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Dr Katerina Psarikidou

Formerly at Lancaster University


Katerina is a Senior Research and Knowledge Exchange Fellow at Centre for the Study of Environmental Change and the Centre for Mobilities Research of the Department of Sociology. She is currently working for the 5-year, 16M HEFCE-funded N8 AgriFood Resilience Programme (http://www.n8agrifood.ac.uk/) which is based on a research collaboration amongst the 8 most research-intensive universities in the North of England, called the N8 Research Partnership (http://www.n8research.org.uk/).

She holds a PhD in Sociology from Lancaster University and an MA in Bioethics. In the past, she has worked as researcher for interdisciplinary and cooperative research projects funded by the EU and UK research councils. She also has research experience working with and for Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) across the EU.

Throughout her research work, Katerina has published papers and delivered talks that aim to unpack the sustainability and innovation potential of alternative agro-food and mobility practices. Katerina is specifically interested in questions of social sustainability of such initiatives and the moral economy embedded in such practices. She is also interested in exploring the alternative innovation potential of such practices. In this context, she is also interested in questions of power and inequalities.  

Current Research

For her work for the interdisciplinary N8 AgriFood Resilience Programme, Katerina is interested in contributing to the more inclusive processes of AgriFood Innovation, based on the participation of a wider spectrum of small-scale, currently marginalised stakeholders from the AgriFood research processes. She is passionate about developing research in collaboration with small-scale non-academic stakeholders and in ways that would also make a valuable contribution to their lives and initiatives. In doing so, she is also interested in better understanding the concept of ‘Knowledge Exchange’, and thus challenging the waysit is done and performed.

She is currently leading two research grants:

 1. ‘Exploring the potential of Local Food Hubs in Deprived Areas: Enhancing Knowledge Exchange for Developing Best Practice Guidelines’

This project is exploring the potential of a local food hub model that is based on online platform that reconnects local small-scale producers and consumers to address issues of food poverty and food insecurity in deprived areas in three UK cities. As part of this project, Katerina is interested in understanding the potential of food relocalisation initiatives to go beyond a middle class niche level, and understand the role of digital technologies in delivering such changes. She is interested in understanding the role of local food initiatives in addressing inequalities and exclusions in cities.

Harris Kaloudis is working as researcher for this project.

This project is in collaboration with the University of Sheffield and the University of Newcastle.

2. ‘Empowering Community Food Innovations: Developing experimental knowledge-exchange spaces for AgriFood Resilience in Todmorden’.

This projects aims to conceptualize and better understand how ‘community food innovations’ emerge, survive and thrive, by looking into the Incredible Edible movement in the city of Todmorden. This project is also built around the recent local community campaign to ‘Save the College’ (SOCIT) from turning it into a supermarket. Working closely with local stakeholders, we aim to facilitate and research processes of knowledge exchange between researchers and the local community in order to explore opportunities for research and teaching collaboration that would help turning this college into ‘Incredible Edible Learning Centre for sustainability’.

Dennis Touliatos is working as researcher for this project.

This project is in collaboration with the University of Durham.  

Katerina is also involved in another research project which links her food research with her mobility research interests. The project is called ‘Food to people, People to Food’ and is led by the University of Newcastle.

Research Interests

Prior to her work for the N8 AgriFood resilience Programme, Katerina has worked for a series of research projects.


EPSRC Liveable Cities Programme - Alongside Professor John Urry on the EPSRC 6,5M Liveable Cities Programme, looking into mobility innovation for low-carbon cities. In this project she has been interested in linking Mobilities Research with Practice Theory in understanding what makes us move the way we move but also what can make us move differently. She has ben interested in understanding Mobilities beyond transport and exploring the complex spatio-temporal entanglements that can shape but also change mobility practices towards a more low-carbon direction.

EC FP7 FAAN Project ('Facilitating Alternative Agro-Food Networks: Stakeholders Perspectives on Research Needs') - Working for the CSO GeneWatch UK, Katerina has conducted research, exploring the facilitating and hindering factors for the sustainability of alternative, both rural and urban, agro-food initiatives in the North West of England.

PhD research project ' Re-imagining Sustainable Agro-Food Futures: Alternative Bio-economies in a Knowledge Society Era' - Katerina's research for the FAAN project also provided data for her PhD project, where she was examining the political, knowledge and moral economic aspects of rural and urban alternative agro-food networks in England and claiming for their potential to contribute to alternative innovation strategies, research and policy agendas for agriculture and food. Rural and urban sociology, sociology and political economy of agriculure and food, science and technology studies, innovation studies and sociology of scientific knowledge constitute some of the areas of research interest.

EC FP6 funded  PAGANINI project (Participatory Governance and Institutional Innovation) - Katerina has been looking into conflicts over issues of biodiversity conservation for the protection of the endangered species of the sea turtle of Caretta Caretta in Greece. This research  illustrates her research interests in the areas of environmental sociology, environmental politics and biodiversity and nature conservation. It has also provided inspiration for her Bioethics MA work, looking into reasons that biodiversity conservation should be subject of bioethical concern.

Current Teaching

UG SOCL 220: Sociology of the Environment (lecturing)

PG SOCL 931: Methods in Science and Technology Studies (lecturing)

SOCL 521: Environment and Society (lecturing)

UG LEC 331: Food and Agriculture in the 21st Century (LEC - lecturing)

In the past, I have also delivered lectures for the modules MA SOCL 937 'Mobilities, Society and Change' and the UG SOCL 324 'Media in a Global Age'. I have also been seminar tutor and guest lecturer for the undergraduate course SOCL 101 'Introduction to Sociology'.


Additional Information

Katerina is also a working in collaboration with the University of Crete that she recently visited as a visiting scholar.

She has been member of the academic advisory board for the EC H2020 FOTTRIS and the AHRC ‘Play to Grow’ project.

She is Associate Editor for the International Journal for the Sociology of Agriculture and Food.

She has been invited to give talks about her research to various institutions, including the University of Crete, Durham University, IT University of Copenhagen, Hafencity University and Lancaster University.

She has organised panels for international conferences, including the recent European Society for Rural Sociology Congress, the EASST conference and the Cycling and Society Symposium.

She has been reviewer for the Routledge and Palgrave Publishing Houses, the ESRS, ORA and Czech Science Foundation Research Councils, and more than a dozen international academic journals (incl. Agriculture and Human Values, Mobilities, Geoforum, Environmental Planning and Management, Food and Energy Security, Sustainability, Ephemera).

She has presented papers at International Conferences, including ESA, EASST, ESRS, NGM, MARE, Cosmobilities, Mobility Futures, Sustainable Food Planning.

Non-academic organisations she has worked with include: GeneWatch UK, Manchester City Council, the Larder, Open Food Network, Incredible Edible Farm.

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