Department: Pathobiology and Population Sciences
Research Centres: Veterinary Epidemiology, Economics and Public Health
Lauren is the IFSTAL (Interdisciplinary Food Systems Teaching and Learning) programme Education Coordinator and Postdoctoral Fellow for LCIRAH (Leverhulme Centre for Integrative Research on Agriculture and Health). She is an anthropologist and human geographer focusing on food systems, food security and development, malnutrition, food activism and policy, and food and identity.
Lauren holds a bachelor's degree in Social Anthropology from the University of Manchester and a Masters from SOAS, University of London, in Anthropology of Food, for which she conducted ethnographic research on malnutrition, gender and intervention programmes with agricultural communities in rural Guatemala. Her PhD in Human Geography (from the University of Sheffield in collaboration with the British Library), was based on in-depth oral history interviews with agri-food activists, campaigners and policy makers. The recorded interviews form a new public sound archive at the British Library.
Lauren has conducted research on food labelling for the Social Science Research Unit of the Food Standards Agency, and research on glyphosate for the Soil Association.
She joined the RVC in 2015 as the LCIRAH (Leverhulme Centre for Integrative Research on Agrculture and Health) Education Coordinator for IFSTAL, Interdisciplinary Food Systems Teaching and Learning programme - a HEFCE funded cross-university initiative of five higher education institutions: the University of Oxford (PI), City University London, the University of Reading, the University of Warwick and LCIRAH (formally represented by RVC).
Besides IFSTAL, Lauren is one of the core members leading the RVC qualitative methods group, and is involved in research on zoonotic diseases in Jordan and antimicrobial resistance within the food chain and agricultural sector.
Lauren's research interests are on food policy, activism, sustainability, food security, gender, nutrition, and food and identity. She is also interested in food systems thinking and the role of social science, in particular ethnography and other qualitative methods, within that.
Blake, L., Hasler, B., Bennani, H., Mateus, A., and Stark, K. (2018) "Evaluation of the implementaion of the UK Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy in the Food Chain", Report for the Policy Innovation Research Unit.
Hasler, B., Blake, L., Marcus, G., Mateus, A., and Stark, K. (2018) "Evaluation of the implementaion of the UK Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy, 2013-2018 - local implementation of the Strategy in Norfolk and East Anglia in the poultry and pig sub-sectors", Report for the Policy Innovation Research Unit.
Speranza, C.I., Wuthrich, T., Rüegg, S., Zinsstag, J., Keune, H., Boillat, S., Blake, L., Thieme, S., Degeling, C. and Rist, S. (2018) "Chapter 4: Evaluating the contributions of One Health initiatives to social sustainability", in Rüegg, S., Hasler, B. and Zinsstag, J. (eds) Integrated Approaches to Health: a handbook for the evaluation of One Health, Wageningen Academic Publishers.
Reed, K., Collier, R., White, R., Wells, R., Ingram, J., Borelli, R., Hasler, B., Caraher, M., Lang, T., Arnall, A., Ajates Gonzalez, R., Pope, H., Blake, L. & Sykes, R. (2017). "Training Future Actors in the Food System: A new collaborative cross-institutional, interdisciplinary training programme for students". Exchanges: the Warwick Research Journal, 4(2), pp. 201-218.
Lauren is a Teaching Fellow and Education Coordinator for postgraduate students on the Innovative Food Systems Teaching and Learning (IFSTAL) programme, an interdisciplinary and cross-university food systems training addressing global food security and environmental change. She supervises and advises undergraduate and postgraduate students on food-related research projects, and delivers teaching on food systems within the RVC and as a guest lecturer in other universities.