Meet the Team

Our Staff

Robert Newell - headshot

Robert Newell



BC Food Web - Advisory Committee Chair


Rob Newell is the Chair of the Advisory Committee of the BC Food Web, where he leads Committee meetings and provides guidance on the direction and activities of the BCFW initiative. Newell is also a Canada Research Chair (tier 2) in Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainability at Royal Roads University, and a Research Associate at the Food and Agriculture Institute at the University of the Fraser Valley. Newell's research focuses on integrated planning and policy, stakeholder engagement and sustainable community development, and his work includes studies on challenges and opportunities around different approaches and strategies for transitioning to sustainable and resilient food systems.

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Melanie Kuxdorf - headshot

Melanie Kuxdorf



Communications and Marketing Manager

Melanie oversees the branding and communications strategy of the BC Food Web. Melanie is a strategic communicator experienced in multi-platform communications and knowledge mobilization. She has been working in communications for over 10 years, previously working in journalism and the arts including at CBC Radio. She holds a Master’s in Journalism and a BFA in dance. She is passionate about food and environmental sustainability, and in making complex information accessible, usable and compelling.

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Headshot of Juliana Cao

Juliana Cao

BC Food Web Coordinator

Juliana is the BC Food Web Coordinator, responsible for planning and executing activities, coordinating the transfer of research ideas from farmers to researchers, convening the Advisory Committee, and managing social media. She is a recent UBC grad with a BSc in Natural Resources Conservation, during which time she was a long-time volunteer with UBC Sprouts, a member of UBC Common Energy's Emerging Green Builders team, and the Zero Waste Squad. She is passionate about the intersections between food, culture, and sustainability.

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Lisa Powell Photo

Lisa Powell



Founder of BC Food Web

Dr. Lisa Powell led the initial development and funding applications for BC Food Web, while she was a postdoctoral fellow at UBC’s Centre for Sustainable Food Systems and a research associate at UFV’s Food & Agriculture Institute.  Lisa now holds a faculty position at an institution in the U.S., but remains an affiliate of both CSFS and FAI.   In addition to being passionate about knowledge mobilization and university-community partnerships, Lisa conducts research on regional food systems, agricultural land use, adoption of innovative crops and new agrifood technologies, and food literacy education.  Lisa completed a Ph.D. and M.A. in American Studies and Sustainability from the University of Texas at Austin, M.S. in mathematics from Vanderbilt University, and B.A. in mathematics from Harvard University. 

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