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New publications

Congratulations to our colleagues  Andrea Brower and Ferne Edwards on the publication of their respective books.

Andrea Brower’s Seeds of Occupation, Seeds of Possibility examines the “the social and historical conditions by which the chemical-seed oligopoly came to occupy the most geographically isolated islands in the world and made the soils of Hawaiʻi the epicenter of agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology testing” (West Virginia University Press). The book is available as a paperback or eBook.

Ferne Edwards’ Food Resistance Movements: Journeying Through Alternative Food Networks traces her research on food waste (Australia), the food sovereignty movement (Venezuela), and autonomous food spaces (Catalonia), with reflections on urban food system transitions, over almost two decades now as one book. She has dedicated this book to Jane Dixon, her PhD supervisor and friend, and Paul Martin, a close friend who introduced her to dumpster diving and food activism in general. The book is available as a hardcover or eBook.

Job Opportunity: Casual Research Assistant

Dr Jenn Lacy-Nichols is looking for a casual research assistant to support a one-year project analysing government transparency regarding corporate lobbying. The RA would support the first two workstreams of the project: a scoping review of peer-reviewed and grey literature; and an audit of government websites. They would also assist in drafting academic papers as a named co-author. 

The project will run from January to December 2023. The total RA input is estimated to be .6FTE over five months. Specific timelines and hours are open for discussion.

Desired experience:

  • Familiarity with the literature on the commercial determinants of health, corporate political activity, and lobbying.
  • Conducting scoping reviews
  • Using Excel and Endnote (or other referencing software)
  • Writing academic papers

Work can be completed remotely, however candidates will require Australian work rights.

To register your interest, please email Jennifer by 20 February 2023:

–          Your CV

–          1-2 paragraphs outlining your skills and interest in this work

Any questions or to discuss the project further, please contact Jennifer.

Postdoctoral Researcher needed for EcoFoodSystems project at the University of Galway

EcoFoodSystems project seeking postdoctoral researcher for interdisciplinary research on climate-resilient agroecological transitions of city regional food systems.

Food systems encompass all actors and interlinked value-adding activities involved in the production, aggregation, processing, distribution, consumption and disposal of food products that originate from agriculture, forestry or fisheries, and components of the broader economic, societal and natural environments in which they are embedded. Most available data for food-systems decision making remains at the national scale, while day-to-day multi-sectoral decision-making in food systems largely happens in city regions and along value chains with their interconnected peri-urban and rural foodsheds.

Research and innovation activities are needed to enable scaling of innovations and evidence-based transitions to climate-resilience food systems across interlinked urban, peri-urban and rural communities. The EcoFoodSystems project will conduct research and innovation activities that enable stakeholders, decision-makers and change-agents within City-Regional food systems (encompassing both rural and urban communities, production systems, value chains and consumption systems) to improve day-to-day performance towards agroecological and climate-resilient transitions.

By integration of data (including big-data) and research findings, the project will develop sub-national decision-support dashboards and decision-support tools in collaboration with stakeholders, end-users and beneficiaries in the food systems of selected city regions. The project will co-develop and disseminate a common framework, methods and innovative action-learning processes that can be scaled with multi-stakeholder platforms across (and beyond) the selected cities and the rural communities which supply their food.

The EcoFoodSystems project is funded by IFAD/EU and led by the University of Galway’s Ryan Institute, in partnership with Alliance Bioversity International – CIAT, Wageningen University & Research (WUR), and RIKOLTO International. EcoFoodSystem’s research and innovation activities are focused on city regions in Vietnam, Colombia and Ethiopia. 

To further build the EcoFoodSystems project team, the EcoFoodSystems project at the University of Galway is now recruiting a postdoctoral researcher based in the EcoFoodSystems project within the Ryan Institute at the University of Galway and who will conduct research and innovation activities between Galway and the partner countries (Vietnam, Colombia, Ethiopia).

