Harriet Bartlett

Research Associate in Sustainable Food Solutions


Harriet is an interdisciplinary scientist working on figuring out and incentivising the best ways to farm for people, the planet and the animals we farm. Her background is in preclinical veterinary medicine, which she studied at the University of Cambridge. She then worked at CSIRO, Brisbane on climate mitigation in red meat systems. Her PhD focused on comparing the carbon footprint, biodiversity impacts, antimicrobial use and animal welfare of a broad range of UK and Brazilian pig production systems - from intensive through to organic systems. She identified the types of farms that best limit negative externalities. Her work has been featured in the Guardian, BBC Farming today and she presented it at New Scientist Live.

Harriet researchers the best ways of farming for people, the planet and the animals we farm. Her research interests were sparked by concerns about tradeoffs in our farming systems – it is commonly perceived that systems that use less land (and so are better for biodiversity) perform worse in other ways. Eg. they have higher carbon footprints, use more antimicrobials and have poorer animal welfare. She found that these tradeoffs were largely assumed – very few systems and externalities had been empirically and systematically tested. Her work aims to fill these gaps; to identify tradeoffs among externalities where they exist and where they don’t.

Her work applies interdisciplinary methods to enable informed decision-making on the types of farm we should be promoting. She works in UK and Brazilian livestock systems, specialising in pig and cattle systems. She specialises in making empirical and systematic comparisons of outcomes for the climate, biodiversity, animal welfare and emerging infectious disease risks.

Before joining the Smith school, Harriet completed her PhD at the University of Cambridge in collaboration with the University of Sao Paulo. During her PhD, Harriet was selected to take part in the Homeward Bound program, a global leadership initiative for Women in STEMM, which culminated in the world’s largest expedition of women to Antarctica. Harriet is passionate about diversity, equity and outreach, and is involved in various initiatives.