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Our team Research Associates

Image of some of the FixOurFood team on a farm visit

We have a dynamic team of research associates, one for each research area of the programme. This group are essential to the progress of our activities, helping to drive and coordinate our portfolio.

  • Annie Connolly

    Research Engagement Manager

    The Food Foundation

    Annie is Research Engagement Manager at the Food Foundation, in the Children’s Right 2 Food team. She works on the school food element of FixOurFood, focussing on policy and stakeholder engagement.

    Annie has been involved in advocating for change in our food system on different scales for many years, from growing vegetables with primary school children and volunteering in food banks to campaigning for national policy change with End Hunger UK.

    She did an MSc in Food Policy and is in the final stages of her PhD at the University of Leeds on primary school children’s lived experiences of food insecurity.

    Email: Annie.Connolly@foodfoundation.org.uk

  • Image of Alana Kluczkovski

    Dr Alana Kluczkovski

    Research Fellow

    University of York

    Alana’s research focus is food production and its impact on the environment. She is working with the team developing the new indoor urban vertical farm (Grow It York) carrying out research into its environmental and social impacts – quantitative and qualitative research, community and schools’ engagement and co-production.  She is also coordinator at the consortium Take a bite out of climate change where she produces educational materials to engage the public and guide policymakers about food choices to improve human and environmental health.

    Email: alana.kluczkovski@york.ac.uk

  • Image of Grace Gardner

    Dr Grace Gardner

    Research Associate

    University of York

    Grace is a Research Associate in the Department of Health Sciences at the University of York and is passionate about improving the health and well-being of children through their diets. She has a keen interest in food system regeneration towards one which optimises health and the environment. After achieving a BSc (Hons) in Food Marketing and Nutrition at Newcastle University, Grace completed her PhD at the Population Health Sciences Institute, also at Newcastle University, in 2020. Her research was focused on exploring parental views of the Change4Life Sugar Smart campaign, one year after it was launched. She also completed an in-depth exploration of stakeholder views of primary school food across the socio-economic spectrum in Newcastle upon Tyne. Following the submission of her PhD, Grace spent three months as an embedded researcher within Newcastle City Council’s Public Health department. This was a valuable opportunity which helped to increase her understanding of the challenges involved with developing and delivering public health policy initiatives. She also worked closely with a range of stakeholders who are directly involved in school food provision, to examine ways of improving the school food offering across Newcastle.

    Email: grace.gardner@york.ac.uk

  • Image of Esther Carmen

    Dr Esther Carmen

    Research Associate

    University of York

    Esther is based in the Department of Environment and Geography at York and is an interdisciplinary, qualitative, environmental social scientist. Her interests lie in social, political and cultural dimensions of collective change to engage with socio-environmental challenges to shift to more sustainable futures.

    In her role as Research Associate for FixOurFood she works with others across the team, including stakeholders, to help understand the current challenges, develop visions for the future and explore opportunities to support transformation to a regenerative food system. As the programme develops, she will also work closely with stakeholders to apply and strengthen approaches to guide systemic change in the longer term.

    Esther has worked in research since 2021 and previously coordinated a complex action-research project to improve collaborative approaches to enhance community resilience in ways that engage with the complexities of climate change. She has recently completed her PhD which examined how social relationships, amongst other diverse factors, shape community change initiatives in the context of climate change. Esther also worked as an environmental practitioner across levels of governance in the UK and for two years in South East Asia supporting community-based natural resource management.

    Email: esther.carmen@york.ac.uk

  • Image of Maddie Sinclair

    Maddie Sinclair

    Research Assistant

    University of York

    Maddie is a Research Assistant at the University of York, working across various projects for Fix our Food. Maddie holds a BSc in Psychology and a MSc in Psychological Research Methods, and her research to date has focused on food advertising and children’s eating behaviour. Her research interests involve obesity prevention, the food environment and child health. Her wider interests involve sustainability and the environment, and she implemented Green workplace initiatives in a previous role.

    Email: maddie.sinclair@york.ac.uk

  • image of Angelina Frankowski

    Dr Angelina Frankowski

    Research Associate

    University of York

    Angelina holds a PhD in chemical engineering. She researches on sustainable food production and consumption by applying life cycle thinking to assess environmental impacts of the whole food supply chain. Her research interests also include the food-energy-water nexus, sustainable diets and health impacts of food systems.

     

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  • Image of Ulrike Ehgartner

    Dr Ulrike Ehgartner

    Research Associate

    University of York

    Ulrike is a social scientist with a PhD in Sociology based at the York Management School. She is interested in sustainability, consumption and transformational change and she is passionate about co-productive and transdisciplinary forms of research. In her previous work, she focused on sustainable food consumption narratives and imagined futures through the lens of critical discourse analysis.

    In her role as a Research Associate for FixOurFood, she is dedicated to researching hybrid food economy initiatives and how they can impact production to consumption in a regenerative way.

    Email: ulrike.ehgartner@york.ac.uk

  • Dr Christopher Yap

    Research Fellow

    City, University of London

    Christopher is an urban geographer based at the Centre for Food Policy, City University. His research draws on political economy and political ecology perspectives, as well as visual participatory methods, to examine intersections between urbanisation, planning, inequality, and food systems governance. As a Research Fellow on FixOurFood, Christopher is part of a work package that examines and contributes towards developing the policies, governance structures, and decision-making processes that are necessary to transform the UK’s food systems.

    Christopher holds a PhD in human and social geography from the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience, Coventry University. He has previously been involved in a wide range of international research projects with University College London, the London International Development Centre, the International Institute for Environment and Development, and FIAN International.

    Email: christopher.yap@city.ac.uk

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