Coventry University | Carla Sarrouy Kay

Campus Map

Working with Coventry University

Working at Coventry University

Coventry University is a diverse and exciting place to work and we share the enthusiasm of our staff and students to be the best at whatever they choose to do. As one of the City’s biggest employers, we offer some impressive benefits for our staff and are committed to delivering the very best opportunities. We have a comprehensive training, personal and professional development programme that provides our employees with the skills to enhance their performance in the workplace and grow in their careers. There are pension schemes, a generous holiday allowance and flexible working opportunities as well as lifestyle benefits including childcare vouchers, discounted membership to the £4 million sports and recreation centre and schemes such as Cycle to Work and the CU Car Share initiative.

View current job vacancies.


Staff portal

Access the central point of information for all staff across the University.


Student Portal

Check your assessments, access Solar and get course information.


PhD Student

Jump to Biography

Research Subject and Interests

  • Agroecology
  • Food security and sovereignty
  • Smallholder farming
  • Gender studies
  • People’s knowledge
  • Climate change mitigation and adaptation

My project title is ‘Smallholder adaptation to climate change: pathways to social and ecological resilience’.

One in eight people in the world go to bed hungry every day and most of these people are farmers, especially women and children. Moreover, climate change further exacerbates the vulnerability of these farmers and food systems.

These are complex issues and holistic approaches need to be adopted to bring systemic change.
I work with female and male farmers in West Africa to explore their views and issues with food and climate, and to co-create initiatives that improve social resilience and environmental adaptation.

Supervisory Team:

Prof. Michel Pimbert (Director of Studies)
Dr Stefanie Lemke
Prof. Laurence Roudart (Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium)


Carla graduated from the Universidade Nova de Lisboa (Portugal) with a degree in Communication Sciences, which included an Erasmus exchange year in Bordeaux (France). After teaching English for a year in Istanbul (Turkey), Carla completed a two-year MSc in Environmental Sciences and Management at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium). She was awarded the Bourdeau Prize for the best Master’s thesis of the department in the academic year 2009/2010. This project included a nine-week internship based in Dakar (Senegal).

Between 2011 and 2015, Carla was a Senior Research Technician in Rob Lillywhite’s group at the University of Warwick (UK). She worked on life cycle assessments (LCA), studying the environmental impact of food production and consumption to develop ways to make food systems more sustainable. She also lectured in the MSc in Food Security and organised several events to raise awareness of food waste and growing your own food.

In May 2015, Carla joined CAWR as a Research Assistant to work on three main projects: FoodMetres (an EU-project on how to feed big cities sustainably), the Coventry Food Justice Network (linking Coventry initiatives dealing with food and social justice) and a consultancy for ActionAid International (assessing farmers’ adaptation to climate change in Senegal and The Gambia). In February 2016, Carla started a 3 year fully-funded PhD on smallholder adaptation to climate change in West Africa.

Awards and Grants:

2016/2019 PhD Scholarship – PhD Scholarship covering all university fees and a stipend for 3 years at the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (Coventry University)

2013 Erasmus Staff Scholarship – Fully-funded international training (completion of the international Summer School on Agroecology in Toulouse, France)

2010  Bourdeau Prize 2010 – Best Master's thesis of the IGEAT department at the Universite Libre de Bruxelles.

2009  Philippson Scholarship – Fully-funded MSc internship (two-month summer placement at the Durabilis Private Foundation in Dakar, Senegal).

2005/2006  Erasmus Scholarship – Academic exchange (third year of four-year bachelor degree spent studying at the Universite Michel de Montaigne in Bordeaux, France).


French (fluent), English (fluent), Portuguese (fluent), Spanish (good)

Research breakout image

PhD Student

Building: Ryton Gardens
Research Gate