment and control. An inspirational teacher and leader (he was Head of School twice) he was respected and warmly regarded by colleagues and the many students he taught. One of his legacies is the large number of PhD graduates who worked with him during their time at UEA and, in many cases, continued as collaborators after they left.”

He remained extremely active in retirement in various high-level advisory positions. He served as Vice-Chair of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), where he was responsible for scientific advice on its “land degradation” focal area and the Operational Program (No.15) on “sustainable land management”. He was also a consultant adviser to many agencies including FAO, UNDP, UNEP, The World Bank, ADB, IUCN, WWF-UK, DFID, DANIDA, SIDA and NORAD.

“Michael will be missed by his many colleagues in DEV as well as by generations of students and the global community working in land resources and affiliated areas,” said John. “Our thoughts are with Siobhan, Michael’s wife and his family at this sad time.”