Research professor - Dr.polit. (Geography)
Dr Rob Burton was brought up in New Zealand and moved to the UK in the 1990s. He completed his PhD “The role of farmer self-identity in agricultural decision making in the Marston Vale Community Forest” in 1998 at DeMontfort University and, after that, worked in Scotland at the James Hutton Institute. In 2007 he moved back to New Zealand where he worked for 4 years until he took up his current position at the Centre for Rural Research in Trondheim in August 2011. As a career research scientist Dr Burton has been involved in a variety of projects however he maintains a focus on farmer agency and, in particular, the influence of identity and cultural factors on decision-making. He is also interested in the contextual issues of neoliberalism, climate change, socio-technical regimes and agri-environmental policy. Although familiar with quantitative research his work increasingly uses qualitative methodologies which allow for the more focused investigative approaches required for studying the complex relationship between policy/structural influences, farming culture and behaviour. He has a number of well cited publications (three over 100 citations in Scopus) which reflect his leading contribution to the movement away from over-simplistic attitudinal approaches to understanding farmer behaviour in the 2000s. Dr Burton is currently the section editor (society and environment) for the Journal Geography Compass and, in 2013 was promoted to the position of Forsker 1 (Research Professor).