Alison Blay-Palmer is the CIGI (Centre for International Governance and Innovation) Chair in Sustainable Food Systems, the founding Director of the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems, and an Associate Professor at Wilfrid Laurier University. Alison works in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies where she does research on resilient food systems and sustainable communities. Her edited themed issue in the journal Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability, ‘Sustainable, local food spaces: constructing communities of food’ and her books, ‘Imagining sustainable food systems: Theory and practice’ and ‘Food fears: From industrial to sustainable food systems’ explore pressures and opportunities related to food system sustainability. Her most recent journal papers are published in Frontiers in Health, Local Environment, Agriculture and Human Values, the International Journal of Planning Studies, Economic Geography, Environment and Planning A and C.
Alison has held several grants including a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Partnership Grant titled 'FLEdGE (Food: Locally Embedded, Globally Engaged) to explore and support sustainable food community initiatives. This project is linked to an Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs New Directions grant. The combined projects span the entire province of Ontario, and also include partners from across Canada and around the world. Alison is also the Principal Investigator on a SSHRC Insight grant into social and informal food economies.
Alison led the successful development of a Sustainability Option at Wilfrid Laurier. She has taught the foundation course for the option since its inception in 2013. Alison also teaches courses in policy, community economic development and governance. Blay-Palmer has received awards for teaching, public service and faculty activism.