Our team


Editor in Chief

Albane Gaspard is passionate about translating research results into relevant information for environmental actors. She is convinced that sound evidence is key to sound policies, and has been working for the last 10 years between science and action.

She discovered urban agriculture in London in the mid 2000’s. When she came back to France, she contributed to the launch of the International Urban Food Network (IUFN) in 2012 in order to facilitate local authorities’ development of urban food policies. She was Secretary General of IUFN until January 2015, then President until May 2016.

Albane has contributed to several reports related to the sustainability of urban food systems. Among which, she co-authored in 2016 Food, Climate Change, and the City, a Policy Perspectives Paper, as part of the Climate Change Urban Food Initiative together with the United Nations Environment Programme and the Fondation Nicolas Hulot. She also co-authored, in 2015, one of the first analysis of the action of French local authorities in France.

She was part of the small team that organised two major international conferences on urban food in France: Hungry City – Feeding the City of Tomorrow, in 2012 and Land for Food, in 2014.

She is always keen to explore new ways to convey complex ideas in simple ways. She co-authored two short movies, which present a fast-paced, fact-filled look at why there is an urgent need now for action towards more sustainable food systems: Why do we need to change our food system? and How and why should food be considered within the climate policies of cities?

Albane has a degree in Political Sciences from Sciences Po Rennes, and an M.S. in Urbanisation and Development from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Emma Burnett



Emma Burnett is a postgraduate researcher at Coventry University’s Centre for Agroecology, Water & Resilience.

Her research focuses on self-organisation and resilience in localised agri-food systems. She is also exploring game theoretical approaches to better understand cooperation and competition in the local food landscape.

Emma’s experiences are deeply rooted in Oxford’s food scene. In 2012, along with four others, she co-founded Cultivate, a cooperative social enterprise that works to produce and distribute more local food within Oxfordshire, and to help the community get involved in food-related issues and solutions. She has an MSc in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management from Oxford University.

The #urbanfoodscience team

Here is the team that scrolls the web to bring you the latest scientific information for the #urbanfoodscience project!

Alina Bekka

Alina is an urban sociologist, whose passion for food habits and systems took root when she somewhat accidentally became the co-coordinator of a community garden in Austin, Texas. She holds a Master’s degree in comparative urban studies and in sociology (Sciences Po Paris). Her MA thesis explored the avocado market in Mexico City – tackling the effects of the globalization of a traditional food product on local public policy, urban food distribution and consumption practices.

After having worked in a research firm on urban mobility, she is currently pursuing a training to become a professional chef.

Her specific interest in food justice issues transpire in both her research endeavors, community engagement and professional projects. She is convinced that knowledge and experience sharing between the academic sphere and the diversity of practitioners & decision makers plays a crucial role in the collective strife for environmentally sustainable, socially just urban food systems.

Christina Baxter

Christina is an agricultural researcher at the consultancy ADAS. She specialises in crop physiology and sustainable food systems, working on a range of applied research projects with the objective of sustainably increasing crop productivity on UK and European farms. She has been working in research for nearly 7 years, obtaining a PhD at Reading University which focused on improving the root systems of wheat to enhance water uptake and sustain crop yield in periods of drought.

Her passions include working alongside farmers to trial and test innovative ways of improving crop production and enhancing the sustainability of food supply chains and responsible sourcing of food commodities. The COVID-19 pandemic has made her more aware of the fragility of our food systems and as a result she has become very interested in food policy.

She is based in The Chilterns, UK and is dedicated to creating impact from her research through communicating the science to practitioners.

Clelia Di Casola

Hospitality professional with ten years of international experience across business development, project management, marketing and restaurant operations. Clelia strives to create and grow successful and sustainable F&B brands, defined by quality and consistency.

She combines her professional experience with a passion, cultivated through and outside of work, for current food issues. She has an interest in expanding the transfer of knowledge between research/academic bodies and the hospitality industry in order to improve the current food models and drive well-informed decision making processes.

She enjoys cooperating with partners and colleagues to fulfill a shared vision, and is at ease working across different countries and languages.

Her passions are food, design, hospitality and the community and culture that surround them.

Grâce Kassis

Grace is a Ph.D candidate in economics at the French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment (INRAE). Her research aims at understanding the challenges related to the definition of a land use policy for food concerns and their impacts on land governance. The added value of her research is to explore the potentialities for land policies based on the preferences of consum’actors in agri-food concerns. Food and environmental issues related to land management have been central to her researches for the last three years.

She is passionate about sharing knowledge regarding these fields that are essential for the preservation of our planet and its resources.

Our editorial board

Our editorial board selects the academic articles that we will turn into our Coffee Break articles!

Nevin Cohen

Nevin Cohen is Associate Professor at the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate School of Public Health, and Research Director of the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute. His research explores the policies, governance systems, practices, and infrastructure to support socially just, healthy, ecologically resilient, and economically viable urban and regional food systems.

Current projects include a study of the food practices of older adults; an examination of food retail in New York City; the intersections of zoning, planning, and food access; the effects of social equity policies on food systems; and an evaluation of the effects of urban farms in New York City Housing Authority developments. Dr. Cohen is the co-author of a recently published book, Beyond the Kale: Urban Agriculture and Social Justice Activism in New York City (University of GA Press) that examines the potential of urban farms and gardens to address racial, gender, and class oppression.

He has a PhD in Urban Planning and Policy Development from Rutgers University, a Masters in City and Regional Planning from Berkeley, and a BA from Cornell.

Alizée Marceau

Alizee Marceau is Senior Project Officer at the Soil Association (Bristol) for Sustainable Food Cities. This is a Network of almost 50 pioneer cities across the UK with the ambition to develop sustainable local food systems.

Alizee supports places wanting to build local food partnerships inspired by the Food Policy Councils model, as well as supporting the development of place-based food policies and projects. The range of health, economic, social and environmental problems resulting from the current food system as well as the range of solutions a redesign of the food system could bring are at the core of her thinking. Amongst other things, her interests lie in the development of local and resilient food systems as well as the rethinking of our consumption patterns and needs.

She received an MA in Sustainable Development from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques of Lille and a BA in Politics and International relations from the University of Kent at Canterbury.

Clare Pettinger

Clare Pettinger is a Registered Dietitian and Registered Nutritionist (Public Health) and experienced lecturer at University of Plymouth (UK). With a keen interest in food poverty/justice and the ‘future of food’, she currently leads a small-scale research project ‘Food as a Lifestyle Motivator’ (FLM), which explores creative methods to engage ‘marginalized’ communities in food activities to enhance their health and well-being.

Clare is an inspired and informed educator, frequently acting as an advocate for her professions by offering expert consultancy on food related issues to local/regional networks. Her passion won her a 2017 SSTAR award for sustainability in the curriculum. She believes strongly that new approaches are required to tackle current local (and global) health and social wellbeing challenges.  She is an active member of the Food Plymouth partnership (Food Plymouth CIC) and currently leads the local Sugar Smart campaign on their behalf.

Raychel Santo

Raychel Santo is a Senior Research Program Coordinator at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, where she works on research projects related to local and regional food governance, urban agriculture, institutional food procurement, and the relationship between diet and climate change.

Raychel earned her Master’s degree in Food, Space & Society from Cardiff University School of Geography & Planning and her BA in Public Health and Environmental Change & Sustainability from Johns Hopkins University.


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