Picture of Alison Blay-Palmer

Alison Blay-Palmer is the founding Director for the Laurier Centre for Sustainable Food Systems and a Professor in Geography and Environmental Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University. Her research and teaching combine her passions for sustainable food systems and community viability through civil society engagement and innovative governance. Her most recent research is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada, the Carasso Foundation, and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. Alison collaborates with academics and practitioners across Canada and internationally including partners in Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Kenya, Mexico, South Africa, and the United States. This work gained national recognition in both 2012 and 2019 when her partnership was one of three nominees for a national SSHRC Partnership Impact Award.

Current projects with partners and students include: City-Region Food System, Climate Resilience with the Resources Centre on Urban Agriculture and Food Security (RUAF) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization; food security, health and climate change in the Northwest Territories; exploring urban agriculture through an intersectional feminist lens in Quito Ecuador; and the Bee City movement in Canada.

  • Professor

  • Wilfrid Laurier University

Academic / Professional Awards

  • Member, Royal Society of Canada, College of New Scholars (2016-present)
  • Partnership Impact Award Finalist, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) (2012, 2019)
  • Member, Scientific Advisory Committee, Chaire UNESCO en alimentation globale (2018-present)
  • Scientific Advisor, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome, Italy (2017, 2019)
  • Invited expert, United Nations General Assembly, High Level Expert Meeting, Sustainable Development Goal 2 and the New Urban Agenda consultations (2017)


  • Blay-Palmer, A., Conaré, D., Meter, K. and Di Battista, A. (eds). 2019. Sustainable Food System Assessment: Lessons from Global Practice. Under contract with Routledge for completion by mid-2019. Draws on research from FLEdGE and its partners. Includes assessment case studies and research from Canada, the United States, South Africa, Italy, United Kingdom, France, and Ecuador.
  • Blay-Palmer, A. and Landman, K. 2019. The Future of Food Systems Planning in Canada Invited contribution to the Canadian Planning Institute Centenary Special Issue.
  • Blay-Palmer, A., E. Nelson, P. Mount and M. Nagy. 2019. The Long and the Short of It: Motivations and realities for food hub actors in Ontario, Canada. In A. Kalfagiani and S. Skordili (eds) Localizing Global Food. London: Routledge Press.
  • Blay-Palmer, A. and Young, L. 2019. Sustainable Food Systems, the Sustainable Development Goals and Agro-ecology. In. S. Dalby (ed) Sustainable Development Goals and Global Governance. London: Routledge Press.
  • Blay-Palmer, A. and Landman, K. 2013, 2015, 2019. Food Systems and the City.  In P. Filion, R. Walker, T. Vinodrai and M. Moos (eds) Canadian Cities in Transition – Sixth Edition. Toronto: Oxford University Press.Blay-Palmer, A., Santini, G., Dubbeling, M., Renting, H., Taguchi, M., and Giordano, T. 2018. Validating the City Region Food System Approach: Enacting Inclusive, Transformational City Region Food Systems. Sustainability.  10(5), 1680.
  • Marsden, Blay-Palmer et al. 2018. Sage Handbook of Nature. Sustainable Urban Spaces section thematic editor. California: Sage. ISBN13 9781526421951. Edited four chapters and wrote section introduction.
  • Spring, A., Carter, B. and Blay-Palmer, A. 2018. Allocating community capitals to adapt to the impacts of climate change on a food system in a northern Canadian boreal community. Canadian Journal of Food Studies. 5(2): 111-141.
  • Levkoe, C. and Blay-Palmer, A. 2018. Food Counts: Food systems report cards, food sovereignty and the politics of indicators., Canadian Journal of Food Studies, September 2018: 49-75.
  • Talkuder, B., Blay-Palmer, A., Hipel, K.W. and vanLoon, G.W. 2017. Elimination Method of Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA): A Simple Methodological Approach for Assessing Agricultural Sustainability. Sustainability. 9(2): 287.
  • Knezevic, I., Blay-Palmer, A., Levkoe, C., Mount, P. , and Nelson, E. (eds). 2017. Nourishing Communities: From Fractured Food Systems to Transformative Pathways. Springer.