Past Students

Rachel Matheson
MA International Development Studies.  Rachel’s thesis research focused on the challenges facing female urban farmers in Kampala, Uganda. More specifically, she investigated how urban agriculture training programs in Kampala impact women’s ability to access and control resources that are vital to their food security. Rachel conducted fieldwork in Kampala, where she worked directly with female farmers and the Kyanja Resource Centre to understand how female farmers can best be assisted in their urban agriculture practices.
Molly Fredeen
MA International Development Studies. Molly’s research is concerned with Indigenous food security in Northern Canada. Specifically, she focused on how the integration of traditional knowledge into modern food crop gardening techniques in communities can help address food insecurity. Molly worked directly with the Carcross/Tagish First Nation in Yukon and the community to enhance their local food production efforts.
Somed Shahadu Bitamsimli
MA International Development Studies. Somed’s research sought to address an apparent neglect of the vast majority of women in the discourse on food security in Northern Ghana. It analyzes how male dominance at the household level disproportionately disempowers women in the process though which food is produced and distributed within households. His research focused on the impact of living in male-headed household on women’s food security in Northern Ghana.
Lucy Hinton
MA International Development Studies. Lucy’s thesis research focused on the Lhotsampa refugees in Halifax, Nova Scotia and how their participation in a community garden affects food behaviours and acculturation in Canadian society. Lucy previously worked in Nepal for the Asia Network of Sustainable Agriculture and Bioresources. Her research interests focus on the complexity of the globalized food system and the grassroots movements that work in opposition.
Kelly Pickerill
MA International Development Studies. Kelly’s research focused on transactional sex in East Africa’s Lake Victoria fishing communities, and how these practices impact fisher livelihoods. More specifically, she addressed the socio-cultural and socio-economic factors that influence the increased prevalence of these practices, and gained a better understanding as to why women engage in these practices when they are aware of the risks involved.
Cassie Demers
MA International Development Studies. Cassie completed her MA in International Development Studies at Dalhousie University in November 2015. Her research looked at community seed banking and its ability to increase agrobiodiversity in rural Kenya. She has previously conducted research regarding participatory development strategies in rural Ghana.
Alanna Taylor
MA International Development Studies. Alanna successfully defended her MA in International Development Studies at Dalhousie University in August 2015, with a particular focus on natural resource management. After completing her honours thesis on the transboundary water management of the Mekong River, she developed a strong interest on the governance of water resources in developing countries. This led her to pursue her MA studies in the water dimension of land grabbing in eastern Tanzania.
Alia Karim
M.ES Environmental Studies. Alia’s thesis focused on strategies for political change within food systems using a case study of a community garden in Toronto. She has previously conducted research for the Activating Change Together for Community Food Security project at Mount Saint Vincent University and worked for the Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network. While there, she developed a strong interest in public urban land use and social relations.
Talia Meer 
Talia completed her BA (Hons) in Political Science summa cum laude at the University of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, in 2008. She then undertook an MA in Development Studies in Halifax, Canada, wherein she completed a thesis on community-based environmental management in 2010, under the supervision of Dr Matthew Schnurr. On relocating to South Africa in 2011, Talia has been working at the Gender, Health and Justice Research Unit at the University of Cape Town. Her work at the Unit has involved women’s incarceration, gender mainstreaming in African governance, and violence prevention in schools. Her research interests include: gender-based violence, women’s rights, LGBTI rights, access to justice, restorative justice and rural development.
Fiona Brooks
My research is concerned with the interaction between two simultaneous global conservation trends: a) the drive to scale-up the size of conservation areas, and b) the increasing emphasis on community-based conservation management. Mobilizing the case of Misali Island, Tanzania and the establishment of the Pemba Channel Conservation Area, my research investigates how these global trends have emerged in a local conservation context. The objective of this research is to highlight the multi-scalar political dynamics of coastal conservation.