Researcher

Dr Alec Thornton

My Expertise

Food security; rural agriculture; urban agriculture; small scale farming; poverty; community-based development; sustainable development; Sub-Saharan Africa; South Pacific

Field of Research (FoR)

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Biography

Dr Alec Thornton is a Senior Lecturer in Geography in the School of Science at UNSW Canberra.

He is Academic Co-Lead for Africa, with the Institute for Global Development (IGD) at UNSW Sydney: http://www.international.unsw.edu.au/institute_global_development.

Alec is a Senior Research Fellow at the School of Humanities and the School of Tourism at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa.

For Future Research Students: Ph.D. scholarships...view more

Dr Alec Thornton is a Senior Lecturer in Geography in the School of Science at UNSW Canberra.

He is Academic Co-Lead for Africa, with the Institute for Global Development (IGD) at UNSW Sydney: http://www.international.unsw.edu.au/institute_global_development.

Alec is a Senior Research Fellow at the School of Humanities and the School of Tourism at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa.

For Future Research Students: Ph.D. scholarships ($35,000 per year) are available for high achieving students (with H1 /High Distinction in UG and/or Masters by Research) Human Geography, Development Studies or Rural Sociology under my supervision. If you are interested contact me at a.thornton@unsw.edu.au 

Alec's research interests take a critical theory approach to issues in sustainable urban and rural development. He has a PhD in Development Studies (2007) from the University of Sussex, UK. He is currently involved in several research projects concerning sustainable urban and rural development. Specifically, these projects include exploring the role of ‘good urban governance’ (city-community partnerships) as the key for urban agriculture to gain credibility among policymakers, and make a positive impact on social cohesion and urban food policy. In rural development, my focus is capacity building for smallholders to strengthen the rural sector (food production and markets). In terms of international relevance in the field of Development Studies, Dr Thornton's research in urban and rural agriculture closely align with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) four-dimensions of food security, and also multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

He frequently collaborates with geographers, sociologists and economists from South Africa, Sierra Leone, Zambia, United Kingdom and New Zealand. He is Research Associate at the School of Tourism at the University of Johannesburg (South Africa). He was Honorary Research Fellow at the School of Geography, Archaeology and Earth Sciences (GAES) at the University of Witwatersrand (South Africa). Alec was vice president (2010-2017) of The African Studies Association of Australasia and the Pacific (AFSAAP). Alec is co-editor of the Australasian Review of African Studies (ARAS), and editorial board member for Urban Forum (2009-present) and Applied Geography (2009-2015).

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Location

Room 312 PEMS North (Bldg 22) School of Science, UNSW Canberra, PO Box 7916, Canberra BC ACT 2610, AUSTRALIA


Contact

+61 2 6268 8309
+61 2 6268 8017

Videos

Feeding the Future (Part 1)
Does Australia have Food Security? (2017)
Feeding the Future (Part 2)
Feeding The Future - Part 1 Food Security
Does Australia have food security?
Feeding The Future - Part 2 Community Greengrocers
7 Billion - Food