Major Projects

Community-Engaged Research


The Lake Superiour Living Labs Network has evolved from relationships between Lakehead University, the University of Minnesota Duluth, Algoma University and a number of non-profit organizations, businesses, First Nations and tribal governments across the Lake Superior watershed. This partnership project will work with new and existing academic and community partners to increase the impact of sustainability related teaching, research, and action, with a focus identifying innovative solutions to issues at the nexus of water and land, climate and energy, and individual and community well-being.


Participatory Food Systems Governance

This community-based, action research will explore the evolution of Canada’s food movements, from individual actors and small civil society organizations focused on place-based initiatives to provincial and national entities participating in coordinated networks engaging in food systems governance – that is, the relationships, processes, rules, practices and structures (both institutional and discursive) through which power and control are exercised and decisions are made. Building on the research team’s existing knowledge and experience, we ask: How do food movement actors and organizations engage in food systems governance, while also modeling alternative food futures? We pay particular attention to the power dynamics and different objectives that coexist, teasing out the possibilities, tensions and overall complexity of interactions. Working closely with an established network of academic and community-based researchers, we will explore the successes, challenges and future opportunities of establishing new collaborative governance processes that aim to build healthy, equitable and sustainable food systems.

The Indigenous Food Circle aims to reduce Indigenous food insecurity, increase food self-determination and establish meaningful relationships with the settler population through food.


Agroecology and Seed Sovereignty in Northern Ontario

This partnership with the Lakehead University Agricultural Research Station (LUARS) works with researchers, farmers, non-profit organizations and small businesses to pilot a series of ecological seeds trials. Using farmer-led and community-based research, this project focuses on food sovereignty and agroecology and aims to improve knowledge, skills and capacity to produce healthy and sustainable food in Northwestern Ontario.

Exploring Food and Fishery Systems in the Lake Superior Region

Focusing on the Lake Superior region of Canada and the United States, the Exploring Food and Fishery Systems in the Lake Superior Region research aims to support social and ecological sustainability in the region’s fisheries by better understanding and mapping their connections with local food systems.



The Thunder Bay and Area Food Strategy (TBAFS) aims to build healthy, equitable, and sustainable food systems that contribute to the economic, ecological, and social well-being and health of the city of Thunder Bay and Area.  There are a number of ongoing active research projects with the TBAFS and its members.


The Antinomies of Non-Wage Labour in Ontario’s Food Movement and Agricultural Sector

The Antinomies of Non-Wage Labour in Ontario’s Food Movement and Agricultural Sector examines the role of non-waged labour (e.g. intern, apprentice and volunteer) on small- and medium-scale ecologically oriented farms.

 Food: Locally Embedded, Globally Engaged (FLEdGE)

The FLEdGE Partnership builds on more than five years of evolving research partnerships with over seventy Canadian and International participants. We use research partnerships to explore the current and potential role of community food initiatives to act as pillars of regional, sustainable transformation. Our guiding themes for this work are integration, scaling up and innovative governance.

The social economy of food: Informal, under-recognized contributions to community prosperity and resilience

Community First: Impacts of Community Engagement (CFICE)

CFICE is a research project that studies how community and campus players work together to positively impact their communities. Through community-driven projects, CFICE participants test community first approaches to community-campus engagement (CCE). These collaborative approaches build healthier, more democratic and longer-lasting community-campus relationships.

The Social Economy of Food: Informal, Under-Recognized Contributions to Community Prosperity and Resilience

This project uses case studies to identify and document a spectrum of multifunctional social economy food activities where people trade/share material resources and skills at times in informal ways.

Agrobiodiversity, Nutrition and Sustainable Marketing of Heritage Crops in Ecuador and Canada (Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Advanced Scholars Program)

Knowledge Mobilization


Master of Health Sciences with Specialization in Social-Ecological Systems, Sustainability and Health