Katerina Psarikidou
Lecturer in Sustainable Development
T: +44 (0)1273 876933


Katerina is interested in the politics of sustainable development, particularly in relation to the politics of science, research and innovation. Her research revolves around the study of the sustainability and innovation potential of alternative agro-food networks and low-carbon mobility systems, also by situating them in the wider political economic landscape of power and inequalities. She has been researcher and investigator for a series of EC, EPSRC, HEFCE funded interdisciplinary and cooperative research programmes, most of which have been developed in collaboration with non-academic stakeholders from the their sector. Katerina is committed to contributing to more inclusive research processes for sustainability innovation, based on the participation of a wider spectrum of small-scale, usually marginalised stakeholders. She is also interested in the practice of 'kowledge exchange' as well as better understanding and challenging the ways it is done.

Katerina's has had principal investigator, co-investigator and senior research roles for various projects funded by EC and UK research councils. These include: 

1. HEFCE-funded ‘Exploring the potential of Local Food Hubs in Deprived Areas: Enhancing Knowledge Exchange for Developing Best Practice Guidelines’

This project is exploring the potential of a local food hub model that is based on online platform that reconnects local small-scale producers and consumers to address issues of food poverty and food insecurity in deprived areas in three UK cities. As part of her principal investigator role for this project, Katerina is interested in understanding the potential of food relocalisation initiatives to go beyond a middle class niche level, and understand the role of digital technologies in delivering such changes. She is interested in understanding the role of local food initiatives in addressing inequalities and exclusions in cities.

This project is in collaboration with the University of Sheffield and the University of Newcastle.

2. HEFCE-funded ‘Empowering Community Food Innovations: Developing experimental knowledge-exchange spaces for AgriFood Resilience in Todmorden’.

This projects aims to conceptualize and better understand how ‘community food innovations’ emerge, survive and thrive, by looking into the Incredible Edible movement in the city of Todmorden. This project is also built around the recent local community campaign to ‘Save the College’ (SOCIT) from turning it into a supermarket. Working closely with local stakeholders, we aim to facilitate and research processes of knowledge exchange between researchers and the local community in order to explore opportunities for research and teaching collaboration that would help turning this college into ‘Incredible Edible Learning Centre for sustainability’.

Katerina was a P-I in this project, which was also in collaboration with Lancaster University and University of Durham.

3. Katerina has also also involved in another research project which links her food research with her mobility research interests. The project was called ‘Food to people, People to Food’, it was funded by HEFCE and led by the University of Newcastle.

4. EPSRC Liveable Cities Programme - Alongside Professor John Urry on the EPSRC 6,5M Liveable Cities Programme, looking into mobility innovation for low-carbon cities. In this project she has been interested in linking Mobilities Research with Practice Theory in understanding what makes us move the way we move but also what can make us move differently. She has ben interested in understanding Mobilities beyond transport and exploring the complex spatio-temporal entanglements that can shape but also change mobility practices towards a more low-carbon direction. Through this research, she has also developed an interest in cycling as an innovative mobility practive, as well as cycling inequalities. 

5. EC FP7 FAAN Project ('Facilitating Alternative Agro-Food Networks: Stakeholders Perspectives on Research Needs') - Working for the CSO GeneWatch UK, Katerina has conducted research, exploring the facilitating and hindering factors for the sustainability of alternative, both rural and urban, agro-food initiatives in the North West of England.

6. PhD research project ' Re-imagining Sustainable Agro-Food Futures: Alternative Bio-economies in a Knowledge Society Era' - Katerina's research for the FAAN project also provided data for her PhD project, where she was examining the political, knowledge and moral economic aspects of rural and urban alternative agro-food networks in England and claiming for their potential to contribute to alternative innovation strategies, research and policy agendas for agriculture and food. 

7. EC FP6 funded PAGANINI project (Participatory Governance and Institutional Innovation) - Katerina has been looking into conflicts over issues of biodiversity conservation for the protection of the endangered species of the sea turtle of Caretta Caretta in Greece. This research illustrates her research interests in the areas of environmental sociology, environmental politics and biodiversity and nature conservation. It has also provided inspiration for her Bioethics MA work, looking into reasons that biodiversity conservation should be subject of bioethical concern.