Assistant Professor at the University of Victoria's (UVic) Department of Geography, Sophia's (she/her) research is focused on the geography of natural resource governance. In particular, she studies the political geography of natural resources governance with special interest in how global food systems impact people and ecosystems. She is especially interested in understanding how the chocolate and cocoa industry can reduce its deforestation footprint while fostering sustainable land management practices such as agroforestry.
Her transdisciplinary approach to research is grounded in collaboration with policy makers, business, and civil society, with the aim to create practice-based and policy-relevant knowledge. Since 2010, her work has placed her at the intersection between science and environmental policy. She regularly advises governments, development organizations, business, and communities on land-use strategy and climate change, finance, agriculture, and business solutions to sustainability. Her geographic focus is global, with projects spanning Africa, the Pacific, and South/Central America.
For more detailed information, my CV is available here.
Lucy (she/her) is a University of Victoria Aspiration 2030 Postdoctoral Fellow cross-appointed to Geography and Political Science. Lucy has previously worked for the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada with the Food, Environment and Health team. She completed her dissertation in September 2022, which analyzed the role of corporate power in the policy process undertaken by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to implement Front-of-Pack Warning Labels on processed food items. She works at the intersections of international political economy, development studies and food studies, using a deeply historical approach to help explain why food systems are so deeply entrenched and resist required transformation for people and planet.
Lucy’s work at the University of Victoria aims to understand the colonial legacies in contemporary Caribbean food systems, using cocoa as an entry point to understand modern challenges and historical structures. Lucy’s research is generously supported by UVic’s Aspiration 2030, the Centre for Global Studies, the Centre for Asia Pacific Initiatives, and the Geography and Political Science departments.
Visiting scholar and postdoctoral researcher
Rachel (she/her) is a visiting scholar in the Environmental Governance lab, and a postdoctoral research fellow at the Australian National University’s Institute for Climate, Energy & Disaster Solutions. Her current work applies a mix of qualitative and quantitative approaches to address issues of climate change vulnerability and adaptation, gender and social justice, and community engagement in food systems, primarily in the Indo-Pacific region. She completed a PhD on social equity implications of community-based forest management in Indonesian Borneo at the University of Queensland in 2020. Previously, she worked on climate-smart agriculture and international environmental policy processes for EcoAgriculture Partners, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, and on food systems justice at Good Food Oxford. Overall, Rachel’s research is motivated by the prospect of achieving more ethical, equitable, and environmentally sustainable food systems.
Marshall (he/him) is a SSHRC post-doctoral researcher, Rufford grant recipient, and visiting fellow at UVic's Centre for Global Studies. Marshall has over 10 years’ experience in sustainable forest management practices, forest governance, policy evaluation and impact monitoring. In Ghana, he worked for the Forestry Commission, providing technical support to several cross-cutting national programs and projects such as FLEGT VPA process and REDD+. As a US Government Exchange Scholar of Forest and Wildlife Crimes with the US Forest Service International Program, he worked to provide inclusive answers on critical policy-engaged and practical-relevant global issues that require a capacity from the experience of an expert from the Global South.
In 2020, he graduated from the Antioch University New England, USA, with MSc and PhD in Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies. He also holds a MSc degree in Environmental Resources Management from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana, with a special focus on intersection of natural resource policy and governance.
Ndèye Sokhna Dieng
PhD student (visiting)
Sokhna (she/her) is a doctoral candidate at the Université Alassane Ouattara à Bouaké (in Côte d'Ivoire) in collaboration with the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD). Working at the crossroads of political economy and socio-history, her research focuses on socio-environmental conflicts related to politics and public policy emerging in a context of increased deforestation due to cocoa production in Côte d'Ivoire.
Her collaboration with the University of Victoria is facilitated through an academic exchange funded by Global Affairs Canada. With a multidisciplinary background in social sciences, she holds a Master degree in Public Policy from Sciences Po Lille as well as a research-focused Master's degree in agriculture development from Montpellier Sup Agro. In addition to academic research, she regularly consults governments and development partners.
Sid (he/him) is an MA student at the University of Victoria (UVic) in the Geography Department studying ecommerce and digital place-making in the craft chocolate industry. Before coming to UVic, Sid completed his undergraduate degree at Carleton University in Communication and Media Studies. Sid has been working in ecommerce within the organic and natural food CPG sector for the last two years, which sparked his current academic direction. He brings an interdisciplinary, collaborative approach to his research, and highly values working with community partners. His research interests include food ecommerce, geographies of food and global food systems, online user experience and education, and moral markets.
Sid’s research is supported by the Mitacs Accelerate program.
