Presenters

Jennifer Blesh

Assistant Professor in the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan, Jennifer uses interdisciplinary research approaches to understand how different agrifood systems impact ecological and social processes. Her ecological research focuses on soil nitrogen and carbon biogeochemical cycles, agroecosystem nutrient management, and legume nitrogen fixation.

Juli Carrillo

Juli is an Assistant Professor within the UBC Faculty of Land and Food Systems. Juli studies plant-insect ecology and evolution, specifically plant defense against herbivory. Her research approach is primarily through experimental comparisons of populations that have diverged in evolutionary history or that span a gradient of plant-insect interactions.

Martina Clausen

Martina Clausen is a Master’s student in the UBC Faculty of Land and Food Systems. She is part of the Dr. Sean Smukler’ Sustainable Agricultural Landscapes Lab. Martina’s research focuses on the status and conservation of native bee populations in agricultural landscapes. Martina collaborates with the Delta Farmland and Wildlife Trust, a non-profit organization, to investigate the value of different field margin habitats for native bees and to help optimize conservation efforts in Delta, BC.

Michelle Daigle

Michelle is a member of the Cree nation (Constance Lake First Nation) and joined UBC in October 2015 as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow. Her work emerges from over 10 years of experience as a community-based researcher and educator with Indigenous communities in Canada and the U.S. Michelle is interested in bringing geography into critical dialogue with Indigenous ontologies on colonial dispossession (particularly through capitalist resource exploitation) as well as Indigenous movements for self-determination, decolonization and resurgence.

Sean Kearney

Sean Patrick Kearney is a PhD student studying Soil Science in the UBC Faculty of Land and Food Systems. Sean earned an MSc in International Agricultural Development from the University of California, Davis and a BA in International Business and Economics from Western Washington University. During his MSc, he worked with smallholder farmers in rural Uganda coordinating farmer field schools and researching integrated soil fertility methods for commercial vegetable production.

Rebecca Klady

Using the lens of food sovereignty, Rebecca’s PhD research in the UBC Faculty of Forestry aims to challenge the prevailing narratives of food insecurity and vulnerability in northern Indigenous communities. Her research helps inform food security and sovereignty discourses at territorial, national and international levels. Rebecca’s MSc research focused on plant community changes in response to simulated climate warming at a high arctic polar oasis, on east-central Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada.
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Alexandra Lyon

Alexandra is a Post Doctoral Fellow at the UBC Centre for Sustainable Food Systems. Alex’s work explores the concept of seed sovereignty in developed agricultural economies from both a theoretical and practical standpoint. She is interested in how and why farmers participate in local or alternative seed systems, and the role of such seed systems in supporting socially and environmentally sustainable agri-food systems.

Gabriel Maltais-Landry

Gabriel Maltais-Landry is a postdoctoral fellow at UBC ‘s Faculty of Land and Food Systems. He works primarily with the Sustainable Agricultural Landscapes Lab and Centre for Sustainable Food Systems. The main objective of Gabriel’s research is to optimize the use of manures and composts to maximize crop productivity, maintain soil fertility and quality, and minimize environmental impacts.

Zia Mehrabi

Zia Mehrabi is a Post Doctoral Research Fellow at UBC’s Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability, with adjunct positions in The Liu institute for Global Studies & the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems. Zia obtained an undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences at the University of Oxford in 2011, and a DPhil in Food Security, also from Oxford, in 2016. He has worked in industry on large scale farmland expansion in sub-Saharan Africa, in a non-profit setting on developing environmentally conscious decision support tools for land managers, and with small scale farmers on the interactive effects of agricultural intensification and climate change on crop yields.
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Wilson Mendes

Wilson Mendes is a member of the Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty (WGIFS), and a second year PhD student with the Faculty of Land and Food Systems (LFS) at UBC. His research looks at the intersection of Indigenous community planning and Indigenous food sovereignty in two Indigenous communities in British Columbia. The focus of his work is based on a collaborative and community-based approach to build capacity among Indigenous communities and bring community voices into decision making process. 

Lenore Newman

Lenore is the Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Food Security and the Environment at the University of Fraser Valley. Lenore’s love affair with food began on her family’s fishing boats, where she gained an early introduction into the world of direct marketing of local products. She holds a Canada Research Chair in Food Security and Environment at the University of the Fraser Valley, where she is an associate professor in the department of Geography and the Environment. She runs a research program focused on Canadian regional cuisines, local food sovereignty, culturally preferred foods, and agricultural land use. Her first book is Speaking in Cod Tongues: A Canadian Culinary Journey.
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Claudia Paez

In Latin America, the campesinos (peasant) population is estimated at 65 million, of which 40-55 million are Indigenous peoples. On the continent, the Andes holds the largest part of this population. During her graduate studies, Claudia had the opportunity to conduct research in the Peruvian Andes, focusing on gendered participation in household and community decision-making in the context of food security in agricultural Quechua communities. Claudia is also a research assistant looking at export oriented mediated markets and food sovereignty in Ecuador, trade agreements, and the ability of governments to pursue preferential food procurement programs in the context of food sovereignty.

Lisa Powell

Lisa J. Powell is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm and the Agriburban Research Centre, and she is jointly appointed at UBC and the University of the Fraser Valley. Her research and writing focus on agriburbia, food systems and food sovereignty, farm to institution, land use conflicts, natural resources extraction, and cultural foodways.

Roots on the Roof – Lucas Chan & Chris Son

Lucas and Chris are amongst the leaders behind the UBC Alma Mater Society’s Roots on the Roof rooftop garden club, which oversees the usage of the rooftop garden located on top of the Nest Student Union Building. Lucas Chan is a 4th year Global Resource Systems student in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems at the University of British Columbia. He is also currently the President of UBC’s Rooftop Garden Club, Roots on the Roof. Chris Son is the Vice President for Roots on the Roof. He is currently studying a bachelors in Environmental Design under the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at UBC.

Tania Salerno

Tania Salerno is a PhD candidate in the Anthropology Department, University of Amsterdam. She is part of the research program, “(Trans)national Land Investments in Indonesia and the Philippines: Contested Control of Farm Land and Cash Crops”, funded by NWO-WOTRO. Her research interests include agrarian politics, land rights, financialized corporate agriculture, oil palm expansion, flex crops, and the global food system.

Verena Seufert

Verena is a Post Doctoral Fellow in UBC’s Land Use and Global Environment Lab. She is a geographer-ecologist interested in all things food and nature. Verena believes that food is what connects us in the most fundamental ways with nature. We depend on ecosystems, and we impact ecosystems through the way we produce, prepare and eat our food. Food defines our health, our cultures, our communities, and it defines our environmental footprint.

Will Valley

Will Valley is an instructor and academic director of the Land, Food and Community series of courses in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems at the University of British Columbia. His research focuses on innovative pedagogies for sustainable food system education programs, food literacy development in K-12 education, and urban agricultural. He is also co-director of an urban farming enterprise in Vancouver, BC.

Kim Haxton

Kim Haxton is a multifaceted, multidimensional educator, rooted in land based knowledge and steeped in community. She is Potowatami from Wasauksing. She has worked across Turtle Island and abroad in various capacities, always emphasizing local leadership development toward genuine healing. Kim currently leads programs in the Democratic Republic of Congo, cultivating local leadership in Congolese women working with traditional plant medicines. Kim has developed and facilitated programs in over 8 countries, and has been working in land-based education and leadership for the past 20 years.

Johnnie Manson

Johnnie Manson is a member of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation. He is also a PhD Student at the Institute for Resources, Environment, & Sustainability at the University of British Columbia.