UCL Institute of the Americas


Graham Woodgate

Dr Graham Woodgate
Graham Woodgate

Associate Professor (Teaching) in Environmental Sociology of the Americas

Chair of Departmental Staff Student Consultative Committee

Careers Liaison Tutor



Before entering academia Graham trained as a forester with the UK Forestry Commission and has maintained a keen interest in trees, forests and forest-dependent people ever since. He gained a PhD in political ecology, from Wye College, undertaking field research among the Mazahua people of Central Mexico and, during the 1990s, coordinated a British Council Higher Education Link Programme between UK universities and Mexican farming systems research institutions. Whilst at Wye and later Imperial College Graham became involved with postgraduate distance learning programmes in sustainable rural development and continues to work in this area, most recently coordinating the writing of a sustainable forest management module for the Centre for Development, Environment and Policy at SOAS.

Graham joined the Institute of Latin American Studies as an Associate Fellow in 2002, and then took a part-time post at the Institute in 2004, before moving to UCL in 2012 as a founder member of the Institute of the Americas. In addition to his academic workGraham manages a woodland smallholding and, until 2018, carried out forest management certification audits against FSC Principles and Criteria of Forest Stewardship.

Graham obtained an OND in Forestry at Cumbria College of Agriculture and Forestry, Newton Rigg, 1984, a BSc (Hons) from Wye College, University of London, 1987 and completed his PhD in Political Ecology at Wye College University of London in 1992. 

Research Summary

Graham is fascinated by all aspects of nature-society relations, which has led to his involvement in the production of a series of edited volumes in environmental sociology. He is also involved in the emerging field of agroecology, a transdisciplinary intellectual endeavour that is particularly strongly rooted in the Americas and encompasses scientific research, agricultural practice and agrarian social movements. He is a member of the Editorial Board of Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems.

Teaching Summary


AMER0049: Political Ecologies of the Americas

BASC0016: Environmental Sociology

BASC0031: Ecosociologies:Theory, analysis and Action

Postgraduate Taught:

AMER0002: Sustainable Development in Latin America and the Caribbean

Research Supervision:


Sacnicté Bonilla HernándezNew Peasantries in 21st century Mexico: the defence and adaptation of rural life by campesino youth (primary supervisor)

Recently completed:

Jaskiran Chohan - Between Compliance and Resistance to the Global Corporate Food Regime in Colombia: ZRCs and Prospects for Food Sovereignty

Iván Lobo Romero - Agency in Collective Action: The Role of Community Leadership on Environmental Entrepeneurship in the Colombian Pacific Region

I welcome enquiries from prospective PhD students, post-doctoral fellows and research teams wishing to work with me in any of the following or cognate areas:

  • Agroecology and food sovereignty in the Americas
  • Agrarian reforms in Latin America
  • Globalisation and natural resource use and conservation in the Americas (especially forest resources)
  • Climate change vulnerability, mitigation and adaptation in the Americas
  • Ecotourism in the Americas
  • Environmental social movements and direct action environmentalism
  • Political ecologies of the Americas