Tammara Soma, PhD


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 International Planning StudiesLocal Environment, Built Environment, Indonesia, Journal of Agriculture, Food System and Community Development. She is a co-editor with C. Reynolds, J. Lazell, and C. Spring of the 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 BBC, Global News, 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.

Dr. Soma’s research projects are funded by the SSHRC New Frontiers, SSHRC Trans-Atlantic Platform, SSHRC Insight, and Weston Foundation Seeding Food Innovation Grant. She co-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. Soma’s extensive work on food waste resulted in her nomination and selection as a committee member of the US National Academies of Science “A Systems Approach to Reducing Consumer Food Waste.” She is candidate member of the Canadian Institute of Planners and the Planning Institute of British Columbia.