Students in Global Food Security

On this page: Post-Doctoral Researchers  |  PhD Candidates  |  MSc Candidates  |  Former Students


Post-Doctoral Researchers

Arlette S. Saint Ville, PhD

Arlette is currently working on the SANI and GROW projects in Sub-Saharan Africa led by CARE Canada, which aims to address under nutrition in women of reproductive age and children under five. Her research interests explore institutional processes affecting global food and nutrition security, inter-institutional gaps in natural resource management, and the intersection of conflict, food insecurity and governance. 

Arlette completed a Bachelor of Environmental Geography degree (Honours) at Nipissing University, a Master of Environmental Studies degree at York University, and PhD at McGill University. Her doctoral research used mixed methods to explain why scientific advances in agriculture, food and environment have not translated into sustainable food and nutrition security outcomes for the Caribbean as part of the McGill/UWI Caricom Project. Her work has appeared in journals such as Food Policy, Food Security, Rural Studies and Regional Environmental Change.

Before returning to academia, Arlette worked for over twelve years as an independent international development consultant in the Caribbean. She undertook high-level, short-term consultancies for diverse agencies across the region that included: Global Environment Facility, United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Environment Programme, and the World Bank. During these assignments, she worked in collaboration with donor agencies to implement, provide technical support and evaluate diverse projects covering the fields of environmental management, agriculture and rural development and youth development.

PhD Candidates

Farzaneh Barak

PhD Human Nutrition candidate

Farzaneh comes from Iran and holds B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Human Nutrition and Dietetics from Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Iran. Her research project was a nutritional epidemiology study among 600 Iranian female nurses aimed to investigate the relationship between the Adherence to the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet and insulin resistance and endothelial dysfunction. The results were published in four papers and a poster.  She has also worked as a therapeutic dietitian and community nutritionist for five years and has experience of coordination, implementation, and monitoring several community nutrition programs in Iran. For her doctoral research, Farzaneh is a part of two research projects in collaboration with CARE Canada and sponsored by Global Affairs Canada, which are taking place in four African countries with the aim of improving the nutritional status of women and children under five years old. Her current research involves an impact evaluation of nutrition-sensitive agricultural interventions (NSAI). More specifically, she is interested in developing a detailed understanding of households' decision-making process and its effect on the success of NSAI to tackle food insecurity. Her research interests are impact and process evaluation of nutrition-sensitive agricultural interventions, households’ decision-making determinants, and women decision-making autonomy in the context of food security. 

Awards: Dietetics and Human Nutrition Award received from School of Human Nutrition (2016) and Graduate Award Program (GAP) received from McGill Institute for Health and Social Policy

Loloah Chamoun

PhD Human Nutrition candidate

Loloah holds a Bachelor’s of Science with distinction in Food Chemistry from McGill University, as well as a Master’s of Science in Public and Environmental Health, with a specialization in Toxicology and Risk Analysis from Université de Montréal. Her Master’s project focused on prioritizing the most hazardous pesticides for biological monitoring in agricultural sectors in a Northern-African country, through the establishment of a hazard index. Loloah led McGill’s team which earned place at the “Developing Solutions for Developing Countries” competition in Chicago in 2015. Her team developed an instant hummus mix that incorporated insects and served to alleviate malnutrition among Syrian Refugees. After having been exposed to the issues related to food assistance and nutrition in emergencies, Loloah became passionate about developing innovative, sustainable and climate-smart technologies that will help fight malnutrition and food insecurity while adapting to climate change. She will therefore be starting her PhD at McGill in Human Nutrition, with a focus on Global Food Security, this upcoming winter 2018.

Awards: McGill Young Alumni Distinguished Award, Dobson Cup Award, IFT Travel Awards, Bieler Internship Award, McGill J W McConnel Scholarship.

Julien Malard

PhD Integrated Water Resources Management candidate

Julien's research centres on the use of participatory modelling to assess agricultural development sustainability, on the development of agro-ecological simulation models for integrated pest management design, and on analysing the interactions between these two spheres. This research (in partnership with IARNA, Universidad Rafael Landívar) includes two case studies of agricultural development, one sufficiency-based and one market-based, in rural indigenous Guatemala (K'iche' and Tz'olöj Ya'), as well as fieldwork on integrated pest management conducted at Tamil Nadu Agricultural University.

