School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Staff Profile

Marian Raley

Research Associate


My inter-disciplinary education in Countryside Management (BSc. 1992) has proved to be an adaptable tool kit for investigating the varied and multi-faceted problems of rural areas in which environmental, economic and social concerns overlap. Working as an applied social scientist in projects related to the rural economy and agriculture has led me to develop expertise in a range of both quantitative and qualitative methods, including:

?  Evidence-gathering (prior to quantitative or qualitative analysis), principally by semi-structured interviews, e-/ postal surveys, but also using participative methods. I have undertaken high quality, independent field research engaging with a broad range of stakeholders from the general public and practitioners to policymakers, including studies of rural microbusinesses and agriculture-based studies (e.g. labour use in organic farming; on-farm pesticide use; farmland access), rural development, and National Park planning.

?  Analysis of rural economies using official statistics including Farm Business Survey, Agricultural census/Survey and Population Census.

?  Developing indicators for sustainable development.

In studies related to food and society (working with Professor Lynn Frewer’s team) I have applied Delphi and citizens’ jury methodology to, respectively, an expert study of cross-disciplinary communication during food technology innovation, and public perceptions of genetically-modified animals in food and pharmaceuticals. Most recently I have employed systematic review principles in a study of risk ranking in food for the European Food Standards Agency.

I have contributed to EU FP6 and FP7 projects (e.g. SEAMLESS; PRIMA; Pegasus, Connect4Action), and prepared numerous reports for both local and national bodies.