Picture of Alison Blay-Palmer

Alison Blay-Palmer is the founding Director for the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems and an Associate 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 research is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada, the Carasso Foundation, the International Social Sciences Council and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food.  Alison collaborates with academics and practitioners across Canada and internationally including partners in Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Kenya, Mexico, South Africa, the United States and Wales. This work gained national recognition in 2012 when her partnership was one of three nominees for a SSHRC Partnership Impact Award. While on sabbatical, she was an invited Visiting Professor at Cardiff University’s Sustainable Places Research Institute.

Current projects with partners and students include: city-region food system assessments 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; and the creation of a Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis tool to assess agricultural sustainability of coastal agriculture in Bangladesh.

  • Associate Professor

  • Wilfrid Laurier University

Academic / Professional Awards

  • Laurier Nominee, Royal Society of Canada, College of New Scholars (2015)
  • Partnership Impact Award Finalist, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) (2013)
  • Visiting Professor, Cardiff University, Sustainable Places Research Institute (2012)


  • Blay-Palmer, A., Sonnino, R. and Custot. C. 2015. “A Food ‘Politics of the Possible’? Growing Sustainable Food Places through Collective Action”.
  • Knezevic, I. and A. Blay-Palmer. 2015. Multifunctionality in Agriculture In K Albala (Ed) Thousand Oaks CA: Sage.
  • Blay-Palmer, A. and I. Knezevic. 2015. Building sustainable communities through alternative food systems In Robinson G and D Schmallegger (Eds) Cheltenham UK and Northhampton MA USA: Edward Elgar Publishing.
  • Blay-Palmer, A., I.Knezevic, and A. Spring. 2014. Seeking common ground for food systems transformation 4 (2): 185-189.
  • Blay-Palmer, A. 2013. Editor ‘Sustainable local food spaces: constructing communities of food’ 18(5): 521-641.
  • Blay-Palmer, A., Landman, K., Knezevic, I. and Hayhurst, R. 2013. food hubs. Constructing resilient transformative communities through sustainable 18(5): 521-527.
  • Blay-Palmer, A. D., Knezevic, I., Andrée, P., Ballamingie, P., Landman, K. E., Mount,P.Skinner, K. 2013. Future food system research priorities: A sustainable food systems perspective from Ontario Canada 3(4) 227–234.
  • Knezevic, I. and Blay-Palmer, A. 2013. Submission to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals consultation Commentary on High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network report and UN Global Compact Group report.
  • Blay-Palmer, A., Turner, J. and Kornelsen, S. 2012. Quantifying Food Systems: Assessing Sustainability in the Canadian Context In (eds) M Koc J Sumner and T Winson Critical Perspectives in Food
Studies Oxford University Press.
  • Blay-Palmer, A. 2012. Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS) and the Case for Multifunctional Policy in Canada In R MacRae and E Abergel (eds) UBC Press Vancouver.
  • Blay-Palmer, A. 2011. Editor: themed issue ‘Sustainable Communities’ and author ‘Sustainable Communities: An Introduction’ 16(8).
  • Blay-Palmer, A. 2010. (editor) Ashgate Publishing: Aldershot.
  • Blay-Palmer, A. 2008. Ashgate Publishing Aldershot UK.