Sofia (she/her) is a current MSc student at the University of Victoria (UVic) in the Geography Department working on the Traders and Sustainability project. Sofia completed her undergraduate degree at UVic in Physical Geography and Environmental Studies, where she focused her studies on permaculture and how ecological communities can co-exist with humans, particularly in regards to growing food. She has spent the past few years working in Norway, Vancouver Island, and various Gulf Islands in the permaculture and ecological restoration fields. Her research interests include topics addressing the sustainability of global food systems, agricultural practices, environmental stewardship in agriculture and community and agricultural development.
Undergraduate Research Assistant
Oliver (they/them) is a second year Geography student at the University of Victoria. Their focus is on geographic information systems, exploring the ways in which innovations in mapping can make spatial data more accessible to underrepresented groups. They also have a background in decolonial theory, specifically Latin American pluriversality. At the Environmental Governance Lab, Oliver is working on a literature review with Dr. Hinton, examining the current academic conversation around decolonizing food systems. In future, they hope to work at the intersection of technical and critical geographies.
Undergraduate Research Assistant
Sarah (she/her) is a third year BSc student at the University of Victoria pursuing a combined major in Geography and Earth and Ocean Science. She was awarded a Jamie Cassels Undergraduate Research Award (JCURA) for her research on cacao origins and sustainability innovation in small-to-medium chocolate companies in partnership with The Chocolate Alliance. While volunteering in Nepal during her gap year, Sarah developed a passion for sustainable development particularly involving agriculture and sustainable land use. She furthered her interest in international relations in 2020 with a virtual internship in Fiji, working with a bee farm to create an eco retreat proposal. In the coming years Sarah hopes to combine her international experience and her BSc program to work on projects surrounding sustainability.
Graduate Research Assistant
Kikila (he/they) is a settler of primarily western European descent (Germanic & Continental Celtic), who grew up in Osheaga (Montreal, on traditional Kanienʼkehá꞉ka territories) before moving to Ku-sing-ay-las (so-called Victoria, BC) on the unceded territories of the W̱SÁNEĆ and L’kwungen peoples in 2015. Kikila is currently working on his PhD at the University of Victoria, exploring how the call of place can encourage a transformation of extractivist settler worldviews towards a more kincentric and relational way of being that supports Indigenous resurgence on Vancouver Island, and within occupied Hawai'i.
Kayla (she/her) recently graduated from the University of Victoria with a BSc in Geography and a minor in Economics. Throughout her degree she focussed on environmental assessment, resource management, sustainability, and urban economics. Kayla's appreciation for the environment has led to an interest in resource management and policy that works towards creating long-term sustainability and innovations in climate change mitigation. She is currently taking a year off between her undergrad and potential graduate studies and working with Dr. Carodenuto doing research on watershed co-management in Sooke. She plans to pursue a MSc in resource management or urban planning.
Hannah (she/her) received her BSc degree in Environmental Studies and Geography in 2022. She is grateful to live and learn on the unceded territories of the Lekwungen and WSANEC peoples. Hannah attended the 2019 Uvic Geography Tanzania field school where she learned about local conservation, resource management and community planning. This inspired many questions for her, including questions around the impacts of extractivism in the global south and the ways in which we, in the global north, directly benefit. In the summer of 2020, Hannah worked for Salt Spring Island Community Service’s Harvest Food Program where she became interested in sustainable food systems and supply chains. These two spheres of interest have merged for her through the undergraduate honours thesis she is working on with Dr. Sophia Carodenuto that focuses on cocoa origins and global supply chain sustainability within the artisanal chocolate industry. She is very excited to be working with Dr. Carodenuto and the Northwest Chocolate Alliance to explore the intricacies of maintaining relationships to cocoa origins as a method of enhancing sustainability.
Marcelyn (Myra) Buluran
Myra (she/her) recently graduated from the University of Victoria with a dual degree BSc in Geography and Environmental Studies. She recently attended the Tanzania Field School, where she learned about the Enguserosambu Forest Trust and their Indigenous approaches to conservation, land management, ecotourism, community planning, and development in predominantly rural environments. Moving forward, Myra plans to pursue an MSc that respectfully integrates Indigenous knowledge and western science into sustainability, conservation, and natural resource management.
Shayla (she/her) received her BA in Geography and Environmental Studies. She is grateful to be learning on Lekwungen territory, as well as throughout her degree learning on W̱SÁNEĆ and Lummi territory. She completed a co-op term working at the Legacy Art Galleries, where she explored different forms of communication to convey thoughts, ideas, and experiences to a diverse group of people. This experience inspired her Honors thesis to study the history of co-management and power sharing across state and non-state actors in the Sooke watershed, with a specific focus on Indigenous environmental stewardship.