Presenter Bios



Lord John Krebs Kt
MA, DPhil (Oxon), FRS, FMedSci, Hon DSc
Lord Krebs, currently the Principal of Jesus College, gained a DPhil in Zoology from Pembroke College, Oxford in 1970. He then became the Departmental Demonstrator in Ornithology at Oxford before spending time at both the University of British Columbia and the University College of North Wales in Bangor, returning to Oxford in 1975 as a University Lecturer in Zoology. He remained in Oxford as a Fellow of Wolfson College until 1981 when he became the EP Abraham Fellow of Pembroke College. Since then he has acted as the Royal Society Research Professor, the Chief Executive of the Natural Environment Research Council, and the first Chairman of the UK Food Standards Agency. He is currently a chairman of the House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee, as well as a Trustee of the Nuffield Foundation and Chairman of the UK Science and Technology Honours Committee. Author of more than 300 research papers, article and books, he recently published “Food: a Very Short Introduction” and sits on the UK Climate Change Committee, chairing its Adaptation Sub-Committee. 




Professor Bhavani Shankar
BA (Madras), MA (New York), PhD (Illinois)
Bhavani is an applied economist working on research areas at the intersection of agriculture, food, nutrition and health, in developing as well as developed countries. He is currently a Professor of International Agriculture, Food and Health in the Centre for Development, Environment and Policy at SOAS. His research interests include the analysis of economic drivers of over and under nutrition, nutrition transition, dietary policy evaluation and the role of agriculture in enabling better nutrition and health. His recent and ongoing research projects include LANSA (Linking Agriculture and Nutrition in South Asia) and EATWELL (Interventions to Promote Healthy Eating in Europe). In the past, his research has included analysis of animal disease in the Mekong region, floodplain resource management in Bangladesh and the evaluation of transgenic cotton performance in South Africa and India. He is joint editor of Food Policy, an Elsevier journal.


Professor Barbara Harriss-White
MA (Oxon), Dip.Ag.Sc. (Ag.Econ.) (Cantab), PhD
Barbara is the Director of Wolfson College’s South Asia Research Cluster and of Area Studies Research Project on the Materiality of India’s Informal Economy at Oxford University. She was the Founder-Director of Oxford University’s Contemporary South Asian Studies Programme in the School of Area Studies and organiser of the world’s first MSc in Contemporary India. She has written, edited or co-edited and published 40 books and major reports, published over 200 scholarly papers and chapters and over 60 working papers. Her book ‘Rural Commercial Capital’ won the Edgar Graham prize. She works on India’s political economy, in particular food and energy, and aspects of deprivation – all through field research. She is Emeritus Professor of Development Studies, Emeritus Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford, and a Professorial Research Associate at SOAS. She is currently directing an ESRC-DFID research project networked in India titled “Resources, greenhouse gas emissions, technology and work in production and distribution systems: rice in India.”
Dr. Neil Carrier
MA, MLitt, PhD (St Andrews)
Neil is Departmental Lecturer in African Studies and Anthropology and is based at St Anne's College.  He has been involved in a wide range of research, mostly focused on the anthropology and history of East Africa and its diaspora. He has been working on a project examining the Somali-dominated Nairobi estate of Eastleigh as part of the Oxford Diasporas Programme team, exploring the historical and cultural underpinnings of Eastleigh’s diaspora-driven economy. Neil also maintains his interest in the topic of Africa and its drug trade which developed out of his earlier research on the stimulant khat, and he has developed this interest in his recently published book 'African and the War on Drugs', which he wrote in collaboration with Gernot Klantschnig. Recently he has been involved in a number of projects relating to film and photography, in particular his work with Sloan Mahone and David Anderson on the AHRC-funded project 'Trauma and Personhood in Late Colonial Kenya', examining the photographic collection of the late Edward Margetts, head of Mathari Hospital, Nairobi, in the 1950s. Neil has collaborated with the Pitt Rivers Museum on digitising a collection of photographs and negatives donated by Paul Baxter who conducted pioneering fieldwork in northern Kenya in the early 1950s. In July 2010 he conducted a photographic-repatriation project alongside Dr Kimo Quaintance, returning many of the images in the Baxter Collection to northern Kenya. For much of 2009 and 2010, Neil was based in Kenya, conducting research for the project ‘Heritage, Museums and Memorialisation in Kenya’ , visiting a number of heritage sites in the country, and also working with Professor Beinart on wildlife photography, studying the East African networks involved in such productions as ‘Born Free’ and ‘King Solomon’s Mines’
Angela Raven Roberts
BA (SOAS), MA (Oxon), PhD (Minnesota)
Angela’s career spans 30 years of work with NGOs, United Nations and academia in the Humanitarian sector. In 1998 she took a leave of absence from UNICEF to join Tufts University as Director of Academic Programmes for the then newly formed Feinstein International Famine Centre. At Tufts, she oversaw the design of one of the first Master’s of Arts in Humanitarian Assistance (MAHA) degree in the USA, developed specialist courses on gender, culture and humanitarian assistance and spearheaded several successful humanitarian initiatives with MIT, Harvard and other universities. She rejoined UNICEF in Geneva in 2004 as Regional Chief of Emergencies for Central and Eastern Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States. Between 2011 and 2012 she was Executive Director for the Humanitarian Accountability Partnership in Geneva. She is currently an independent researcher working on capacity development specializing in gender, youth, and livelihoods in emergencies, post crisis recovery, pastoral livelihoods in change, and the role of national civil services in disaster preparedness. She aims to use her time in Oxford reviewing current educational policies for pastoral communities in the Horn of Africa.