Meghan Miller

PhD Human Nutrition candidate

Meghan completed her Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University in Biology and Society with a concentration in International Relations.  At Cornell she assisted with research aiming to understand commonalities in the experience of food insecurity across cultures.  She graduated from McGill University in 2015 with a Master’s degree in Nutrition. Her MSc. thesis research explored the relationship between food security and different forms of social support.  She has recently returned to McGill to pursue her PhD and is interested in researching the potential of basic income policies to impact household food security in Canada. She is a consultant with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s Voices of the Hungry Project, where her main involvement has been in the development of an e-learning course covering the application of the Food Insecurity Experience Scale.

Nnedi Nnedimma

PhD Human Nutrition candidate

Nnedimma holds a B.Sc. in Environmental Science and a M.Sc. in Food Processing and Engineering from McGill University. During her Masters, she studied the thermostability of cassava linamarase as influenced by temperature and heating time. The results were disseminated in two oral presentations in Halifax, Canada, and Cape Town, South Africa. She also worked as a consultant with Micronutrient Initiative, and a community activist with Justice Alimentaire Montreal (JAM). In this capacity, she co-supervised two groups of graduating undergraduate students in the McGill School of Environment (MSE) as they conducted research on urban food systems in Montreal.  For her doctoral research, Nnedimma, is part of two research projects in collaboration with CARE Canada and with funding from Global Affairs Canada, taking place in Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia. The specific aim of these projects is to improve the nutrition status of women of reproductive age and children under five years old. Specifically, her research will focus on the gender dynamics of post-harvest management and its effects on food security and women’s dietary diversity. She is also investigating the suitability of spent grain for oyster mushroom cultivation. Additionally, she will study the influence of different growth substrates and UV exposure on the vitamin A and vitamin D content of these mushrooms.  

Hussain Qazaq

PhD Human Nutrition candidate

Hussain pursued his BSc in Public Health/ Nutrition from Yarmouk University and completed his MSc in Human Nutrition from the University of Jordan, Jordan.  His Mater project was about the effect of dietary counseling and iron supplementation on growth and nutrition iron status in a sample of exclusively breastfed Jordanian infants from four to six months of age. During his work in the Department of Maternity and Child Health in Jordan, he prepared the proposal for flour fortification with Iron and Folic acid at the national level in collaboration with World Health Organization and participated in the strategic implementation and results evaluation of Locational Amenoria Method (LAM) as a child spacing method in collaboration with School of Medicine/ G. Washington University/ UAS. He has many publications about nutrition and health among school children, pregnant women and elderly during his work in the United Arab Emirates. In his PhD study, Hussain will explore the quality of the diet of obese food-insecure children aiming at drawing suggestions and evidence-based recommendations to rectify their food security status that will be reflected on their health and wellbeing. He has many publications about nutrition and health among school children, pregnant women and elderly during his work in the United Arab Emirates.

Kate Sinclair

PhD Human Nutrition candidate

Kate received her Master’s degree in Human Nutrition from McGill University in 2014. Her M.Sc. research focused on the relationship between livestock possession and food security among smallholder farmers in Haiti. She holds a B.Sc. in Human Nutrition and Dietetics from Ryerson University and is a Registered Dietitian with the Ordre professionnel des diététistes du Québec (OPDQ). Kate’s doctoral research is part of a larger IDRC funded project entitled “Scaling-up synergetic strategies in agriculture and nutrition for food security in rural communities of Colombia”. The goal of the project is to scale up the adoption of improved potato varieties with high nutritional qualities for Colombian consumers and potato producers in an operational strategy that links agriculture to nutrition. Her current research aims to explore issues related to food insecurity and women’s autonomy in Colombia. In order to do so she will be using a mix of quantitative and qualitative research methods. Her research interests include project evaluation and women’s empowerment in the context of food security.

