Emily Sousa

Headshot of Emily Sousa standing in front of a forested background.
Primary Faculty Advisor: 
Wayne Caldwell
School of Environmental Design and Rural Development

Emily C. Sousa is an M.Sc. Candidate in the Rural Planning and Development Program and a proud resident of rural Ontario. In working with Dr. Wayne Caldwell and Dr. Nicolas Brunet, Emily’s current research explores agri-environmental program delivery to dairy farmers in Southwestern Ontario. This research aims to uncover opportunities to improve and coordinate conservation policy, planning, and programming in agricultural areas and identify supports for farm operators to adopt biodiversity-friendly farming practices. Emily hopes her research will help build consensus around what biodiversity conservation looks like in the agricultural sector, ultimately balancing food production and environmental conservation needs.  

Emily received her BA in International Development Studies from the University of Guelph. Throughout her undergraduate degree, she completed several research assistantships, including projects on integrated pest management, traditional knowledge of agronomic practices in sub-Saharan Africa, and women-owned production systems to improve maternal and child health in Ethiopia. She has previously have interned with the Food Rights Alliance in Kampala, Uganda, where she has worked with community members to develop knowledge-based systems for effective engagement in the pursuit of the right to food. It is through these opportunities that she has cultivated a passion for sustainable food systems and food justice.  

Emily strongly believes the HQP program will give her a valuable opportunity to give back to rural communities by becoming part of the next generation of leaders and innovative researchers advancing Ontario’s performance in agri-food on a global scale.