Touseef Yousuf Mir is an ethnographic researcher, teacher, and public engagement & advocacy professional. He currently serves as faculty at the Centre for Development Studies, Department of Social and Policy Sciences (SPS), University of Bath, United Kingdom. His work takes a principally multidisciplinary approach sitting at the intersection of conflict studies, comparative politics, and everyday state and society. Using the ethnographic (qualitative) methodology, his work upends the gaze to the popular experience side of the state-society debate within conflict studies. His work particularly looks at the protracted conflict situation of Kashmir.
A doctoral student in urban and regional planning, Kahad Adamu is interested in the political ecology of gold mining in Sub-Saharan Africa and managing natural resources (land and water), land management and administration, and affordable housing.
At the Food Lab, Kahad works on a variety of analytical projects. He is currently investigating the racial disparities in the spatial distribution of retail food destinations in Erie County. He is also involved in the Healthy Corner Store Initiative (HCSI) project.
Before joining UB, Kahad earned an MSc in Urban Development Planning from University College London (UCL) and a BSc (Hons) in Land Economy from KNUST in Ghana. Kahad previously worked as an adjunct lecturer at Kumasi Technical University in Kumasi, Ghana, where he taught courses such as Land Use Planning and Administration and Property Rating and Taxation. He also worked with the Land Resources and Management Center (LRMC) on projects that examined urban governance and informal settlement in Ghana’s capital city.
Insha Akram is interested in understanding the experiences of women smallholder farmers living in the conflict setting of Kashmir valley in the Himalayan region within their communities’ food systems and creating equitable spaces for women. Her research interests include gender discrimination, women’s equity within traditional markets, and food sovereignty in occupied regions. In the Lab, Insha’s work focuses on smallholder farmers growing indigenous collard greens in Srinagar city of Jammu and Kashmir and coordinates all of the lab’s team.
Insha is currently pursuing a Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning with a specialization in Community Health and Food Systems. Before pursuing graduate studies at the University at Buffalo, Insha trained in biological sciences and business management. She has worked in the IT industry and food retail industries. During her work in the retail industry, her perspectives changed while working with differently-abled/disabled employees, reinforcing her focus on creating equitable systems. Outside the lab, she enjoys reading novels, horse riding, and eating sweets. She is a nature lover.
A graduate of UB’s Master’s of Public Health graduate of the University of Buffalo, Alfred Gary is interested in the role of social determinants on health equity, including the impact of the built and food environment on health outcomes. A native of Buffalo’s east side neighborhood, Alfred’s work in the Food Lab is focused on how the intersection of abolition and food sovereignty (through urban agriculture) can promote sustainable and equitable community food networks. In his free time, Alfred enjoys bowling, reading, and exercising.
Lorna M Georges is fascinated by the effect of design on how people interact in the built environment. She grew up in Haiti, where formal architecture, though well known, is not the primary driver of how the built environment or housing is designed. Lorna is currently an undergraduate student in environmental design (with a minor in architecture). She aims to pursue a graduate degree in architecture. With the Food Lab team, she shares a passion for using the food system as a lever for improving living conditions in communities. When not at school, she enjoys reading, cooking, writing, and painting.
Carol E. Ramos Gerena is interested in agroecology, land use planning, critical food policy literacy, and food sovereignty. She has worked in governmental and non-governmental organizations that support community development projects in Puerto Rico (PR). For about a decade, she has promoted agroecological farming and collaborated on the environmental restoration of abandoned buildings and lands near public housing and public school sites in PR. At the UB Food Lab, Carol coordinates a bi-city action-research initiative to promote urban agriculture policy designed by and for people of color in the cities of Buffalo and Minneapolis.
Carol is currently pursuing a doctorate in urban and regional planning at the University at Buffalo. She is an Arthur A. Schomburg Fellow and a Health Policy Research Scholar (HPRS) supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). Prior to joining UB, Carol completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology at the University of Puerto Rico in Mayagüez Campus and a Master’s degree in Environmental Planning at the University of Puerto Rico in Río Piedras. Her Master’s thesis focused on sustainable planning of agroecological initiatives in K-12 public schools in Puerto Rico.
In her spare time, Carol enjoys playing with her pets, talking with her family, painting, biking, reading, urban farming, watching movies, and hearing/playing Afrolatinoamerican music.
Shireen Guru is interested in studying modern American history with a particular focus on post-World War II women’s history. She concentrates on domesticity and the private sphere in relation to resistance. Her current research with the Food Lab centers the stories of Black women in Buffalo and their lasting impact on the food system in East Buffalo as well as the impact of their childhood kitchen tables on their activism.
She is also interested in the historical implications of the research in the Food Lab, including but not limited to food equity, accessibility, and the gendered nature of food-related practices. Outside of academics, she can be found reading, baking, or in the nearest theatre stage managing. She graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 2021 with her Bachelor’s degree in History.
Dr. Cameron Herman is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and an affiliate faculty member in Africana Studies at Buffalo State College. His teaching and research broadly focuses on understanding the ways marginalized groups experience and navigate social inequalities in urban environments. Cameron has published solo and collaborative journal articles, chapters in edited volumes and online publications on a range of topics including Black artists’ response to gentrification, housing activism and neoliberal governance, Black masculinity in hip hop. In the wake of COVID-19’s onset, Cameron’s research agenda has expanded through collaborations with community partners and equity-minded scholars in the UB Food Systems and Healthy Communities lab to support community-based responses to inequitable food systems in Buffalo, NY. In his free time, Cameron enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter, exploring neighborhoods on his bicycle and photographing everyday life.