Karly Burch

Thursday October 01, 2015



Karly Burch

GESA 2011  |  Hawaii  |  Social Scientist


My goal is to combine my passion and experiences with knowledge and skills in order to conduct meaningful research that strives to sustain and improve the livelihoods of farmers and the quality and biodiversity our food systems.

Knowledge that values the earth and its diversity will guide us toward sustainable solutions.

“Can you do something for us Miss Karly?”. After many years, these words from a small group of struggling farmers in south India still ring clear in my ears. In university I had studied some of the problems facing Indian farmers, but at that point it was different. The problem was standing in front of me. What could I do to support these farmers?

I am now a student in the European MSc in Agroecology Program to explore answers to this question and work toward finding solutions for other complex problems in our farming and food systems today. Participating in this program gives me the opportunity to combine my motivations, experiences and passion for activism with skills and knowledge in order to conduct meaningful research that aims at the improvement of farmers’ livelihoods and the preservation of biodiversity in our farming systems.



Karly Burch - rice plantingKarly was recently offered a three-year University of Otago Doctoral Scholarship to commence her PhD studies at the Centre for Sustainability, Agriculture, Food, Energy and Environment (CSAFE) in 2015. Building upon the results of her MSc thesis—an exploration of Japanese residents’ perceptions and behaviors related to the possible contamination of food with radionuclides following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disasters—her proposed research will use food and food systems as a lense for exploring some of the threats nuclear technology poses to the society and culture in Japan and internationally. Through her research, she hopes to open new discussions on ways to better incorporate social and cultural concerns into the governance of nuclear technology in order to protect the integrity of food systems and address underlying threats to bio-cultural diversity.

Karly received a MSc in Agroecology from The Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB) and The Engineering School of Agriculture, Alimentation, Rural Development and  Environment (ISARA-Lyon) in 2012. [Updated May 2014]

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