Dr Helena Posthumus
Senior Research Fellow
Natural Resources Institute
Dr Helena Posthumus is an interdisciplinary academic with an interest in rural development and natural resource management. Following her MSc in tropical land use at Wageningen University, The Netherlands, she worked as a research assistant at the same university on soil conservation. In 2005, she obtained her PhD at Wageningen University on the socio-economic aspects of soil conservation in Peru.
Between June 2005 and December 2008, she worked as a post-doctoral researcher at Cranfield University, UK, on rural land use, land and water management, agricultural policy and economics in the UK. Since January 2009, she has been working as a senior research fellow at the Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich, on various applied research projects, including value chain development, conservation agriculture, agricultural innovation, and impact assessments. Since July 2013, she has also been working at the Royal Tropical Institute, The Netherlands, as an advisor on agricultural innovation, value chains and impact evaluations.
Helena has published 14 peer-reviewed scientific papers, five book chapters and numerous reports and conference papers.
Current and Previous Funded Research Projects
Agro-ecology based aggradation-conservation agriculture (ABACO)
The overall objective of this EC-funded research project is to reduce the vulnerability of smallholder farmers to climatic variability by building capacity through co-innovation platforms to design, evaluate and implement targeted technological options for and mechanisms to promote adoption of conservation agriculture (CA) based on agro-ecology principles to combat land degradation and food insecurity in semi-arid regions of Africa.
Cassava: Adding Value for Africa (C:AVA)
The purpose of this project is to improve the livelihoods and incomes of smallholder households and stakeholders in micro, small and medium scale enterprises through the development of value chains for high quality cassava flour (HQCF) in Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda, Nigeria and Malawi. Lack of markets for cassava is a common constraint across Africa. This project makes interventions at three key points in the value chain and builds local capacity to ensure sustainability of the intervention. At the rural level, farmer and processing groups (with a high level of female participation) have had their capacities strengthened to increase the productivity of their cassava production and adopt processing technologies capable of producing financially rewarding and higher value semi-processed products to market specifications. The second key intervention is to develop the role of intermediaries to purchase either roots or semi-processed products from smallholder farmers to bulk and secondary process, and then sell it to identified food and commercial end-users. The capacity of these food and commercial end-users is being developed to adopt HQCF as a high quality but more affordable raw material than imported wheat flour.
Responsibilities within the University
- Research and teaching
- Posthumus, H., Deeks, L.K., Rickson, R.J. and Quinton, J.N. (2013) Costs and benefits of erosion control measures in the UK. Soil Use and Management. ISSN 0266-0032 (Print), 1475-2743 (Online) (In Press) (doi:10.1111/sum.12057)
- Tittonell, P., Scopel, E., Andrieu, N., Posthumus, H., Mapfumo, P., Corbeels, M., van Halsema, G.E., Lahmar, R., Lugandu, S., Rakotoarisoa, J., Mtambanengwe, F., Pound, B., Chikowo, R., Naudin, K., Triomphe, B. and Mkomwa, S. (2012) Agroecology-based aggradation-conservation agriculture (ABACO): Targeting innovations to combat soil degradation and food insecurity in semi-arid Africa. Field Crops Research, 132. pp. 168-174. ISSN 0378-4290 (doi:10.1016/j.fcr.2011.12.011)
- Rouquette, J.R., Posthumus, H., Morris, J., Hess, T.M., Dawson, Q.L. and Gowing, D.J.G. (2011) Synergies and trade-offs in the management of lowland rural floodplains: an ecosystem services approach / Synergies et arbitrages dans la gestion des plaines d'inondation rurales: une approche écosystémique des services. Hydrological Sciences Journal, 56 (8). pp. 1566-1581. ISSN 0262-6667 (Print), 2150-3435 (Online) (doi:10.1080/02626667.2011.629785)
- Posthumus, H., L. Deeks, I. Fenn, and J. Rickson (2011) Soil conservation in two English catchments: Linking soil management with policies. Land Degradation and Development 22: 97-110. doi: 10.1002/ldr.987
