Lead Theme: Transformational Agroecological Research

We are developing, demonstrating and promoting new agroecological approaches, management practices and technologies that are climate-friendly and resilient, support biodiversity and the provisioning of ecosystem services as well as being economically viable. Our work will benefit growers, eaters, biodiversity, and ecosystems.


Our Goal

To provide a model of organic production and scientific guidance to help support the transition to an effectively sustainable agricultural system.

Our Team of Teams

We are building a community of researchers working together to co-create scientific knowledge and evidence-based tools and developments to build a sustainable global food system. We convene a diverse group of CSFS Associate faculty, research associates, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students from a range of UBC Faculties: Land and Food Systems, Science, Medicine, Arts, and Forestry, support staff and international visitors.

CSFS Research

Our research addresses the social, environmental, and economic sustainability of food systems. The interdisciplinary and collaborative research network we support spans a variety of research themes, from land management to Indigenous food sovereignty; from sustainable practices in organic and conventional food production to the study of ecosystem services provided by biodiversity in agroecosystems. A list of current and past research projects led by CSFS Associates can be found below. We are committed to open-access research and data to support widespread knowledge dissemination; see our Dataverse for access to our published datasets. View a list of CSFS-related publications.

The UBC Farm

The UBC Farm is a core facility supporting teaching, research and community engagement for the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems, and serves as a long-term Living Laboratory where many of the research ideas proposed by CSFS Associates and external researchers are developed, tested and monitored. To find out about conducting research at the UBC Farm or further collaborations, visit research at the UBC Farm or contact our research team.

Find out more about our Strategic Plan for Transformational Agroecological Research.

Find plain language summaries of our research by visiting:

Logo for BC Food Web.

CSFS Projects

To view past projects select between “Active Projects” and “Past Projects” in the boxes below.

Our Researchers in the News

LFS Reach Out is out!

LFS Reach Out is out! June 11, 2024 Many of our CSFS Associates and the CSFS Strategic Plan are featured in this issue of the LFS Faculty magazine! Dean’s Message – Rickey’s last! Studying Pollinators on the Frontlines of Resiliency with Risa Sargent Drought Solutions for Producers Start Small with Thorsten Knipfer Building Resilience: The […]

Wild rose in the foreground with a farm field and hoop houses in the background

How to save the world in five not so easy steps

How to save the world in five not so easy steps June 11, 2024 CSFS Associate Dr. Kai Chan wrote that individuals should demand that systems change towards sustainability, and not depend on governments in the fight against climate change. Chan outlines five essential steps for this transformation: Go Deep: Focus on long-term sustainability over […]

Dr. Kai Chan

Global effort to end plastic pollution

Global effort to end plastic pollution  April 26, 2024 CSFS Associate Dr. Kai Chan, professor in the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability, discussed the global effort to end plastic pollution. “Global effort to end plastic pollution” CTV Morning Live 

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Researcher Profiles

CSFS Associate Jennifer Black

Associate Professor

I care about health equity and I care about ensuring that all Canadians can live a healthy, productive life that allows them to meet their full potential. Making sure that people have access to food (and dignity).

Prof. Sean Smukler

Associate Professor

The UBC Farm has the potential to connect researchers on campus, especially those who are interested in food systems, food production and the environment. This project is really an opportunity to get a bunch of farmers and scientists together at the UBC Farm and start building connections.

Adrien Kroese

International Research Student

We define the sustainability of a system by its contribution to environmental preservation, economic welfare and social justice, and by its ability to continue to function in time. Given that definition, is what we picture as a sustainable farm actually sustainable?

Prof. Navin Ramankutty

CSFS Associate

I study food security and sustainability on a global scale… More specifically, my research works with global data sets… [I analyze] data to examine how agriculture is changing in different parts of the world and how different farming characteristics or management systems influence environmental outcomes.

Prof. Leonard Foster


Bee health is currently a big concern and everybody agrees that we need to do more to improve the health of bees and the viability of the industry.

Hughie Jones

PhD Candidate

People should know the UBC Farm is a research intensive place. It’s a multifunctional space; they’re not only getting food and products out of the Farm but they’re also contributing to community knowledge about what is happening there from a research standpoint.

Alexandra Lyon

Postdoctoral Researcher

I see agriculture and the food system as one of the ways that people have a large influence on the environment. I hope that my work has an impact on the environment in a positive way and it helps build towards a more sustainable farming system, contributing to human health.

Dr. Gabriel Maltais-Landry

Former CSFS Postdoctoral Researcher

Agriculture is one of the most important activities on earth in terms of its impact on natural ecosystems, and nutrient management is a huge leverage point to improve the sustainability of our society.

Dr. Craig Borowiak

Visiting Researcher

One of my primary motivations for visiting the CSFS was that I wanted to be around people who understand these community-based food systems better than I did and who could help me understand how to assess the impact of community gardens

Dr. Lisa Powell

Postdoctoral Researcher

The UBC Farm isn’t only a physical space. It also represents a larger network of researchers and outreach activities going on – both activities happening on the ground at the Farm but also those related to sustainable food systems happening beyond the Farm itself.

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