See profiles of past student researchers here.

Kim Burnett

Kim Burnett is a SSHRC funded doctoral student with the University of Waterloo’s Global Governance program. Her research focuses on the governance of agricultural production and trade, examining how Fair Trade and Food Sovereignty challenge neoliberal structures of agricultural production and trade, and with what efficacy. Kim worked in the private, public and non-profit sectors prior to her graduate studies, was a research fellow with Oxfam America in 2009, and has held contracts as a consultant with Oxfam America and World Vision. She authored a forthcoming publication with Geopolitics on Fair Trade and Food Sovereignty responses to governance opportunities after the global food crisis.

Kim’s true passion is music, playing and listening, and she also enjoys photography, cycling, yoga, escaping into a good novel, time with friends, and most especially, the wonderful close relationship she shares with her goddaughter and her little sister, and their family.

Current and recent activities (in addition to writing her dissertation):

  • Co-Chair of the Canadian Food Security Policy Group (a coalition group of Canadian international development agencies, emergency relief providers, farmers/producers’ organizations and human rights groups working in sectors related to enhancing food security in developing countries and in Canada);
  •  Consultant for World Vision Canada, researching and preparing a report on the value of ethical consumption in development, as internal background information for their work on the topic, especially on campaigns to end the worst forms of child labour.
  • Consultant for Oxfam, researching to provide data, statistics and analysis on the food crisis and the impacts of food price volatility on select countries for an interactive map featured as part of Oxfam International’s GROW campaign
  • Agriculture and Trade Research Fellow at Oxfam America 2009/2010

View selected publications and photographs from Kim here.

Lucie Edwards

Lucie came to the University of Waterloo after 34 years in the Canadian foreign service, including 16 years based in Africa and Asia. She has specialized in international development  throughout her career, with a particular interest in food security and rural poverty in Africa and South Asia.   She has played an active leadership role in the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), notably serving as Chair of the World Agroforestry Centre, trustee of the Centre for International Forest Research and co-Chair of the CGIAR’s program on gender and development.  She currently serves on the board of Partners in Health Canada.

Lucie’s primary research interest is the use of science and technology for the poor, with a particular focus on initiatives to support the “bottom billion” in Africa and South Asia. Her dissertation focuses on the uses of international scientific assessments as policy instruments in such fields as climate change, biodiversity and food security.

For more on Lucie’s research, go to

View selected publications and photographs from Lucie here.

Matthew Gaudreau

Matt is a doctoral student at the Balsillie School of International Affairs. His research focuses on the implications of China’s food security priority for global food and environmental governance. Methodologically, he is exploring the use of social network analysis (SNA) in international relations research, an approach that has recently been gaining traction.

Matt completed his MA at the University of Ottawa, examining the local environmental politics surrounding a river system in Nanjing, China. This research involved using SNA to uncover the structure of interactions between NGOs and their relationship to government. He has previously studied at Nanjing University, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, University of Kentucky (SNA workshop), and Beijing University. His current research is supported by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council, the Balsillie Doctoral Fellowship, and the University of Waterloo.

Current and recent activities:

  • Research consultant with an IDRC funded project on ethnic minority inclusion in China’s frontier provinces (Xinjiang, Hainan, and Yunnan).
  • Research consultant with the Institute for Science, Society and Policy, working on issues of Science-Policy integration.
  • Treasurer for the East Asia Council of the Canadian Asian Studies Association.

View selected publications from Matt here.



Sarah MartinSarah Martin 2014

Sarah is an Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, NL. She researches the global political economy of food and agriculture with a particular interest in the interactions between finance, markets and agriculture. Her past research has explored transnational foodservice corporations, and social movements and food sovereignty. Sarah’s research interests are informed by her experiences as a cook and chef in a variety of settings from institutional cafeterias to high-end restaurants to remote logging camps. These experiences have led to a particular interest in how politics are practiced in the everyday.

View Sarah’s profile page here.


Caitlin Michelle Scott - Profile Picture

Caitlin Michelle Scott

Caitlin Scott is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Environment and Resource Studies at the University of Waterloo. Her general interests include the role of corporations in global food governance and the resulting environment and health outcomes. More specifically, she is interested in questions of power in debates and discourse on sustainable, healthy food systems. Her current work focuses on the processed food industry and sustainable diets.

Caitlin completed her MA in Environment, Development and Policy at the University of Sussex, exploring governance of resources in cities to ensure social and ecological justice.



Helena Shilomboleni

Helena is a PhD Candidate in the department of Environment and Resource Studies (ERS) at the University of Waterloo. Her primary area of research is food security and food systems sustainability.  Her dissertation examines how the Green Revolution and Food Sovereignty each contribute to sustainability in their respective approaches to food security in the context of Southern Africa. She uses the Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) Sustainability Assessment for Food and Agricultural Systems (SAFA) framework as a benchmark for evaluation. She has an MA in Global Governance from the University of Waterloo.  Her academic interest is informed by my farming background and experience with grassroots advocacy work.

See Helena’s profile page here.

BethTimmersBeth Timmers


Beth Timmers is a PhD student in the Department of Environment and Resource Studies at the University of Waterloo. Her research critically analyzes sustainable food production and access in the Global South. She is interested in the influence of social norms on economic inequality in small-scale agriculture, and passionate about using participatory methods for transdisciplinary research.
Prior to joining Waterloo’s Faculty of Environment, Beth was the recipient of the IDRC’s Research Award in Agriculture and Food Security, and worked with the CGIAR’s WorldFish Center in Malaysia. She holds field expertise in East Africa. Her research interest and passion for good food are the natural result of growing up on a small-scale farm in rural Manitoba


Wesley Tourangeau

Wesley received a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Criminology from the University of Windsor. His Master’sWesley A. Tourangeau thesis explores the experiences of farmers and food processors from the Canadian hemp industry, drawing linkages between regulatory constraints and environmental harms. Currently, Wesley is a Candidate for PhD in Social and Ecological Sustainability at the University of Waterloo in the Department of Environment and Resource Studies. His current interests include Canadian agricultural, biotechnology, seed politics, risk studies and Green Criminology.

The focus of Wesley’s dissertation project is the governance of risk and uncertainty in Canadian agricultural biotechnology. This study investigates Canada’s governance of genetically modified crops, examining the extent to which various categories of risk are assessed. Of particular focus is why social, economic and political risks are governed differently than risks related to health and the environment. The purpose of this study is to develop a more holistic and democratic approach to risk vis-à-vis Canadian agricultural biotechnology, and contribute to theoretical literatures on risk and uncertainty.

See Wesley’s profile page here.


Andrés García Trujillo

Image of Andrés García TrujilloAndrés is a PhD student in the Global Governance program at the Balsillie School of International Affairs at the University of Waterloo. His general research interest is the political economy of agriculture and rural development.

He is particularly interested in analyzing the historical trajectories of technological innovation and rural extension in Latin America, where agroecology has gained importance in certain contexts and posed significant challenges to the dominant food system. A central task of the research will be to identify the underlying factors behind these alternatives, and looking at the complex relationship between rural social movements and the state.

Andrés holds a Bachelor’s degree in development studies and international political economy from Trent University, and a Master’s degree in social policy from Universidad Javeriana (Bogotá, Colombia). Prior to returning to graduate school, Andrés worked in Colombia for various years as a rural development policy advisor and as a researcher and consultant for a number of organizations, including Oxfam UK.