Steffanie Scott is Associate Professor in the Department of Geography & Environmental Management in the Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo in Canada. She is past president of the Canadian Association for Food Studies, and is engaged in research on sustainable food systems in China and Canada. Her current research examines the different pathways to ecological agriculture development in Nanjing, China, including both industrialized large-scale and small scale entrepreneurial ecological food production and related initiatives. Her research has documented the emergence of the ecological agriculture sector and alternative food networks in China. She is also researching the urban food system and urban food security in Nanjing, China through the Hungry Cities Partnership. With Zhenzhong Si, she co-founded the LinkedIn group, China’s Changing Food System.
Steffanie is a board member and past co-chair of the Waterloo Region Food System Roundtable, and co-founder of the Waterloo Food Issues Group.She supervises graduate students in Geography & Environmental Management as well as in Economic Development & Innovation, Environment, Resources & Sustainability and Planning. Steffanie has also supervised research on local food systems and local economic development in Ontario. Steffanie Scott's doctoral research in the late 1990s examined livelihood vulnerability and access to land among female-headed households and ethnic minorities in the northern uplands of Vietnam.
Aijuan Chen is currently with Strategic Policy Branch, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC). As a Policy Analyst, her research areas include organic agriculture, farm structure, farm performance, intergenerational farm transfer, and Indigenous people in Canadian agriculture sector. Prior to AAFC, she worked as an Analyst at Statistics Canada for one year, with a focus on data collection and data analysis in the Commodity Section.
Aijuan Chen received her PhD degree in Human Geography at the University of Waterloo with a focus on ecological agriculture and sustainable community development. After graduation, Aijuan joined FoodShare Toronto in 2015 as an Evaluation and Communication Manager. With FoodShare, she led a large-scale evaluation project to study the impact of FoodShare programs on poverty alleviation and community development.
Prior to her doctoral research in Canada, Aijuan Chen received her Master's degree in Sociology at Nanjing University, China.
Zhenzhong Si's research interests range from food security, food safety and food system sustainability to rural development in China. He got his PhD in Geography from the University of Waterloo in 2015. He worked on the Hungry Cities Partnership to examine urban food security, food safety and food policies in Nanjing, China. He is currently a postdoctoral fellow researching the Food Security Impacts of COVID-19 at Balsillie School of International Affairs.
Zhenzhong has been involved in the extensive research of China's emerging ecological food sector since 2010, as shown in the book "Organic Food and Farming in China: Top-down and Bottom-up Ecological Initiatives". He publishes papers, reports and non-academic articles about alternative food networks, urban food security, food system sustainability, and rural development in China in both English and Chinese journals and magzines such as Agriculture & Human Values, Journal of Rural Studies, Food Policy, Ecology and Society, Canadian Journal of Development Studies, Journal of Chinese Agricultural University and the Alternatives journal.
Prior to his doctoral research in Canada, Zhenzhong Si got his BA and Master's degree from Beijing Normal University in China. He co-founded a LinkedIn discussion group called "China's Changing Food System" with Steffanie Scott and also manages a Twitter account @SiChinaFood
Theresa Schumilas received her doctoral degree in Geography and Environmental Management in 2014. Her dissertation examined the ways in which China’s unique cultural, environmental, economic and political context is supporting and restraining the rapid development of a variety of ‘alternative’ food provisioning networks. Her work was part of the team’s ongoing research into China’s ecological food and farming sector.
While studying these diverse food relations, Theresa became fascinated by the ways in which emerging food activists in China were making use of internet and communication technologies as tools for community organizing and advocacy. She brought her questions ‘home’ to Canada and is now a postdoctoral fellow with the Laurier Centre for Sustainable Food Systems, studying how sustainable food movements in Canada are engaging with these new on-line spaces. Through ethnographic and action research approaches, she is examining how emerging digital economies and technologies are opening up possibilities for linking together and scaling up grassroots food innovation, and enabling new forms of on-line activism toward transforming unsustainable food systems. Theresa is an organic flower farmer, and has been active in Canada’s ecological and organic agriculture communities for over 30 years. She is particularly interested in how emerging agro-ecological and ‘new peasant’ movements are constructing new on-line communities using open source technologies (such as Open Food Network).
Danshu Qi comes from China. She has a background of Public Administration and Advertising for her dual bachelor’s degree at Xiamen University, and the co-op experiences at the local human resource ministry and a newspaper office. Interested in China’s social issues, especially food issues, she conducted research concerning the Chinese models of community supported agriculture (CSA) supervised by Prof. Weiping Chen, and received the master’s degree in Agriculture Economy at Renmin University of China.
She is now a PhD Candidate in Steffanie Scott’s research team at University of Waterloo. Her research is focusing on China’s ecological food systems and the social impacts on traditional small farmers. She has conducted fieldwork in Nanjing in terms of farming practices and operations of ecological farms, social relations within ecological food sectors, and the role of traditional small farmers.
Ning Dai is a PhD candidate in the Department of Geography and Environmental Management at the University of Waterloo. Ning is primarily interested in the sustainable transformation of the agro-food system in China, and globally. He studies the institutional support for smallholder ecological agriculture and the sustainable innovation in food retail. Currently, his work focuses on sustainable public procurement, urban food security, and the informal food sector in Nanjing, China.
Ning holds a Bachelor's degree in urban planning and environmental management from Peking University. His academic interests developed from past experiences with NGOs in food education and sustainable lifestyle.