Dr Liam Riley works on several inter-related projects investigating food security and food systems in Africa’s rapidly growing cities. He holds a PhD in Geography from Western University (2013) and has held a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship (2014-2016) and Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship (2016-2019) at the BSIA at Wilfrid Laurier University where he is currently an Adjunct Faculty member. His work is rooted in fieldwork in Malawi, Cameroon, South Africa, and Botswana that uses a host of qualitative and quantitative research methods to investigate (1) gendered household food strategies in urban Africa and (2) the political economic dimensions of urban food security as a development challenge.
He is currently engaged with the following research projects, all of which have a dual purpose of expanding the academic understanding of urban food insecurity and rapidly changing urban food systems while producing open-source information that can be used by leaders, development practitioners, students and researchers in the Global South:
- Principal Investigator of “Mapping African Urban Foodscapes: Youth Experiences in Malawi’s Informal Settlements” (SSHRC-Insight Grant funded). This project uses participatory GIS to gain insight into how young adults in urban informal settlements in Malawi experience their food environments.
- Co-Investigator of “Consuming Urban Poverty 2: Secondary Urbanization, Food Security, and Local Governance in Africa” (SSHRC-Insight Grant funded). This project uses mixed research methods and collaboration with local stakeholders in Cameroon, Namibia and Malawi to understand urban food security and food systems in secondary cities in Africa (where much of the urban population growth is taking place).
- Collaborator and Gender Specialist for “The Hungry Cities Partnership,” which studies informality, inclusive growth and food security in cities of the Global South. He has produced several HCP discussion papers using empirical data from partner cities and serves as Co-Editor of the series of reports on the research findings.