Meet the Team

Our Staff

Jessica Latus - headshot

Jessica Latus



BC Food Web - Manager

Jessica joined the BC Food Web in December 2019 as the Program Manager. In her role, Jessica oversees the strategic direction of the BC Food Web. This includes the creation of the research briefs on the BC Food Web, as well as the forthcoming educational videos and webinars focused on increasing environmental sustainability of BC agriculture.


Jessica is originally from the United States having grown up in Indiana, and she had quite a few layovers in other parts of the globe before landing in Vancouver, B.C. She holds a master's degree in urban ecology from the University of Helsinki (Finland) and a bachelor's degree in biology from Arizona State University. Her master’s thesis work focused on studying bees in the community gardens of Helsinki, and more broadly Jessica’s graduate work focused on the benefits of green infrastructure.

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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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Photo of Julia

Julia Taylor

BC Food Web - Science Communication Assistant

A fourth-year UBC student in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems in the Global Resource Systems program, Julia specializes in terrestrial and marine environments with a minor in Sustainable Food Systems. She has a great passion for science education and communication, working in the intersections of human and non-human systems. Julia is excited to continue this work in her role with BC Food Web, making research in food systems more accessible to producers, policy makers, and the public.


Outside of academics and work, Julia enjoys spending time in forests, rocky beaches, and vegan cafes. Julia is originally from Portland, Oregon where she lived on the traditional territories of the Chinook, Cowlitz, Kalapuya, and Atfalati peoples, and now lives in Vancouver on xʷməθkʷəy̓əm territory.

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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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