We are seeking an impact-motivated postdoc who is willing to conduct research across disciplinary boundaries that contributes to meeting the goals and objectives of the EcoFoodSystems project. We are particularly interested in applications from talented and motivated researchers with strong backgrounds in the arena of sustainability and food systems, who have strong and proven skills in food systems data analytics, big data, modelling, geospatial analytics, data visualisation, network mapping and environmental footprinting (e.g. life cycle analysis) and development of data-driven decision support tools. Experience in data analytical and visualisation tools such as R (incl. statistical, GIS packages), Python, Tableau, PowerBi, SQL, ArcGIS) and strong competency in data-analytical and statistical techniques.

The successful applicant for the postdoc position will have a PhD and significant/proven prior practical research experience and be willing and capable of conducting field-based research activities via EcoFoodSystems partner institutions in Vietnam, Colombia and Ethiopia. Evidence of prior involvement in research leading to high-quality publications and reports would be particularly welcome, including engagement in the process of drafting, revising and publishing research outputs. The successful applicant will be paid a salary of €39,523-€43,127 per annum.

Applications to include a covering letter, CV, and the contact details of three referees should be sent, via e-mail (in word or PDF only) to Prof. Charles Spillane. Please put reference number University of Galway 283-22 in the subject line of the e-mail application.

The deadline for applications is 1700 (GMT) 25th January 2023. Please note that only applications that put reference number University of Galway 283-22 in the subject line of e-mail application will be considered.

PhD Candidature in Food System Shocks at QUT

PHD Candidature Opportunity (2023)

Queensland University of Technology (QUT) is offering a PhD candidature opportunity to work within an ARC Discovery Project: ‘On-Farm Food System Shocks: Managing Transitions to Future Food Security’. The PhD candidate will conduct research in the social scientific fields of food and agriculture, sustainable food systems, food security and food waste, predominantly employing qualitative research methodologies. The research project requires a critical, ‘complex systems’ perspective with a theoretical focus on transitions to sustainability.  

Organisationally, the candidature is located within the QUT School of Management, Faculty of Business and Law, and the Centre for Agriculture and the Bioeconomy. The principal supervisor for the advertised candidature is Professor Carol Richards with Dr Rudi Messner as associate supervisor.  

The successful applicant must meet the PhD course entry requirements at QUT and will have the opportunity and supervisor support to apply for a PhD scholarship (application deadline: 31 March 2023).  

For further inquiry and expression of interest please contact: Professor Carol Richards – Sustainable Food Systems 

Save the Date: Australasian Agri-Food Research Network conference 2023

We are delighted to announce that the next Australasian Agri-Food Research Network conference will be held in Hobart/nipaluna, Tasmania/lutrawita from December 4-7, 2023.

Hosted by the University of Tasmania, the theme of the conference is: Place-Based Agri-Food Systems in a Time of Climate Crisis: Resilience, Resistance and Regeneration. As with previous conferences, there will be a pre-conference field trip on Monday December 4, a trivia night, and a conference dinner.

Job Opportunities: 2x CSIRO postdoctoral fellowships

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia, has two postdoctoral fellowship opportunities based in Brisbane, Queensland.

The fellowships will be within the CSIRO-UQ Food System Horizons Initiative. The overarching vision of the Food System Horizons Initiative is to help build a new and better-informed national conversation on food system transformation that is inclusive of different stakeholder visions, ambitions, and values, and identifies a range of solution pathways to Australia’s food system futures.  

To find out more about the positions, please click on the opportunity titles below. Applications closing soon!

CSIRO Postdoctoral Fellowship in Food System Transformation: Dynamic Benchmarking – Applications closing 24 November 2022.

CSIRO Postdoctoral Fellowship in Food System Transformation: Constraints and Enablers – Applications closing 23 November 2022.

Job Opportunity: Postdoctoral Research Associate (Social Scientist) position at WSU

Washington State University (WSU) invites applications for a Postdoctoral Research Associate (Social Scientist) to work on a multi-institutional, multi-disciplinary project funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI).

The project focuses on plastic mulch end-of-life management decisions among strawberry growers in California in order to better understand the factors that help or hinder growers’ adoption of more sustainable practices (e.g., polyethylene mulch recycling) and technologies (e.g., biodegradable plastic mulches) that can help address the growing problem of agricultural plastic pollution. 

