Tammara Soma

Assistant Professor


  • BSc, Environmental Studies, York University
  • MSc, Urban and Regional Planning, University of Toronto
  • PhD, Urban Planning, University of Toronto


Dr. Tammara Soma holds a Ph.D. in Planning (2018) from the University of Toronto and is the Research Director and Co-Founder of the Food Systems Lab (foodsystemslab.ca).  She is an Assistant Professor at the School of Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University where she conducts research on issues pertaining to food system planning, community-based research, waste management and the circular economy.  Prior to SFU, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Toronto, and the Food Equity Coordinator at New College (University of Toronto). Her dissertation investigated the factors that influence urban household food consumption and food wasting practices in Indonesia, and the ways in which food systems consideration can improve urban planning decision-making. She has published her work in the journals Local Environment, Built Environment, Indonesia, Journal of Agriculture, Food System and Community Development, and in the books Conversations in Food Studies (University of Manitoba Press), and Learning, Food and Sustainability (Palgrave McMillan). She is a co-editor with C. Reynolds, J. Lazell, and C. Spring of the upcoming Routledge Handbook on Food Waste. Beyond academic publications, she has also written for the Huffington Post, Policy Options, Alternatives Journal, and is frequently interviewed by media such as the Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, CBC, TVO The Agenda and more. She is a 2014 Pierre Elliott Trudeau Doctoral Scholar, a Joseph Armand Bombardier SSHRC CGS Doctoral Fellow, an International Development Research Centre Doctoral Award recipient, and a SSHRC Top 5 Storyteller finalist.

Her current research projects are funded by the Weston Foundation Seeding Food Innovation Grant and she led a tri-country team (U.S, Mexico and Canada) on a Commission for Environmental Cooperation project to develop toolkits for youth engagement in food loss and food waste reduction.


Dr. Tammara Soma welcomes prospective graduate students interested in the following research topics:

  1. Food system planning, community food assessments, community-based food research and youth food movements (Slow Food, Youth Food Policy Councils)
  2. Social impact of waste (food packaging waste, food waste, waste management in the Global South, Circular Economy)
  3. Social implications of food and agricultural technologies; Social Innovation
  4. Repair economy and repair infrastructures

Sample Publications:

Co-Editor with Reynolds, C., Spring, C., and Lazell, J. Handbook on Food Waste, Routledge: Taylor Francis (publication planned for Summer of 2019).

Soma, T. (2018). Re-framing the food waste narrative: Analyzing Household Food Waste in Urban Indonesia, Indonesia. pp. 1-25. (Peer-reviewed)

Soma, T. (2017). Gifting, Ridding and the Everyday Mundane: The Influence of Class and Culture in the Generation of Food Waste in Indonesia. Local Environment. 22(12): 1444-  1460. (Peer-reviewed)

Soma, T. (2017). Wasted Infrastructures: Urbanization, Distancing and Food Waste in Indonesia, Built Environment. 43(3): 431-446. (Peer-reviewed)

Soma, T., & Wakefield, S. (2011). The emerging role of a food system planner: Integrating food considerations into planning. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development 2(1), pp. 53-64. (Peer-reviewed)

Lee, K and Soma, T (2016). Moving Beyond “Farm to Table” to “Farm to Dump” Emerging Research and Theoretical Frameworks on Urban Household Food Waste in the Global South. In Levkoe, C., Brady, J., and Anderson, C (Eds.). Conversations in Food Studies. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press. pp. 243-266.

Soma, T. (2016). Tale of the crying rice: The role of unpaid foodwork in preventing household food waste in urban Indonesia. In Sumner, J (Ed.). Learning, Food and Sustainability. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 19-34.

Soma, T. (2015). Whose ‘everyday mundane’? The influence of class and privilege in the creation of food waste. In Escajedo San Epifanio, L., and De Renobales Scheifler (Ed). Envisioning a future without food waste and food poverty: Societal Challenges. The Hague: Wageningen Academic Publishers. pp. 233-238.

Soma, T. (2016). Environmental (Soul) print: An Islamic Perspective, Special Issue on Faith, Hope and Charities, Alternatives Journal. 

Soma, T. (July/August 2016). Why Planners Should Care About Food Waste. Ontario Planning Journal, 31(4): 15-16.

Soma, T. (2015). World Trade Organization [Encyclopedia Entry]. in Albala, K (ed). The SAGE Encyclopedia of Food Issues. Sage Publications.  

Soma, T., Bidordinova, A., & Naresh, V. (2013). A map of Toronto’s Eco-School: From food waste to food gardens. In Food: An Atlas. Guerilla Cartographers: University of California Berkeley. (Reviewed by editor)


This instructor is currently not teaching any courses.