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.


In her free time, Jessica also volunteers on the Board of Directors of FarmFolk CityFolk and is the current board chair.

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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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Mairead Norton - headshot

Mairead Norton

BC Food Web - Work Learn

Mairead is a fourth year student at UBC embarking on a double major in Biology and English Literature. Originally from Boston, Massachusetts, Mairead moved to Vancouver in 2016 to begin her studies. Mairead has always been interested in the cross-section between communication and science. As a Work Learn Student for BC Food Web, Mairead is able to combine her skills in both writing and research in order to help disseminate the loads of amazing work being done within land and food systems studies. Mairead looks forward to continuing her career with a focus on the conservation of the world’s beautiful biodiversity. When she’s not studying or working you can find Mairead hiking, surfing, or climbing in BC!

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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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