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Personal profile

Research Interests

Applied plant physiology; Plant biochemistry; Agroecology; Urban agriculture; Organic agriculture and horticulture; Food sovereignty; Mixed methods research

Biography

I am an interdisciplinary researcher, with a background in plant biology and environmental social sciences, exploring how and why we should grow plants differently. I currently work on the European Horizon 2020 project ‘Organic-PLUS’, investigating fossil-fuel free plastic alternatives, peat-free alternatives and vegan fertilisers for organic growers. 

Originally trained as an agronomist specialised in organic agriculture, upon the completion of my studies I worked on several farms in various countries and contexts. I later pursued an MSc in Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia, during which I explored people’s perception of urban agriculture. Following my MSc studies, I immersed myself in the research and development of a commercial vertical farming system. This led me to a BBSRC-funded PhD programe at Lancaster University that explored the potential and limitations of vertical farming for urban agriculture. After I completed my PhD I remained at Lancaster University as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in different projects in Sociology and Plant biology. Before joining CAWR, I worked in the development of novel growing systems at Stockbridge Technology Centre.

I currently co-manage the ‘Lancaster Seed Library’, a seed saving project which focuses on collecting, saving and distributing locally adapted seeds, and reskilling local growers in seed saving. I also sit on the management committee of ‘Claver Hill Community Food Project’, a peri-urban farm based in Lancaster, UK that uses no-dig methods to produce an abundance of organic vegetables.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD in Biological sciences, Lancaster University

Award Date: 1 Apr 2017

MSc in Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia

Award Date: 1 Aug 2011

BSc in Biological Agriculture, Technological Educational Institute of Ionian Islands

Award Date: 1 Aug 2005

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