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Dr Katie Ledingham

Dr Katie Ledingham



+44 (0) 1392 726681

Streatham Court, University of Exeter, Rennes Drive, Exeter, EX4 4PU, UK

Katie is Programme Manager/Senior Research Fellow on the ENLIVEN project. ENLIVEN is a cross-institutional, multi-partner programme working to co-produce dementia friendly innovations in the visitor economy. The project aims to increase access to natural environments for older people experiencing cognitive impairment. 

Katie brings a critical and interdisciplinary approach to the study of innovation. Her teaching and research is underpinned by an interest in the contemporary reconfiguring of ‘innovation’ to generate social and environmental value. In 2020 Katie launched the module Innovation for Urgent Global Challenges which focuses on the role of new technologies and social change processes in addressing a range of contemporary challenge issues ranging from malaria, to community empowerment, sustainability transformations and antimicrobial resistance. A fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Katie has also taught in the area of Ethics and Responsible Innovation and led Advanced Interdisciplinary Research Design at Exeter.  

Katie is experienced in a range of qualitative research methodologies. With Professor Sarah Hartley and colleagues, Katie has been examining the development of gene drive mosquitoes for malaria control in sub-Saharan Africa. She is also involved in an international collaborative project across the US, Uganda, Australia and the UK focusing on public engagement and deliberation in biotechnological innovation. She has previously worked with colleagues in Mali investigating co-development as an innovation strategy and model of collaboration. 

Prior to joining the Business School Katie worked with Professor Mark Jackson, Professor Steve Hinchliffe and Dr Felicity Thomas, developing a policy report and conceptual model for the World Health Organisation (WHO) exploring the social-cultural dynamics of antibiotic resistance (ABR).  The report highlights how social-cultural dynamics (including relationships of trust and economic inequalities) shape diverse practices of antibiotic use, ABR transmission pathways and the regulatory and research environments within which antibiotic innovation and ABR research takes place. It points to the need for social, institutional as well as technical innovation in addressing the ABR challenge. 


  • PhD Human Geography
  • Masters of Research (MRes) in Critical Human Geographies (Distinction and Dean’s Commendation)
  • BA Human Geography (First Class)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

Research interests

  • Hartley. S., Smith, RDJ., Kokotovich, A., Opesen, C., Habtewold, T., Ledingham, K., Raymond, B., Rwabukwali, CB., (In Press). Ugandan stakeholder hopes and concerns about gene drive mosquitoes for malaria control: new directions for gene drive risk governance. Malaria Journal
  • Hartley, S., Ledingham, K., Owen, R., Leonelli, S., Diarra, S., Diop, S., 2021. Experimenting with co-development: a qualitative study of gene drive research for malaria control in Mali. Social Science and Medicine
  • Ledingham, K and Hartley, S., 2021. Transformation and slippage in co-production ambitions for global technology development: the case of gene drive. Environmental Science & Policy. 116, 78-85.
  • Ledingham, K., Hinchliffe, S., Jackson, M., Thomas, F., Tomson, G., 2019. Antibiotic resistance: using a cultural contexts of health approach to address a global health challenge.  WHO Europe. 
  • Hartley, S., Thizy, D., Ledingham, K., Coulibaly, M., Diabaté, A., Dicko, B., Diop., S., Kayondo, J., Namukwaya, A., Nourou, R. Toé, LP., 2019. Knowledge Engagement in Gene Drive. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases.


  • Innovation for urgent global challenges 
  • Responsible innovation & governance 
  • Social-cultural approaches to science, technology and non-human life 
  • Social dynamics of contemporary health and environmental challenges 
  • Social theory and empirical philosophy (including STS, biopolitics and more-than-human geographies) 

Current projects

  • Co-I. GCRF UKRI Facilitation Fund. Strengthening gene drive governance for malaria control in Africa.    
  • Co-I. QUEX. Global gene drive governance for climate adaptation and conservation.   
  • Co-I. British Academy. Co-developing Ecological Risk Assessment across Disciplines and Borders: Gene Drive Mosquito Field Trials in Uganda.    
  • Collaborator. Wellcome Trust. Talking about gene drive.   

External positions

  • Reviewer for the Journal of Responsible Innovation & AREA 
  • Rapporteur, World Health Organisation (WHO) Expert Group Meeting on the Cultural Contexts of Health (2018) 

External engagement and impact

  • 2019 WHO Report. Antibiotic resistance: using a cultural contexts of health approach to address a global health challenge 
  • 2019 Invited panellist ‘Bridging disciplines, sectors and systems for interdisciplinary research on antimicrobial resistance,’ 12th European Public Health Conference, Marseille 
  • 2019 Presentation to the Baltic Authorities on GMOs, Tallinn 
  • 2019 Invited CRISPR Con Moderator of Expert Panel (Conversations on Science, Society and the Future of Gene Editing). Netherlands