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    Personal profile


    Lopa holds a PhD in Environmental Economics and Environmental Management from the University of York, UK. She has an MPhil in Applied Economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University in India. Prior to joining Coventry University, she worked as an independent researcher in various capacities on team projects led by academics at a number of Universities in the UK. She was also engaged as a research consultant and was an honorary Non-Resident Fellow of South Asia Watch on Trade, Economics, and Environment (SAWTEE), a regional think-tank in South Asia.

    Her current research is on sustainable and resilient food systems, with a particular focus on community-led food initiatives and their intersection with nutrition, health, culture, gender, agriculture, and the environment. Her work is situated in the UK and India. Her research includes two main strands. One is food insecurity/food poverty and the changing nature and influence of food governance at the local community level with a focus on the third sector, in the UK. The other strand is community self-organisation for resilience from a social-ecological perspective with a focus on urban biodiversity and rural indigenous food systems. In her teaching role, she leads the MSc module on Gender, Food Systems, and Natural Resources.

    She publishes under her full name: Lopamudra Patnaik Saxena.

    In Coventry where she is based, Lopa is a member of Coventry Food Network and a Trustee of Feeding Coventry, engaged with local community action to make Coventry a sustainable food city. 

    Area of Expertise:

    Community self-organisation for resilience; social supermarkets/community food hubs; food and nutrition security; food poverty and food justice; food waste management; community food growing and gardening; evaluation of the social impact of community food initiatives, including agroecological enterprises; gender, food systems, and natural resources; mixed research methods; South Asia



    Research Interests

    Environment and Development; Social Supermarkets/Community Food Hubs; Sustainable Food Systems; Community Self-organisation for Resilience; Food Citizenship; Food Literacy; Indigenous Food Systems; Gender & Food Systems.

    Vision Statement

    As an environmental economist with a background in development studies, my research is driven by a primary interest in exploring the nature and impact of human interactions on the natural environment/ecosystems. Notably this includes understanding the outcomes of such interactions on food systems, livelihoods, and on human health and well-being. Key questions which guide my research are: how do the complex realities of socio-political-economic structures within which communities/groups are embedded (such as class, ethnicity, race, age and gender) mediate the experiences, vulnerabilities and capacities of women and men? What are the socially innovative ways in which state and non-state actors can create an enabling environment for vulnerable/marginalised groups, so as to promote a just and sustainable future for all? These are the questions which continue to inspire me to pursue research and support positive change at different levels.

    Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

    In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

    • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
    • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
    • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities

    Education/Academic qualification

    Environmental Economics & Environmental Management, PhD. (Univ. of York, UK)

    Applied Economics, MPhil (JNU, India)

    External positions

    Visiting Researcher, Nabakrushna Choudhury Centre for Development Studies

    1 Dec 201631 Jul 2017


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