Sarah-Louise Ruder is a SSHRC (2017) and OGS (2018) funded Master’s student in the School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability at the University of Waterloo.
Sarah-Louise’s research interests include sustainable food systems and food sovereignty, investigating deep tensions in the power-food-environment-technology nexus with a gendered lens. Her thesis researches perceptions of Ontario grain farmers on the emergence of digital technology and Big Data in agriculture. With intent to reconcile broad theory on food system trends with Ontario experiences of digital farming, she explores the dialectic implications of technology on equity and social-ecological sustainability in food systems.
Rooted in transdisciplinary scholarship, Sarah-Louise has conducted a wide range of research for academia and civil society, including ecological feminisms, environmental policy and governance, student food (in)security, and sustainable food systems. As an undergraduate fellow with Professor Myra Hird, she compared waste governance in Ontario and Nunavut. As part of her undergraduate thesis she conducted an original food sustainability study comparing cow’s and almond milks through Life Cycle Assessment, with Professor and Canada Research Chair Warren Mabee.
As a settler scholar-activist, her Master's research is part of her commitment to dismantle predatory power relations and patterns of unsustainability, and to build food systems that truly nourish. Sarah-Louise has over 6 years of experience in environmental activism and community education, including work for Sustainable Kingston and Meal Exchange. Her contributions were recognized by Starfish Canada with a “Top 25 Environmentalists Under 25” award.
Sarah-Louise holds an Honours Bachelor of Science with Distinction from Queen’s University, where she majored in Environmental Sciences and minored in Philosophy.