Jeremie Gross
Jérémie is a PhD candidate in development economics at the University of Namur (UN) in Belgium with research interests primarily in household economics. His PhD thesis is directed by Professors Jean-Philippe Platteau and Catherine Guirkinger. His current work focuses on analyzing the dynamics of food vulnerability at both household and individual level, and unexplored strategical behavior adopted for coping with food insecurity risks.  He also conducts an impact evaluation of an NGO food security community-based intervention in Northern Burkina Faso. Apart from his research activities, Jérémie Gross teaches, as a Lecturer, in the "Advanced Master in International and Development Economics"  and is teaching assistant for the undergraduate program of the UN.  
Chelsea B. Han
Chelsea is a candidate in Master of Science in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies at the University of Oxford. She conducted field research on food security in Ghana for the Canadian International Development Agency. She also examined border security and Canada-US trade for the United States Commercial Service. Recently, she worked at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario where she researched administrative law and social justice tribunals. She completed her undergraduate education at the University of Toronto and the University of St Andrews.
Lauren Blake
I'm currently undertaking a PhD at the University of Sheffield in collaboration with the British Library on food activism and politics in the UK. The principal research method is oral histories, which will be used to create a new public sound archive on various food movements and organisations, including international issues such as food poverty. Before that I completed an MA in the Anthropology of Food at SOAS, for which I received a grant from the Tropical Agriculture Association to undertake ethnographic research on malnutrition in rural Guatemala (which my abstract is based on). Since then I have done some consultancy work for food poverty organisations in Guatemala, namely Semillas Para El Futuro and INCAP (Central American Institute for Nutrition), and my research has also been used by USAID. In the UK I have worked at a food cooperative, for a domestic abuse charity, on a cooking and nutrition course and for the Food Standards Agency. I have worked, studied and traveled extensively in Europe and the Americas and have focused on food and agriculture issues from a young age, having grown up on a small farm in Somerset. In my spare time I teach salsa dance, sing and hike mountains.
Katherine French
Katherine French is a DPhil student at the Institute of Archaeology, Oxford. Her research examines how archaeobotany, ethnobotany, and long term ecology can contribute to understanding long term changes in vegetation and the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources in the UK. She is also actively involved in the creation of interdisciplinary ethnobotanical education and outreach projects that seek to promote awareness of ‘useful’ plants and the need to preserve both these species and the local knowledge that goes with them.
Innocent Mwaka
My name is Innocent Mwaka, MA Culture and Environment in Africa, Köln University. BA in Social Sciences from Makerere University. I am pursuing my PhD at Köln University,  Germany. My research is on food security and regimes of food in East Africa. It is under the GlobE Wetlands project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The goal of the project is to find out if wetlands, when used sustainably, can be the future food basket for East Africa. I made a research on food security among the pastoral Pokot in Baringo, Kenya in 2011/2012.
Marika Mura
Following my MA in Development Studies at the University of Manchester, I moved to Tanzania for a year, working for a USA NGO. That is when I decided to start my PhD research at the University of Warwick, exploring how the relationship between state and society impact on food security of specific communities. I continued to work in Tanzania, on various projects, and at the moment I am still supervising a two year agricultural project sponsored by the Rotary Club, in a secondary school of a village called Kwala. The project aims at improving the level of food security in the school and teaching practices of sustainable agriculture to students.  
Chris Lander
Chris is currently a DPhil student at the School of Geography and the Environment. Before studying at Oxford, he gained two masters degrees from the University of Birmingham: a MEng in Chemical Engineering in 2007; and a MSc in Enterprise, Environment and Place (an ESRC recognised human geography degree) in 2010. Chris was awarded a place on the Alfa Fellowship Program in 2013, and so for the 2013-2014 academic year, Chris will be abroad in Moscow, Russia. Chris achieved the Oxford University Programme in Languages (OPAL) Basic Level in Russian in 2012, and is continuing to learn the language whilst abroad.
Anand Habib
Anand Habib is a second year MPhil student in Medical Anthropology at Oxford University. After studying Biology and International Security Studies at Stanford University, Anand served as a Global Health Fellow at a clinic in rural Haiti. During his year there, he helped manage a number of community health programs including a school lunch program and clinic-based treatment program for acute malnutrition. Intrigued by the interplay between under-nutrition and health outcomes in Haiti, Anand is now researching factors underpinning the persistence of food insecurity in Haiti. In particular, he is seeking to understand the politico-economic factors inside and outside Haiti that act to maintain food insecurity and the ways in which Haiti’s rural citizens cope with and respond to threats to their ability to obtain adequate food. After Oxford, Anand will be pursuing a medical degree (M.D.) in the United States.


Photos of Student Fieldwork