Current Researchers profiles

Steffanie Scott


Steffanie Scott is 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.

Zhenzhong Si

Postdoctoral fellow

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 University of Waterloo in 2015. He is currently Postdoctoral Fellow researching the Food Security Impacts of COVID-19 at Balsillie School of International Affairs

Danshu Qi

PhD candidate

Danshu Qi is 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

PhD candidate

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.

Grace Chang

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Yi-Shin (Grace) Chang is a fourth year undergraduate student at the University of Waterloo studying Public Health with a specialization in Health Research. Her research interests are around food security policies and human nutrition, with a focus on the social determinants of health and underrepresented populations. 

Jodi Koberinski

SSHRC Doctoral Fellow

Jodi Koberinski is a SSHRC Doctoral Fellow at the University of Waterloo’s School of Environment whose work explores food democracy, environmental governance, and climate breakdown. After many years of engagement as an entrepreneur, advocate, and activist in food systems transformation, Jodi was named the 2015 Oak Fellow for Human Rights due to her food sovereignty work in Canada and abroad. That semester at Colby College in the USA inspired a return to academia as a scholar-activist. Jodi’s research explores the concept of food as a commons. A volunteer researcher and educator with Navdanya Institute in India since 2012, Jodi launched the national not-for-profit Earth Education League in 2018 to offer land-based ecological education from a socio-ecological systems perspective.