Personal profile

Research interests

I am an anthropologist and human geographer focusing on agriculture and food. As an interdisciplinary researcher, I’m interested in the way food interconnects the health of people, societies, animals and the environment. I do this through systems thinking, political ecology and more-than-human geography. My research has been primarily in the UK and Latin America. Having worked in diverse settings, I am interested in the role of social sciences and participatory methods in interdisciplinary projects (within and beyond academia) related to agrifood systems and sustainable, equitable development.

There are three principal strands to my research...

The first strand is on socio-ecological tensions between agriculture and the environment, with special attention to livelihoods and food security, notably under the dominant paradigm of agro-extractivist farming. Three projects speak to this. During my post-doctoral work on a NERC-funded interdisciplinary project (2019-2022), my research focused on the socio-environmental struggles of campesinos at the intersection between farming, conservation policies and environmental change in the Colombian Páramos ecosystem. Currently, I am Co-I on a largely biomedical project in Argentina looking at antibiotic use and resistance in livestock farming (2021-2024). I lead the social science workstream exploring challenges of environment, health and livelihoods on dairy farms. With a University Strategic Fund (2023-2027), I am collaborating with the School of Biological Sciences on rewilding, supervising two PhDs exploring the tensions and synergies between rewilding conservation and farming in the UK, from ecology and human geography perspectives.

The second strand focuses on the food systems of marginalised peoples in situations of protracted crises, considering malnutrition, food security and the nutrition transition with compounding factors such as conflict, climate change and oppression. In particular, I explore indigenous knowledge and biocultural heritage related to agriculture and health in contexts of protracted crisis. This builds on early and current work primarily in Guatemala, with a commitment to equitable partnerships, transdisciplinarity and decolonisation, to develop a Transdisciplinary Food Systems Framework. This strand also links to various smaller projects about how our food production, trade, policies, culture and identity contribute to or hinder resilience, equitable societies, food security and healthy diets for all. 

The final strand of my work focuses on justice, activism, and community engagement through collaboration. This began with generating a new oral history public archive for the British Library on food activism as part of my PhD (2018). Presently, as a founding member and co-lead of the UoB Food Justice Network (FJN) research group, and a Board Director of Bristol Food Network CIC, I support work and collaboration towards socio-ecologically just food systems, including through creative means, e.g. artist collaborations (see outputs from Brigstow-funded project ‘Who’s In Our Food’). A key project I am currently working on with Bristol Food Network, Feeding Bristol and UWE is to develop a Disaster Risk Plan for Food Security and resilience.   

At Bristol, I am the co-lead for the Food Security theme at the Cabot Institute for the Environment. Externally, I am a board director for the Bristol Food Network CIC, and sit on the Bristol Advisory Committee on Climate Change (BACCC).

Please note, I am away on maternity leave between May 2024 and May 2025. 

Structured keywords and research groupings

  • Food Justice Network

Keywords

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

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