CSAFE, originally named the Centre for the Study of Agriculture, Food, and Environment, has grown significantly since its inception in 2000. Some major milestones are listed below.


CSAFE is formally established as a Research Centre in the School of Social Sciences, with Professor Hugh Campbell as director. The research activities of the new centre initially concentrate on the social scientific analysis of agricultural sustainability. 


Professor Henrik Moller (from the Department of Zoology) and Hugh collaborate to help form the Agriculture Research Group on Sustainability (ARGOS), an eight-year multi-million dollar project that aims to analyse key problems in agricultural sustainability through social science, ecological, economic and farm management lenses. 


Both Hugh and Henrik leave their departments to become full-time senior research fellows at CSAFE. Henrik brings with him the long-term project, Kia Mau Te T?t? Mo Ake T?nu Atu (Keep the T?t? Forever), funded by the Ministry of Science & Innovation (MSI).


Henrik is appointed co-director of CSAFE, alongside Hugh's ongoing position as Director. CSAFE staff, funding opportunities and projects continue to expand. 


CSAFE transitions to become part of the Department of Geography, with full union of the entities at the end of 2007. CSAFE moves to a new physical location at 21/23 Montgomery Avenue.


Te Tiaki Mahinga Kai, a research alliance that involves 12 projects, begins. This project underpins a major expansion of CSAFE?s research relating to indigenous environmental management. 


CSAFE receives its first successful Marsden grant, awarded to the project, Tirohia he Huarahi: Plans, Power, Partnerships, which is led by Henrik and Dr. Janet Stephenson. Janet moves from the Department of Geography to CSAFE, to become a Senior Research Fellow.

Dr. Chris Rosin begins new projects examining the implications of climate change for New Zealand agriculture. 


CSAFE is granted formal status as a University of Otago Research Centre, and its third house at is added.

Energy Cultures, a new MSI-funded project, introduces the new thematic area of Energy. This project is led by Janet and Professor Rob Lawson (Department of Marketing).


Biological Economies, funded by Marsden, demonstrates contribution to leading edge social research on rural economies through collaboration with leading economic geographers from the universities of Auckland, Massey, Canterbury and Lincoln.

Rural Futures begins, working in collaboration with AgResearch. 


Janet becomes CSAFE's new Director. Hugh takes on the role as Chair of Sociology in the new department of Sociology, Gender and Social Work, while retaining his research commitments at CSAFE. 

CSAFE rebrands as the Centre for Sustainability: Agriculture, Food, Energy, Environment to reinforce its commitment to sustainability-focused research and to include its new research interest in sustainable energy. The Advisory Board is also established.