- Posthumus, H., Rouquette, J.R., Morris, J., Gowing, D.J.G. and Hess, T.M. (2010) A framework for the assessment of ecosystem goods and services; a case study on lowland floodplains in England. Ecological Economics, 69 (7). pp. 1510-1523. ISSN 0921-8009 (doi:10.1016/j.ecolecon.2010.02.011)
- Posthumus, Helena, Gardebroek, Cornelis and Ruben, Ruerd (2010) From participation to adoption: Comparing the effectiveness of soil conservation programs in the Peruvian Andes. Land Economics, 86 (4). pp. 645-667. ISSN 0023-7639 (Print), 1543-8325 (Online)
- Posthumus, Helena and Morris, Joe (2010) Implications of CAP-reform for land management and runoff control in England and Wales. Land Use Policy, 27 (1). pp. 42-50. ISSN 0264-8377 (doi:10.1016/j.landusepol.2008.06.002)
- Posthumus, H. and Stroosnijder, L. (2010) To terrace or not: the short-term impact of bench terraces on soil properties and crop response in the Peruvian Andes. Environment, Development & Sustainability, 12 (2). pp. 263-276. ISSN 1387-585X (print), 1573-2975 (online) (doi:10.1007/s10668-009-9193-4)
- Posthumus, Helena, Morris, Joe, Hess, Tim, Neville, Duncan, Phillips, Ed and Baylis, Adam (2009) Impacts of the summer 2007 floods on agriculture in England. Journal of Flood Risk Management, 2 (3). pp. 182-189. ISSN 1753-318X (doi:10.1111/j.1753-318X.2009.01031.x)
- Reed, Mark.S., Graves, Anil, Dandy, Norman, Posthumus, Helena, Hubacek, Klaus, Morris, Joe, Prell, Christina, Quinn, Claire H. and Stringer, Lindsay C. (2009) Who's in and why? A typology of stakeholder analysis methods for natural resource management. Journal of Environmental Management, 90 (5). pp. 1933-1949. ISSN 0301-4797 (doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2009.01.001)
- Rouquette, J.R., Posthumus, H., Gowing, D.J.G, Tucker, G., Dawson, Q.L., Hess, T.M. and Morris, J. (2009) Valuing nature-conservation interests on agricultural floodplains. Journal of Applied Ecology, 46 (2). pp. 289-296. ISSN 1365-2664 (doi:10.1111/j.1365-2664.2009.01627)
- de Graaff, J., Amsalu, A., Bodnár, F., Kessler, A., Posthumus, H. and Tenge, A. (2008) Factors influencing adoption and continued use of long-term soil and water conservation measures in five developing countries. Applied Geography, 28 (4). pp. 271-280. ISSN 0143-6228 (doi:10.1016/j.apgeog.2008.05.001)
- Posthumus, H., C.J.M. Hewett, J. Morris and P.F. Quinn (2008) Agricultural land use and flood risk management: engaging with stakeholders in North Yorkshire. Agricultural Water Management 95(7): 787-798. doi: 10.1016/j.agwat.2008.02.001
- Lojka, B., W. Spaan, W. Hoogmoed and H. Posthumus (2006) Prediction of soil loss and crop yields with different management scenarios in barrier systems using the SCUAF model in semi-arid Burkina Faso. Agricultura Tropica et Subtropica 39(3): 158-165
- Posthumus, H., and J. De Graaff (2005) Cost-benefit analysis of bench terraces, a case study in Peru. Land Degradation and Development 16(1): 1-11. doi: 10.1002/ldr.637
Recent Conference Presentations
- Posthumus, H., Sandifolo, V., Sanni, L., Siwoku, B., Adebayo K, Martin, A., Westby, A. 2012. Social networks and cassava value chain development in Africa. ISTRC 16th Triannual International Symposium. 24-28 September 2012, Abeokuta Nigeria
- Posthumus, H., Pound, B., Andrieu, N. and Triomphe, B. (2011) Enhancing adoption of conservation agriculture practices through co-innovation platforms in sub-Saharan Africa. In: Resilient Food Systems for a Changing World. 5th World Congress Conservation Agriculture and 3rd Farming Systems Design Conference, 26-29 Sep 2011, Brisbane, Australia. (Unpublished)
- Tittonell, P., Scopel, E., van Halsema, G.E., Andrieu, N., Posthumus, H., Mapfumo, P., Lahmar, R., Corbeels, M., Apina, T., Rakotoarisoa, J., Mtambanengwe, F., Pound, B., Chikowo, R. and Mkomwa, S. (2011) Agroecology-based aggradation-conservation agriculture (ABACO): targeting resource-limited and degraded environments of semi-arid Africa. In: Resilient Food Systems for a Changing World. 5th World Congress Conservation Agriculture and 3rd Farming Systems Design Conference, 26-29 September 2011, Brisbane, Australia. (Unpublished)
- Prager, Katrin and Posthumus, Helena (2010) Adopting sustainable soil management: the role of socio-economic factors. In: The Sixteenth Annual International Sustainable Development Research Conference [Conference Proceedings]. The Kadoorie Institute, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China. ISBN 978-988-18934-1-3
- Westby, A., L. Abayomi, A. Abass, K. Adebayo, A. Bechoff, C. Coote, N. Dziedzoave, L. Forsythe, R. Gibson, A. Graffham, P. Ilona, U. Kleih, R. Lamboll, G. Mahende, A. Martin, G. Onumah, H. Posthumus, L. Sanni and K. Tomlins (2009) Market chain development for tropical root crops.