The Postdoctoral Research Associate will work as part of the Human Dimensions Working Group headed by Dr. Jessica Goldberger (Rural Sociologist) in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences in the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences. Responsibilities include conducting qualitative research with diverse stakeholders, conducting survey research, preparing project reports and manuscripts, delivering oral presentations, and other duties as needed.

Required qualifications include a PhD in rural sociology, sociology, anthropology, or closely related field; experience with qualitative research methods; experience with survey research; strong analytical skills, willingness to travel to California, project meetings, and conferences; ability to work independently; interest in agriculture, diffusion of innovations, the environment, and/or sustainability; excellent organizational and project management skills; and excellent written and oral communication skills. The primary location of the position is WSU’s Pullman campus. Start date: July 1, 2023 (negotiable).

To apply, please submit a cover letter, current CV, copies of academic transcripts, writing sample, and names and contact information for three professional references via the WSU job portal. Applicant screening will begin on January 15, 2023 and continue until a suitable candidate is identified. For more information about this position, please contact Dr. Jessica Goldberger or call +1 (509) 335-8540. WSU is an EEO/AA/ADD employer.

Deadline extended! ISA RC40 MENA workshop – Call for abstract

The aim of this workshop is to support early-career researchers in agri-food from the Middle East (or working on the region, including Turkey and Iran) in moving their papers for successful publication in international journals in English. The objective is to provide feedback on the works-in progress (i.e., constructive feedback on draft papers), and advise the authors on some strategies to adopt for publishing.

Submit your applications by November 10, 2022: short bio (up to 200 words), a CV (including published work), and abstract (up to 400 words) of a paper proposition focusing on contemporary agri-food issues sent by email to Cynthia Gharios

• Applications are welcome from early-career agri-food researchers (PhD candidates or researchers within five years since achieving PhD)

• Priority will be given to those who have not yet managed to publish a paper in high-impact international journals.

• Priority will be given to non-native English language researchers and researchers from the region.

Successful applications will be notified by November 15th, 2022, and full papers (in English, 6,000 – 9,000 words) are expected by January 6th, 2023.

Authors will receive written comments from advisors and other authors, and an online workshop will take place with all early-careers and advisors on January 20th 2023

You can find full details on the RC40 website.

Job Opportunity: University of Montana

The University of Montana Environmental Studies (EVST) Program invites applications for a tenure track position at the assistant professor level, beginning in August 2023. They seek an interdisciplinary community-engaged scholar, inspiring teacher, and effective mentor with expertise in climate equity, resilience, and policy to join their dynamic civically-engaged community of faculty and students.

Please visit the job listing to learn more about the position and how to apply. Priority applications due by Nov. 13 2022. 

Special session on multifunctional rural landscapes – RSA Annual Conference, Slovenia 2023

Bill Pritchard (University of Sydney) and Amelie Bernzen (University of Vechta, Germany) are planning a (closed) Special Session on “New pathways for multifunctional rural regions” for the 2023 RSA Annual Conference in Ljubliana, Slovenia which will take place from 14-17 June 2023. The overarching conference theme is “Transforming Regions: Policies and Planning for People and Places”. They are seeking expressions of interest from interested scholars working on this topic who would like to contribute. Their aim would further be to develop a Special Issue for a peer reviewed journal based on the Session’s papers. Please find the session abstract below and email Bill Pritchard by 31 October if you are interested in participating.

Presentation title and abstracts are due by 30 November 2022.

Special Session Abstract:

New pathways for multifunctional rural regions
 The multifunctional rural transition is a core idea in regional studies. Particularly in structurally disadvantaged rural areas, policy makers have been pursuing approaches for integrated rural development, which assume that increasing multifunctionality has a positive effect on regional futures. While the concept of multifunctionality itself is thus not new, the challenges and intensity of pressures over recent years in these spaces have initiated new rounds of restructuring: energy transitions (gaining speed in the light of the Ukraine war), climate change adaptation, a ruralisation of business activity through online commerce and work-from-home opportunities, the effects of pandemic restrictions on tourism, and food system changes including shifts in diets and fluctuating food prices, among others. While acknowledging the increasing heterogeneity of “rural spaces”, the aim of this session is to examine differences and commonalities in how multifunctional rural regions have responded to these pressures, with a view to identifying key themes relevant to their future condition.