Awards: IDRC Doctoral Award, IICA Research and Internship Assistance Program, Walter M. Stewart Postgraduate Scholarship in Agriculture, Canadian Home Economics Association Fellowship, McGill Graduate Excellence Award and McGill Graduate Mobility Award.

Pauley Tedoff

PhD Epidemiology candidate

Pauley holds a Bachelor's degree in Anthropology and a Master's of Science in Environmental Health and has worked in the overarching field of international development since 2006. In 2009, after several years designing and implementing social inclusion programs in low-income countries, Pauley formally transitioned to the global health sector. She has worked for various ministries of health, intergovernmental organizations, international NGOs, and academic institutions in North America, South America, and Sub-Saharan Africa. Her desire to conduct mixed methods research that has implications for both public health and the natural environment led her to seek out opportunities at the Institute for Global Food Security. For her doctoral research, Pauley is thrilled to be working with the Institute on its collaboration with CARE Canada, implementing a four-county study in Southern Africa. More specifically, her analysis will apply advanced psychometric methods to elucidate the complex interrelations between social determinants, food security status, and nutrition status of children under five and their mothers. 

MSc Candidates

Tasnim Abdi

MSc Human Nutrition candidate

Tasnim Abdi is a Master’s student in Human Nutrition. She holds an undergraduate degree in Nutritional Sciences with a specialization in Global Nutrition from McGill University. She was previously a research assistant examining the literature on the health and socio-economic outcomes of different refugee groups in Canada. Her research interests include examining the role of gender in food security through a multidisciplinary focus.


Isabel Alvarez

M.Sc. Integrated Water Resources Management candidate

Isabel Alvarez is an Environmental Engineer with 3 years of experience in the field of water management, international development, climate change and research. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Bioresource Engineering from McGill University. She has worked for both non-governmental organizations and the private sector in Ecuador and Canada. She managed and coordinated international development projects related to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and water management. She is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Integrated Water Resources Management and her research focuses on developing a water insecurity scale for validation in countries in Africa and Latin America.

Luna R. M. de Sousa

MSc Human Nutrition candidate

Luna holds a Bachelor's degree in Nutrition from the Federal University of Parana (Brazil), where she specialized in Primary Health Care and Public Health Management. From 2013 to 2017 she worked in the field of Public Health Care, first as a community nutritionist and after as a public health manager, in Brazil. For her Masters research, Luna is addressing the food security status in Brazil and its associations with health perception and well-being during the country`s financial and political crisis. Her research interests involve food security and public health policies, impacts of food insecurity on health status, and food security in Latin America.

Awards: First Class Honors Degree in B.Sc. in Nutrition received from Federal University of Parana in 2012; Honorable Mention Award for the work "Contributions of the Residency Program in Family Health on educational activities in Colombo, Parana" at the “State Public Health Seminar” in 2014.

Narges Ebadi

MSc Human Nutrition candidate

Narges has a bachelor’s degree in Medical Laboratory from Iran Medical Sciences University in Tehran. She worked as a technologist in medical laboratories in different hospitals. Narges started her Master in human nutrition in fall 2016 and currently she is working in the association between migrants’ intention to international migration, food security in the context of remittances in Global South. Migration trends have been increasing due to large income gaps, widespread youth unemployment, and ageing populations in many developed countries. Migration seems to affect food security through remittance in developing countries. Therefore, the main objective of Narges’ project is to explore the association between intention to international migration and food security status by focusing to the remittance in Global South.

Ernest Habanabakize

MSc Integrated Water Resources Management candidate

Ernest is a MasterCard Foundation Scholar in Bioresource Engineering at McGill University. He is passionate about improving the wellbeing of farming communities and addressing problems of climate change through technological and social innovations, particularly in agriculture.

Ernest has served both as a Project Officer and Community Development Professional in a project funded by Oxfam International to empower women in rural parts of Rwanda through support to the horticulture value chain, and middle range enterprise support. In his roles, he worked with rural women farmers in their adoption of innovative technologies aimed at boosting their leadership skills and improving their livelihoods. Ernest believes that obtaining his Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Bio-resource Engineering (Integrated Water Resource Management) will equip him as a leader to better address pressing problems such as water scarcity and malnutrition, and will be an opportune moment to extend his research interests in water and food security domains.

