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Dr Lauren J BlakeBSocSci, MA, PGCertVE, PhD

Research Associate in Human Geography

Lauren Blake

Dr Lauren J BlakeBSocSci, MA, PGCertVE, PhD

Research Associate in Human Geography

Member of

Research interests

Lauren is an anthropologist and human geographer focusing on food systems, food security and development, sustainability, malnutrition, food activism, policy, food politics and identity, gender, one health, farmers and their environment, and interdisciplinarity. 

At Bristol, Lauren works primarily on the POR EL Páramo (POst-conflict Reconciliation of Environment and Livelihoods in Boyacá Páramo) project in Colombia, researching 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 agricultural 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 Leverhulme 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 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 food systems.   


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