- Posthumus, H., J.R. Rouquette, J. Morris, T.M. Hess, D.J. Gowing, Q.L. Dawson (2008) Integrated land and water management in floodplains in England. FLOODrisk 2008 Conference. Oxford, 30 September – 2 October 2008.
- Posthumus, H., J. Morris, T.M. Hess, P. Trawick, D. Neville, E. Phillips, M. Wysoki (2008) Impacts of the summer 2007 floods on agriculture in England. FLOODrisk 2008 Conference. Oxford, 30 September – 2 October 2008. In: Samuels, P. et al. (Eds.) Flood risk management: Research and practice. Taylor & Francis group. London
- Morris, J., T. Hess, H. Posthumus, P. Trawick, D. Neville, E. Phillips and M. Wysoki (2008) Impacts of the summer 2007 floods in rural England: rural flood proofing – Cinderella or suitable case for treatment? Defra Flood and Coastal Management Conference. Manchester, 1-3 July 2008
- Beven, K. Romanowicz, R., Young, P., Holman, I.P., Posthumus, H., Morris, J., Rose, S., O'Connell, E., and Ewen, J. (2008) An event classification approach to the identification of hydrological change. Defra Flood and Coastal Management Conference. Manchester, 1-3 July 2008
- Morris, J., T. Hess, D. Gowing, P. Leeds-Harrison, P. Trawick, H. Posthumus, J. Rouquette, and Q. Dawson. (2007) Integrated land and water management in floodplains: revisiting agricultural flood defence schemes in England and Wales. The River Restoration Centre's 8th Annual Network Conference. Chester, 18-19 April 2007
- Posthumus, H., and J. Morris (2007) Engaging stakeholders in transdisciplinary research on agriculture and flood risk management. XXII Congress of the European Society for Rural Sociology. Wageningen, 20-23 August 2007
- Morris, J. and H. Posthumus (2007) Multi-functional agriculture in UK floodplains: opportunities for agriculture to deliver ecosystem services. XXII Congress of the European Society for Rural Sociology. Wageningen, 20-23 August 2007
- Posthumus, H. and J. Morris (2006) CAP-reform and controlling water runoff from farmland in England and Wales. COST 634 conference: Farm level adoption of soil and water conservation measures and policy implications in Europe. Wageningen, 1-3 October 2006
- Posthumus, H. (2004) El impacto de terrazas de absorción en la productividad del suelo. IX Congreso Nacional y II Internacional del Ciencia del Suelo: el suelo, manejo integrado de recursos naturales. Cusco, 15-19 November 2004
- Posthumus, H. and W.P. Spaan (2001) Rainfall-runoff relations for vegetation barriers in the Sahel. In: J.C. Ascough and D.C. Flanagan (Eds.) Proceedings of International Symposium on Soil Erosion Research for the 21st Century. 3-5 January 2001, Honolulu. pp 50-53
- Posthumus, H., R. Zougmoré, W. Spaan and J. De Graaff (2001) Incentives for soil and water conservation in semi-arid zones: a case study from Burkina Faso. International Symposium European Society for Soil Conservation: Multi-disciplinary approaches towards soil and water conservation. Muncheberg, 11-13 May 2001
- 2011: Early Career Researcher Excellence Award from the University of Greenwich
Dr Helena Posthumus
Natural Resources Institute
University of Greenwich
Central Avenue, Chatham Maritime, Kent ME4 4TB, United Kingdom.
Tel: +44 (0)1634 88 3942