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Tammara Soma

  • Scholar 2014
  • Alumni
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Research Director
Food Systems Lab
Assistant Professor
Simon Fraser University

    "When I was first notified that I had been awarded the Pierre Elliott Trudeau scholarship, I could not have imagined the numerous doors of opportunities that would be open to me. As a scholar from the Global South, the scholarship from the Foundation was integral to the successful completion of my dissertation and the amount of interest my research has garnered both in the academic community and on mainstream media. My 2014 cohort has also developed a long-lasting personal and professional bond which I envision will last throughout our lives. The Foundation community does not only consist of bright academics and leaders, I have observed time and time again the compassion and commitment by members of our community to social justice and equity. I hope to continue my involvement with the Foundation and inspire other scholars (especially those coming from the Global South) to be part of this community."

    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 (  She is an Assistant Professor at the School of Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University where she conducts community engaged research on issues pertaining to food system planning, food loss and waste, 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 Studies, Journal of Planning Education and Research,  Recycling Conservation and Resources, Local Environment, Built Environment, Indonesia, Journal of Agriculture, Food System and Community Development and more. She is a co-editor with C. Reynolds, J. Lazell, and C. Spring of the Routledge Handbook of Food Waste. Beyond academic publications, she has also written for Al Jazeera, 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 selection as a committee member of the US National Academies of Sciences “A Systems Approach to Reducing Consumer Food Waste.” She is a registered professional planner with the Canadian Institute of Planners and the Planning Institute of British Columbia.