Picture of Liam Riley

Liam Riley is a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow working with the African Food Security Urban Network and the Hungry Cities Partnership. His research draws focus on the interconnectedness of food security, gender equality and urbanization in Africa, yielding new insights that can support sustainable and inclusive development. He completed his MA (2008) and PhD (2013) in Geography at the University of Western Ontario for which he conducted fieldwork in Malawi using qualitative research methods inspired by feminist, postcolonial, and participatory approaches. During his SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship (2014-2016) he conducted research on the political dimensions of urban poverty and food insecurity in case studies in Harare and Lilongwe using household survey data. He is currently a Co-Investigator on the SSHRC Insight Grant-funded project, “Consuming Urban Poverty 2: Secondary Urbanization, Food Security, and Local Governance in Africa,” which uses mixed research methods and collaboration with local stakeholders to understand urban food security and food systems in secondary cities. In 2017, he implemented research in two case study secondary cities, Mzuzu, Malawi and Dschang, Cameroon.


Academic/Professional Awards

  • SSHRC Impact Award (Talent Competition): Finalist (2017)
  • Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship (2016-2018)
  • SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship (2014-2016)
  • African Geographical Review Paper of the Year Award, Association of American Geographers (2015)
  • Africa Institute Student Mobility Fund Award, Western University (2012)
  • Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS – Doctoral, SSHRC (2008-2011)
  • International Development Research Centre Doctoral Research Award (2009-2010)
  • CGS – Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplement, SSHRC (2009)
  • CGS – Master’s, SSHRC (2007-2008)
  • The E.G. Pleva Prize for Excellence as a Graduate Teaching Assistant, Western University (2007)


  • Riley, L. and Caesar, M. Forthcoming. “Urban Household Food Security in China and Mozambique: A Gender-Based Comparative Approach.” Development in Practice.
  • Crush, J. and Riley, L. Forthcoming. “Rural Bias and the Absence of Urban Food Security Policy in Africa.” Urban Food Systems Governance and Poverty in African Cities. Edited by J. Battersby and V. Watson. Earthscan/Routledge.
  • Riley, L. and Legwegoh, A. 2018. “Gender and Food Security: Household Dynamics and Outcomes.” Food and Nutrition Security in Southern African Cities. Edited by B. Frayne, J. Crush, and C. McCordic. Earthscan/Routledge.
  • Riley, L. and B. Dodson. 2017 “Intersectional Identities: Food, Space and Gender in Urban Malawi.” Agenda: Empowering Women for Gender Equity 30 (4): 53-61.
  • Chilanga, E., L. Riley, J. Ngwira, C. Chalinda and L. Masitala, L. 2017. “The State of Food Insecurity in Lilongwe’s Informal Settlements, Malawi.” Urban Food Security Series No. 25. Cape Town: AFSUN.
  • Crush, J. and L. Riley. 2017. “Urban Food Security and Rural Bias.” Hungry Cities Partnership Discussion Paper No. 11. Cape Town & Waterloo: Hungry Cities Partnership.
  • Riley, L. and M. Caesar. “Comparing Household Food Security in Cities of the Global South through a Gender Lens.” Hungry Cities Partnership Discussion Paper No. 9. Cape Town & Waterloo: Hungry Cities Partnership.
  • Riley, L. and B. Dodson. 2016. “‘Gender Hates Men’: Untangling Gender and Development Discourses in Food Security Fieldwork in Urban Malawi”. Gender, Place and Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography. 23 (7): 1047-1060.
  • Tawodzera, G., L. Riley, and J. Crush. 2016. “Following the Crisis: Poverty and Food Security in Harare, Zimbabwe”. Journal of Food and Nutritional Disorders. 5 (5).
  • Riley, L. and B. Dodson. 2016. “Gender, Mobility and Food Security”. Rapid Urbanization, Urban Food Deserts and Food Security in Africa. Edited by J. Crush and J. Battersby. Springer.
  • Riley, L. and C. Hara. 2016. “Africa’s Vulnerable Children and the Millennium Development Goals: Experiences and Interventions in Malawi”. Geographies of Global Issues: Change and Threat. Edited by N. Ansell, N. Klocker and T. Skelton. Springer.
  • Riley, L. and A. Hovorka. 2015. “Gendering Urban Food Systems Across Multiple Scales”. Cities and Agriculture: Developing Resilient Urban Food Systems. Edited by H. De Zeeuw and P. Drechsel. London: Routledge/Earthscan.
  • L. Riley. 2014. “Operation Dongosolo and the Geographies of Urban Poverty in Malawi”. Journal of Southern African Studies. 40 (3): 443-458.
  • Riley, L. and B. Dodson. 2014. “Gendered Mobilities and Food Access in Blantyre, Malawi”. Urban Forum. 25 (2): 227-279.
  • Riley, L. and A. Legwegoh. 2014. “Comparative Urban Food Geographies in Blantyre and Gaborone”. African Geographical Review. 33 (1): 52-66.
  • Legwegoh, A. and L. Riley. 2014. “Food, Place, and Culture in Urban Africa: Comparative Consumption in Gaborone and Blantyre”. Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition. 9 (2): 256-279.
  • L. Riley. 2013. “Orphan Geographies in Malawi”. Children’s Geographies. 11 (4): 409-421.
  • Riley, L. and E. Lupafya. 2011. “Rethinking the Orphan Crisis: Community-Based Responses to Orphan Care in Malawi”. Children’s Rights and International Development: Lessons and Challenges from the Field. Edited by M. Denov, R. Maclure and K. Campbell. 221-240. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

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2018-03-28T16:45:19-04:00Postdoctoral Fellows|