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Research Governance Model

Fresh raddishes just pulled from the ground

The Living Lab is governed by a management committee and a research advisory committee.

Management committee

The Living Lab management committee is responsible for ensuring Living Lab governance and research reporting procedures are followed and includes both Urban Farm staff and administrative and academic leaders.

Voula is the assistant vice president of University Business Services at Toronto Metropolitan University. Voula oversees business operations that support the campus community including the Urban Farm.

As the manager of the Urban Farm, Arlene oversees production, research and engagement at the Urban Farm, including fundraising and stakeholder engagement.

Fiona is the principal academic advisor for the Urban Farm Living Lab, director and associate professor in the School of Nutrition at Toronto Metropolitan University and executive member of the Centre for Studies in Food Security.

Research advisory committee

The Living Lab research advisory committee is an interdisciplinary group of experts who provide feedback on the direction of the work of the Living Lab, informed by their unique perspectives and expertise. The research advisory committee is instrumental in vetting research proposals with the support of the Urban Farm’s management committee.

Jordan is a botanist with experience in the agriculture, horticulture, and green roof industry. He studied Botany at the University of Guelph and went on to complete a Master of Molecular and Cellular Biology which provided him the skills to lead the R&D team at ZinCo Canada Inc.


Annemarie is a program manager in the City of Toronto's Environment and Energy Division. As part of the Live Green Toronto team, she works to deliver programs, grants, incentives, and resources to engage the community in taking climate action that helps make our city more resilient and biodiverse. 

James is a co-coordinator at Toronto Urban Growers, certificate instructor in the Chang School at Toronto Metropolitan University teaching Dimensions of Urban Agriculture and an associate researcher in the Centre for Studies in Food Security.

Orlando is a community food growing senior manager with Food Share. Orlando’s initiative and leadership is demonstrated through the incredible management of composting facilities, and through his coordination of on-site volunteers, which has quadrupled since he started his role.

Stephanie is the manager of the Sustainability Office at Toronto Metropolitan University. Stephanie provides leadership to the Sustainability Office team and seeks to advance and integrate sustainability across all areas of the university.

Jessey founded Zawadi Farms after leaving his corporate job to farm his backyard. Zawadi Farms has expanded to more backyards in the Metro Toronto Area – cultivating a third of an acre with a focus on soil health, as well as no-till and organic farming methods.

Claire is an associate professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies and interim academic director of the Urban Water Research Centre. Dr. Oswald’s research focus is on watershed hydrology and watershed biogeochemistry.

Julia is a research proposal facilitator in the Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation at Toronto Metropolitan University. Outside her work, Julia works with The People's Pantry – a grassroots mutual aid organization delivering free meals and groceries to people most affected by COVID-19 in the GTHA.

As the Executive Director of City Building TMU, Cherise advances sustainable urban solutions with research collaborations and knowledge mobilization. Specializing in relevant policy research and strategic communications to drive impact, Cherise has authored over 40 policy reports, book chapters and academic publications.


Claire Perttula is a PhD student in geography at York University studying food systems planning and youth involvement in agriculture. She is also the Food Justice Projects Coordinator at Malvern Family Resource Centre.