Erin Nelson | Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies

Erin Nelson

Erin Nelson from the University of Guelph in the jungle



International Development Studies

About the research...

My research explores the development of more sustainable food systems with a particular focus on agroecology initiatives in both Canada and Latin America. In particular, I am interested in how knowledge-exchange, social networks, and farmer-led initiatives can build capacity for agroecological production, and how agroecology can contribute to ecological resilience and community wellbeing. My work takes an interdisciplinary, participatory approach and I collaborate with a range of partners including NGOs, farmer associations, and agricultural research institutes in Ontario, Cuba, Mexico and elsewhere.

How the research improves life...

The conventional food system model - based upon large-scale industrialized food production and globalized free market trade - contributes significantly to the intertwined crises of climate change, food insecurity, biodiversity loss, natural resource degradation, and declining viability of rural livelihoods. By contrast, agroecological food systems offer opportunities to increase the health and resilience of ecosystems and communities. By supporting transitions toward agroecology, my research aims to improve the wellbeing of farmers and farming communities and enhance the sustainability of the natural resources we rely on to nourish and sustain us.