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Personal profile

Research interests

Lauren is an interdisciplinary anthropologist and human geographer focusing on agrifood systems, through empirically driven research with an ethnographic and systemic approach. She looks at how different actors and socio-political processes shape agrifood systems, ranging from the producers and consumers to NGO and policy makers, to map, understand and analyse the challenges, interconnections and interdependencies between the health of people, society, animals and the environment. With particular experience in the UK and Latin America, she has worked on the topics of farming practices, policy, food campaigning/activism, agriculture-conservation tensions, global development and sustainability, malnutrition, and food, gender and identity. Current research focuses on indigenous food systems in protracted crisis (in Guatemala).    


At Bristol, she is a Lecturer in Human Geography, teaching and supervising students across undergraduate and postgraduate level. Her teaching and research topics cover geographies of food, political ecology related to the challenges of agrifood issues, global sustainable development, and qualitative participatory methods. Lauren also co-leads the Bristol Food Justice Network, a group of researchers from a range of disciplines interested in, and working on, issues to do with social and environmental justice and sustainability within food systems.  


She first joined Bristol in 2019 as a postdoctoral researcher, working primarily on the multi-institution and interdisciplinary project POR EL Páramo (POst-conflict Reconciliation of Environment and Livelihoods in Boyacá Páramo) in Colombia. The research took a political ecology perspective to understand the socio-environmental struggles that campesinos face at the intersection between farming, environmental change and post-peace agreement conservation policies.  


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 development 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 from across the food system. 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 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, with 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 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 participatory methods within interdisciplinary projects related to agrifood systems and sustainable equitable development.   


Please note, Lauren is unable to support new PhD students at this time. If you are interested in applying to the School for postgraduate research study, please contact the PGR Administrator geog-pgadmis@bristol.ac.uk or, via the administrator, one of the School’s academic PGR directors.


  • food systems
  • food justice
  • global food regime
  • Global Development
  • Sustainable Development
  • Political Ecology
  • environmental change
  • environmental conflicts
  • Environmental Humanities
  • malnutrition
  • Agriculture


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