I began my studies at the University of British Columbia where I completed an Honours BSc in Physics and Astronomy. I then developed a strong interest in food and the environment during a period of extensive travel. I returned to university and completed an MES and PhD in Environmental Studies at York University; my thesis developed a complex adaptive systems theory approach to sustainable development.
I then had the opportunity to do postdoctoral work at Royal Roads University (RRU), where I studied community-level sustainable development, urban form, and the geography of farmers markets; I continued this work as an assistant professor in the School of Environment and Sustainability at RRU.
In my spare time, I write for the popular press and enjoy hiking, culinary anthropology, and eating interesting foods. I live in East Vancouver and spend a lot of time haunting farmers markets, coffee shops, and obscure library collections.
PhD, York University, 2004
MES, York University, 1999
BSc (Hons), University of British Columbia, 1996
GEOG 140: Human Geography
GEOG 314: Geography of Food
The goal of my Canada Research Chair in Food Security and the Environment is to understand Canada's foods of locality; that is, the foods that help define our regions and help define our overall identity as a nation. I approach this work through a spatial, geographical lens, but I'm never far away from my environmental roots as so many of our food systems are under threat.
I also look at the nature/culture interaction, particularly with respect to food production and the city, and I look at issue of spatial justice with respect to access to food in the city. I also study chefs and the preservation of culinary literacy, and general issues of sustainable food systems.
I am constructing a database of Canada's food, in conjunction with a book documenting key elements of our cuisine. Photography is a key component of my research methodology. For more information about my writing and research, see my website, Sand and Feathers.