Irena is the coordinator of the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems and Nourishing Communities, as well as a regional research lead. In 2011 Irena relocated to Halifax, NS, to become a 10th-storey balcony gardener and postdoctoral researcher at FoodARC, Mount Saint Vincent University. Her interest in food began in the late 1990s while working on Pelee Island, ON, and learning about connections between food production and biodiversity. Irena’s current research involves local food networks, community food security, informal economy, and food policy. Her published work has also looked at international agricultural policies, food labels, hunting and the food system, public relations firms and agri-business, and more generally economic globalization. She also teaches nutrition courses at Mount Saint Vincent, and food security at Ryerson, and has previously taught at York and Wilfrid Laurier universities, as well as St Lawrence College in Ontario. Irena has graduate degrees in Communication and Social Justice (Windsor) and Communication and Culture (York/Ryerson) and is one of the founding members of the Canadian Association of Food Studies.