Awards: 2016 MasterCard Foundation Scholarship

Rennie Jordan

MSc Integrated Water Resources Management candidate

Rennie is from Vancouver, British Columbia, and completed her B.A. at McGill University in Political Science and International Development Studies in 2015. During her undergraduate degree, Rennie participated in a field course on sustainable agriculture and food security in Cuba, which sparked her interest in the topic. Before starting her Master’s program, she did an internship at a development research institute in Vietnam, where she worked on the report for the REDD+ program implementation in Vietnam and researched water management issues in the country. Her main research interest involves the relationship between water and food security, and the challenge of feeding growing populations with limited resources. 

Mabel Kwofie

MSc Human Nutrition candidate

Mabel holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana and a Masters degree from the university of Education, Winneba, Ghana. Mabel worked as an instructor at the Hospitality and Catering department of Koforidua Technical University, Ghana from 2008-2016.

Previously, Mabel’s research focus was in nutritional quality of children’s diet with a focus on the national school feeding programme in the Eastern Region, Ghana. Her current research focuses on Food Insecurity association with Infant feeding practices among Ethiopian children under five.

Jae Yeon Park

MSc Human Nutrition candidate

Jae Yeon Park is an MSc candidate at the McGill Institute for Global Food Security. Jae Yeon completed her undergraduate studies in Plant Bioscience at Kyungpook National University, South Korea. Her research was about functional analysis of hypothetical gene in Arabidopsis. Based on her knowledge of the fundamental role of agriculture in human health and environment, she now researches how plants directly affect people in the world every day and how we can make nutritional changes in communities on the food security level.


Akankasha Sen

MSc Human Nutrition candidate

Akankasha holds Master’s degree in Biological Anthropology from Panjab University India, where she assessed the nutritional and growth status of adolescent girls in the high altitude village of the Himalaya. She works as junior research assistant in Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research Chandigarh, (PGIMER) India, in pediatrics department, where she gained the knowledge of child growth, maturation, anthropometry and nutrition. Her research interest involves the nutritional anthropology which the interplay between human biology, cultural beliefs, nutritional status and food security, and how changes in the former affect the latter. In her second Master’s degree she is contributing in GROW and SANI research projects which are conducting in four African countries (Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia), in collaboration with CARE Canada. Assessing food insecurity is important part of Growing Nutrition for Mothers and Children (GROW) and South Africa Nutrition Initiative (SANI) project. Therefore, using the data from these projects she is estimating the reliability and validity of recent developed tool called Food Insecurity Experiences Scale (FIES) developed by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization Voices of the Hungry project (FAO-VOH). The objectives of her study were to assess the psychometric properties of FIES for measuring food security by using the with Item Response Theory (Rasch molding) and examines the prevalence of food insecurity (FI) in women.

Former Students

Ekta Amarnani

Ekta's research draws comparisons between income-related food security inequalities of the global rural youth and other demographic groups. In doing so, Ekta hopes to quantify the negative influence of the steadily increasing unemployment on young rural communities around the world. The global perspective of the project will help synthesizing policy recommendations targeting global youth food security.

June Y. T. Po

June's background in global public health, psychology and biochemistry continue to enrich her doctoral research on women’s access to land resources and its relationships with household nutritional security in the semi-arid regions of Kambaland, Kenya. Through her experience conducting qualitative and quantitative research in Bangladesh, India, and Kenya, June has come to deeply value the interdisciplinary approaches to understanding complex social-ecological issues

Stephanie Trempe

Stephanie's current research draws largely on the sheep feed substitution projects that were performed in 2013 and 2014. The by-product feed recipe developed in this study will have several key attributes including: meeting the nutritional needs of the livestock, being sustainable, and being economically viable, thus allowing for economic, social and environmental benefits for both local farmers and the Barbadian public.