Dana is a PhD Candidate in the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability and the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm (CSFS). Broadly, her research interests center on pathways to agroecology, food sovereignty/justice, and climate justice. Her doctoral research, supervised by Dr. Hannah Wittman, investigates the distribution of agroecological practice use in Brazil; the barriers and enabling factors that affect farmers' uptake of agroecology; and the relationship between agroecology and wellbeing.

Dana graduated from Penn State University’s Schreyer Honors College in 2013 with dual degrees in Environmental Resource Management and Community, Environment, and Development, and dual minors in International Agriculture and Watersheds and Water Resources. She was granted a 2013 US-UK Fulbright award to attend Newcastle University, where she completed her MPhil in Geography. Her prior experience includes consulting for the US government’s Feed the Future initiative to improve knowledge-sharing amongst agricultural development practitioners; working as a Research Associate on a USAID-funded project assessing Cambodia’s agricultural training and education system; and conducting research on the effects of climate and land use change on a keystone tree species in Spain under a National Science Foundation grant.

Dana's academic and public scholarship at UBC are supported by a Vanier CGS Award; UBC's Public Scholar Initiative, Four Year Doctoral Fellowship, and International Tuition Award; the Liu Institute for Global Issues; Mitacs; P.E.O. International; and SSHRC.

Email: dana.james [at]

Recent works:

Sampson, D., Cely-Santos, M., Gemmill-Herren, B., Babin, N., Bernhart, A., Bezner Kerr, R., Blesh, J., Bowness, E., Feldman, M., Gonçalves, A. L., James, D., Kerssen, T., Klassen, S., Wezel, A., & Wittman, H. (2021). Food Sovereignty and Rights-Based Approaches improve Food Security and Nutrition: A systematic review. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems. 10.3389/fsufs.2021.686492

James, D.* & Bowness, E.* (2021). Growing and Eating Sustainably: Agroecology in Action. Fernwood Publishing.

Ricciardi, V., Mehrabi, Z., Wittman, H., James, D., Ramankutty, N. (2021). Higher yields and more biodiversity on smaller farms. Nature Sustainability.

James, D.*, Bowness, E.*, Robin, T.*, McIntyre, A., Dring, C., Desmarais, A. A. & Wittman, H. (2021). Dismantling and Rebuilding the Food System after COVID-19: Ten Principles for Redistribution and Regeneration. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 10(2), 1–23.

James, D. & Mack, T. (2020). Toward an Ethics of Decolonizing Allyship in Climate Organizing: Reflections on Extinction Rebellion Vancouver. Journal of Human Rights and the Environment, 11, 32–53.

Bowness, E.*, James, D.*, Desmarais, A. A., McIntyre, A., Robin, T., Dring, C. & Wittman, H. (2020). Risk and responsibility in the corporate food regime: research pathways beyond the COVID-19 crisis. Studies in Political Economy, 101(3), 245–263.

Wittman, H., James, D. & Mehrabi, Z. (2020). Advancing food sovereignty through farmer-driven digital agroecology. International Journal of Agriculture and Natural Resources, 47(3), 235–248.