Social Sciences Unit, Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research, ILVO, Merelbeke, Belgium
My research focusses on open space, rural areas and agriculture. I am inspired by the question how to preserve open space in an urbanising world. Interrelated to this, I investigate the role of agriculture and its transition process towards sustainability. More specific research topics are quantification and understanding of spatial transformations in the rural area, spatial planning of open space and agriculture, the relations between diverse rural actors, tools to support participative and region specific rural development processes, governance of the transition towards sustainable agriculture, urban agriculture, … Throughout my research, I combine qualitative research methods such as interviews, focus groups and multi actor processes with more quantitative GIS analyses.
Eva Kerselaers graduated as a bio-engineer at the University of Leuven in 2003. In 2012, she finished her PhD at Ghent University on a land value assessment tool to support spatial planning of agriculture in Flanders. With a basic training in agriculture, nature and forest development, she broadened her scope towards spatial planning in order to link this to issues of open space preservation. Furthermore, she followed several courses on qualitative research techniques such as interviews and focus groups, which are at the heart of her research approach, often combined with GIS data and maps.
As a senior researcher at ILVO, she performs and supervises research in various research projects, both European projects, nationally funded research projects and smaller projects funded by local governments. The combination of these projects allows to be closely involved in the different levels of governance, from European government to the daily practice of local governments, from policy makers to local communities and from the point of view of different policy areas.