Smaal, Sara

Smaal, Sara

Research Fellow

Social Sciences Unit at Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research, ILVO, Merelbeke, Belgium 

Research Interest

-       Bottom-up initiatives, community empowerment and place-based governance

-       Local food systems, urban-rural relations and food sovereignty

-       Participatory methods, interdisciplinary research and science communication 


I have obtained an academic background in Human Geography and Planning at Utrecht University (BSc) and the University of Groningen (MSc) in the Netherlands. During my student years, I have always enjoyed discovering the borders of my field by engaging in interdisciplinary education and research. I for example took part in the university-wide Honours Programme ‘Descartes College’ at Utrecht University and attended a summer school of the University of Pisa on food and innovation in rural transition in Tuscany. I am very excited to start with my ESR research project ‘Promoting environmental justice: Enhancing the resilience of local food systems through resourceful engagement of communities’ at the Flanders Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (ILVO) in Belgium and to learn from and exchange knowledge with the researchers and practioners of RECOMS.


Contact information

Burg. Van Gansberghelaan 115 bus 2, 9820 Merelbeke