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From Collection to Cultivation



I have a deep interest in better understanding the political, economic, and cultural dynamics that shape the governance of our environmental commons. Ideas of self-management, autonomy, and horizontal decision-making have resonated and affected both my personal and professional life. 

As a child, I used to think that protecting the environment was common sense. However, my gradual involvement in environmental movements opened my eyes to the fierce contests taking place not only to determine who could have say in the fate of nature, but also to define what ‘the environment’ actually is—is it everything non-human and therefore open for exploitation? Do we have a moral responsibility to care for nature? Is it possible to organize our socio-political and economic systems for human wellbeing and the environment? Whose voices must we listen to?

In some form or another, these questions have tied themselves throughout my academic and professional engagements. Most recently, I was involved as a research assistant at the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, where I worked with Dr. Elia Apostolopoulou to highlight the socio-ecological and political implications of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. In this capacity, I produced a historically informed narrative case-study of Nepal’s infrastructural regime, which illuminated the role of myth making and imagined futures in shaping environmental governance and the distribution of political power. Previously, I completed the MPhil Conservation Leadership programme at the University of Cambridge, where I led a project for Fauna and Flora International to uncover the emerging trends of illegal wildlife trade in Central Asia and the Balkans.

My work at HPS will uncover the ways in which small farming communities in the UK conserve, share, and transmit their heritage of seed saving, and how they will affect, and be affected, by the uncertainties of future food systems. Learn more about my doctoral project, 'Planting the seeds of resistance: Uncovering the history of seed sovereignty and peasant-friendly farming,' or read my reflections on recent events related to food sovereignty on the project blog.