Presenter Bios

Keynote Speaker

Dr Monika Zurek.

Dr Monika Zurek is a senior researcher at the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford and a member of the ECI Food Systems Group. For more than 15 years she has worked on food systems, environment and development interactions in research and international organizations as well as in the consulting and the philanthropic sector.

Prior to joining ECI, Monika worked with Climate Focus, a consulting firm focusing on climate change mitigation and land use issues. Before that, she was part of the Agricultural Development Team of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation managing grants to improve the environmental sustainability of agricultural systems and risk management in agriculture. She also served as an economist at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and supported the Scenarios Working Group of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Monika started her career as a researcher at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), working on agricultural sustainability projects in Costa Rica and Mexico. She was also a lead author for various environmental assessments such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, AR4), the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD).

Monika holds degrees from the University of Hohenheim (MSc equivalent/Diploma in agricultural biology) and Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Germany (PhD in agricultural economics).



Albert Boaitey

Albert is a PhD candidate at the Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology, University of Alberta. His research examines the economic and environmental impact of livestock producer adoption of genomic technologies. Albert enjoys working in multi-disciplinary teams and developing decision making models. In his spare time, he likes cooking and going for walks.

Claudia Havraneck

Robert Jackson

Celine Jennison

In 2014, Céline graduated from Cornell University with a BSc in Plant Science and developed a passion for perennial edible landscapes because of their potential to resolve food insecurity. As food systems are deeply intertwined with other systems in society, she enrolled in Oxford’s Environmental Change and Management MPhil program to better understand the ‘big picture’.

She has completed the first year of her coursework and is now researching tropical agroforestry in Hawaii. She is part of the Ecology Lab at Oxford and is supervised by Prof. Yadvinder Malhi.

Over the last 5 months, she has been working with Becky Ostertag from University of Hawaii to better comprehend the trade-offs and complementarity between yield, carbon sequestration and ‘bioquality’ in hybrid ecosystems. She is interested in the question: Can we restore forests while providing food, Non-Timber Forest Products (NFPs) and optimizing carbon sequestration?

Alyssa Menz

Daphne Page

Daphne Page is a PhD Researcher at City University London’s Centre for Food Policy. She is also completing a MA in Academic Practice in Higher Education through City University's Learning Enhancement and Development (LEaD) Centre. At Ryerson University in Canada, Daphne completed her Master’s research, which investigated Toronto’s emerging rooftop urban agriculture network and its links to local policy.

Her research focuses on the links that are being made between urban agriculture and sustainability within local food strategies across the UK, specifically by members of the Sustainable Food Cities Network. Since a growing number of municipalities (towns, cities, regions, etc) are creating strategies under the umbrella of sustainability, Daphne is interested in how those writing the policies are associating urban agriculture (as just one part of the overall strategy) with local sustainability objectives. Since what is sustainable can be 'fuzzy' as a concept, and vary greatly from one place to the next, she is interested in exploring how this varies amongst food policies. Specifically, she would like to determine how this differs based on the type of governance model driving the creation of the strategy, whether it is a fully council-led and embedded strategy, or a completely independent civil society organization, or a hybrid of both.

David Rose 

David Rose is an environmental geographer at Cambridge University working at the interfaces between knowledge, policy, and practice. He is interested about the ways in which knowledge (scientific or lay) comes to impinge on policy and practice. For his PhD he studied interactions between knowledge and government policy in UK nature conservation, and he worked to provide tangible advice for conservation scientists seeking to improve the knowledge-policy interface for evidence-based policy-making. David’s last research post formed part of Defra's Sustainable Intensification Platform, specifically addressing how scientific knowledge in the form of decision support tools was taken up and used by farmers.

Karolina Rucinska

Karolina Rucinska is a PhD student and a free-lance researcher at Cardiff University’s School of Geography and Planning. As a PhD researcher she looks at the creation of the first GM farm animal intended for human consumption and environmental protection - the EnviropigTM. In her research she asks what is the role of biotechnology in shaping human-animal relations in pig farming and how it may be affecting the understanding of environmental sustainability of animal farming. As a freelancer, she worked on projects related to farm animal welfare, biosecurity, biopatents and religious slaughter.  Her research interests encompass concepts such as human-animal-technology entanglement, history and philosophy of science, embodiments, animal farming and meat consumption, and animal welfare.

Rachel Wheatley

Christiana Wyly



Photos of Student Fieldwork