Completing the Circle: A Path Towards Nutrient Circularity in Food Systems


In the first webinar of our Food at the Tipping Point: Ways Forward from a Food System in Crisis hybrid event series, we explore how we can bridge the gap between our food and waste systems, and pave the path forward to nutrient circularity from production to consumption, recovery to waste and back to production.

UBC Farm’s Centre for Sustainable Food Systems, part of the Faculty of Land and Food Systems, hosts events to present diverse views on agroecology and food security. To do this, we invite participation from professors, students and speakers from the public sphere. Our panel of speakers and audience comments do not represent the views of the University of British Columbia. The university’s Senate Statement on Academic Freedom gives our faculty, staff and students, as well as those invited to speak, the right to express their views in the pursuit of knowledge and instruction.

About the Presenters

Graham MacDonald | McGill University

Graham MacDonald, Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at McGill University. He is involved with the interfaculty undergraduate program in Sustainability, Science and Society. His interdisciplinary research sits at the intersection of land use, food systems, and biogeochemistry and spans scales from local urban farms to global croplands. Graham received a Ph.D. in Natural Resource Sciences from McGill in 2013 and was previously a postdoctoral researcher with the Global Landscapes Initiative at the University of Minnesota.

Mel Sylvestre | Grounded Acres Organic Farm

Mel Sylvestre has been working on small-scale organic farms for close to 20 years and holds a B.Sc. in Soil and Plant Science from UBC. She is a member of the BC Eco Seed Co-op, sits on an organic certifying committee and works as a verification officer for multiple organic certifying bodies in North America. She moved to Gibsons with her family in 2020 and launched Grounded Acres Organic Farm, a five-acre mixed vegetable farm.

Jessica Regan | FoodMesh

Jessica Regan grew up on a 100 acre farm where her first jobs were picking corn, repairing fences, and feeding animals. She learned the value of hard work, and gained her entrepreneurial spirit at a young age. Since then, Jessica has successfully launched and executed four companies in the social impact space, including FoodMesh, a Vancouver based company helping divert unsold food to higher end uses. Jessica is passionate about sustainable food systems and building social enterprises. She has served on the Vancouver Food Policy Council, and is currently the Vice Chair of KASOW, a Kenyan based charity focusing on micro enterprises and food security, and is a Board of Director for the Gitga’at First Nation Economic Development Council.

Morgan Hamilton (Moderator) | UBC – SoilRes3 Lab

Morgan Hamilton, a Masters student in the SoilRes3 lab at UBC, is exploring the role that biochar can potentially play in strengthening local agricultural landscapes in the face of climate change. Her research examines the effect of low biochar application rates on water and nutrient dynamics in coarse-textured soils. Morgan’s research interests are largely focused on equitable, reasonable, and responsible adaptation solutions to address climate change impacts in the food system. Morgan graduated from the University of British Columbia with a BSc in Global Resource Systems and a focus on Food Systems in North America.

The Food at the Tipping Point: Ways Forward from a Food System in Crisis series is brought to you by the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems (CSFS), the BC Food Web, the Faculty of Land and Food Systems (LFS), and the Royal Bank of Canada.


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