Coventry University | Moya Kneafsey

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Dr. Moya Kneafsey

Professor of Food and Local Development / Human Geography

My Research Vision

Underpinning all my research interests is a desire to undertake work that contributes to the formation of more sustainable, resilient and ethically sound livelihoods and lifestyles.  Through my current focus on food chains and community food initiatives, I want to develop critical insight into the social and economic innovations which have the potential to deliver human health and wellbeing, without destroying vital planetary resources.  My aim is to undertake research which is collaborative in style and accessible and meaningful to as many different audiences as possible.


Since 1997 my research has followed two inter-related strands. On one hand, and ever since working on my PhD, I have been interested in how ‘traditional’ cultural resources are commodified for tourism, especially in European rural contexts. On the other, I am intrigued by attempts to ‘reconnect’ consumers, producers and food through ‘alternative’, local and short food supply chains. Both strands are connected by a critical interest in how to develop social and economic practices which are sustainable, fair and ethically sound. I have undertaken projects on cultural tourism, quality products, rural development and community participation in food production and I’ve also conducted research on consumer perceptions of food security.

My work has been funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council and the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Campaign to Protect Rural England, the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the European Commission and Garden Organic.

Recently I’ve begun research on planning and innovation for sustainable urban agriculture through the EU funded FoodMetres project, which provides an ideal opportunity to conceptualise the connections between urban, rural and periurban spaces of food production and consumption. I currently lead the ‘Food and Communities’ research theme at Coventry University’s Centre for Agroecology and Food Security.



  • Foodmetres: An FP7 funded project which assesses both the environmental and the socio-economic impacts of food chains with regard to spatial, logistical and resource dimension of growing food as well as food planning and governance. 
  • Master Gardener Evaluation: Evaluating the impact of the volunteer and mentoring scheme which encourages households to grow their own food.
  • Consumer Insights into Food Security and Food Prices: 
Defra funded research to look at consumer perceptions and experiences of food security.
Research breakout image

Professor of Food and Local Development / Human Geography

Building: CAWR Ryton