Harriet Bartlett


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. 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.

Research Interests

Harriet researches 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.

Current Research

Harriet visits farms to collect data and carry out assessments to compare alternative production systems. She will be working with UK and Brazilian livestock farmers to identify the best ways of farming and helping farmers to reduce their negative externalities.


Brief CV

2017-2022 PhD Candidate in Sustainable Food Systems, University of Cambridge

2017 Research Assistant in Red Meat Climate Mitigation, CSIRO

2016 Research Assistant in Sustainable Grazing, University of Cambridge

2013-2016 1st class BA in Preclinical Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge


  1. Balmford, A., Amano, T., Bartlett, H., … Eisner, R. (2018). The environmental costs and benefits of high-yield farming. Nature Sustainability,1(9),477–485. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41893-018-0138-5
  2. Mayberry, D*., Bartlett, H*., Moss, J., Davison, T., & Herrero, M. (2019). Pathways to carbon-neutrality for the Australian red meat sector. Agricultural Systems175(May), 13–21. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agsy.2019.05.009 *These authors contributed equally
  3. Bartlett, H. (2019). Livestock, antibiotics and greenhouse gas emissions. Book chapter in Planetary Health: Human Health in an Era of Global Environmental Change, 131–139. https://doi.org/10.1079/9781789241655.0131
  4. Petrovan, S. O., Aldridge, D. C., Bartlett, H., Bladon, A. J., Booth, H., … Sutherland, W. J. (2021). Post COVID-19: a solution scan of options for preventing future zoonotic epidemics. Biological Reviews1, brv.12774. https://doi.org/10.1111/BRV.12774
  5. Geldmann, J., Alves-Pinto, H., Amano, T., Bartlett, H., Christie, A. P., … Balmford, A. (2020). Insights from two decades of the Student Conference on Conservation Science. Biological Conservation243, 108478. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2020.108478
  6. Kalmar, … Bartlett, H., … & Holmes, M. A. (2021). HAM-ART: An optimised culture-free Hi-C metagenomics pipeline for tracking antimicrobial resistance genes in complex microbial communities. PLoS Genetics18(3), 2021.08.16.456459. https://doi.org/10.1371/JOURNAL.PGEN.1009776
  7. Bartlett, H., Holmes, M., Petrovan, S., Williams, D., Wood, J. L. N., & Balmford, A. (2022). Understanding the relative risks of zoonosis emergence under contrasting approaches to meeting livestock product demand. Royal Society Open Science https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsos.211573