Photo of Lauren J Blake

Dr Lauren J Blake

BSocSci, MA, PGCertVE, PhD

  • BS40 5DU


Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

Lauren is an interdisciplinary anthropologist and human geographer focusing on agri-food systems. In particular, how the complex components of agri-food systems interplay with food security, global development, sustainability, environment, malnutrition, policy, identity, food activism and gender.  

At Bristol, Lauren works primarily on the POR EL Páramo (POst-conflict Reconciliation of Environment and Livelihoods in Boyacá Páramo) project in Colombia. The research, taking a political ecology perspective, is focused on farming practices and the relationship between campesino farmers, their changing environment, and post-conflict conservation policies. More info at: 

Lauren holds a bachelor's degree in Social Anthropology from the University of Manchester and a Masters from SOAS University of London, in Anthropology of Food, for which she conducted ethnographic research on malnutrition, gender and intervention programmes with agrarian communities in rural Guatemala (funded by an award from the Tropical Agriculture Association). Whilst at SOAS, she also conducted research on food labelling for the Social Science Research Unit of the Food Standards Agency. Her PhD in Human Geography (from the University of Sheffield in collaboration with the British Library), was based on in-depth oral history interviews with agri-food activists, campaigners and policy makers. The recorded interviews form a public sound archive at the British Library. 

Before joining the University of Bristol in 2019, she worked as a teaching fellow at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) and as a member of the London Centre for Integrative Research on Agriculture and Health (LCIRAH). Here, her principal role was as an education coordinator developing and delivering a cross-university interdisciplinary food systems training programme (IFSTAL). At the RVC, Lauren was a leading member of the qualitative research methods group, supervised student research projects, and, often taking a One Health approach, was involved in research on zoonotic diseases in Jordan, antimicrobial resistance within the food chain and agricultural sector, and sustainability within livestock farming. At LCIRAH, she has led the development and delivery of a qualitative methods learning lab for the annual Agriculture, Nutrition and Health Academy Week. She is particularly interested in the role of social sciences and qualitative methods within interdisciplinary projects related to agri-food systems.   

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Research Output

A future workforce of food-system analysts

Ingram, J., Ajates, R., Arnall, A., Blake, L. J., Borrelli, R., Collier, R., de Frece, A., Häsler, B., Lang, T., Pope, H., Reed, K., Sykes, R., Wells, R. & White, R., 1 Jan 2020, In : Nature Food. 1, p. 9-10 2 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

  • Eating Your Politics

    Blake, L. J., 2020, (In preparation) In : Geoforum.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

    Eating Your Politics: the relationship between food, politics and identity among food activists

    Blake, L., 2019, (Unpublished).

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference Paper