I’m a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Otago. I teach courses in environmental sociology and social theory (see teaching), and do research on agriculture, food markets, and the relationship between (living) materials and institutional economic change (see research).
I was born in Fort St John, northern British Columbia, before moving south to Victoria. I did my BA at the University of British Columbia, where I was lucky enough to land a job as a Research Assistant for the Canadian Climate Impacts and Adaptation Research Network (C-CIARN BC). From there, I worked on a number of large projects aimed at tackling community resilience in resource based communities along the province’s coastline, including the Coastal Communities Project, lead by Prof Ralph Matthews, who would go on to supervise my MA in Sociology on social capital.
I did my PhD at the University of Wisconsin-Madison under the supervision of Prof Michael Bell, graduating in 2013. My dissertation looked at the apple industry, and the emergence of “club apples” or “managed apple varieties.” These are apples that are owned, produced, and managed by a grower cooperative. The project aimed to use club apples as a lens to look at the ways that plants influence economic agency, and configure into processes of institutional change. Further details of the (continuing) project are included under research.
Following my PhD, I have also looked at the role of measurement in sustainability governance through research with the New Zealand Sustainability Dashboard Project, and I am involved with a new project focused on the material and institutional effects of new robotic technologies being produced in horticulture. Both of these projects are further detailed on the research pages.