Dr. Bernard Pelletier, Research Associate

B.Sc. Ecology (1987), Université de Sherbrooke; M.Sc. Forest Ecology (1993), McGill University; Ph.D. Agro-ecology (2000), McGill University

Bernard Pelletier is a Research Associate at the Department of Natural Resource Sciences of McGill University. He is the McGill Project Manager of the Canadian International Food Security Research Fund (CIFSRF) Project titled Enhancing Ecologically Resilient Food Security through Innovative Farming Systems in the Semi-Arid Midlands of Kenya. This 3.5 year $4.3M partnership project is managed in collaboration with the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute and is funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the International Development Research Centre.

Dr. Pelletier is currently involved in a rural development project in Haïti with the Centre for International Studies and Cooperation (CECI) where he participates in the capacity building of local authorities to collect, manage and analyze data from smallholder farming systems. Since 2008, he also serves on the Board of Directors of Farm Radio International, a Canadian non-governmental organization supporting radio broadcasters in Africa to strengthen small-scale farming and rural communities.

Dr. Pelletier has previously worked in rural community development projects in Ghana and conducted field research in Malawi for his doctoral dissertation on the effect of smallholder farming practices on soil quality and maize yield, combining participatory research and ecological statistics. His postdoctoral research at McGill then focused on the development of statistical methods to perform multi-scale analysis of spatial ecological and agro-ecological data. For nearly ten years, Dr. Pelletier has taught a number of undergraduate courses for the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the School of Environment at McGill (e.g., Environmental Research Design, Statistical Methods, The Forest Ecosystem).


Project Websites:

Enhancing Ecologically Resilient Food Security through Innovative Farming Systems in the Semi-Arid Midlands of Kenya

The project engages a multi-disciplinary team of researchers with farmers and other stakeholders in the semi-arid counties of Makueni, Machakos and Tharaka-Nithi in the Eastern Province of Kenya in a participatory process of evaluating agricultural and livestock practices. The purpose is to facilitate adoption and scaling up of best practices for enhancing the resilience of farming systems. The project contributes to the development goal of enhanced food and nutrition security through (i) a better understanding of food systems and drivers of food insecurity;(ii) an increased adoption and scaling up of appropriate agricultural practices; (iii) an increased household consumption of high-value traditional crops; (iv) enhanced participation of smallholder farmers into local and external input and output markets; (v) a better informed policy development process that can contribute to the formulation of effective sustainable food security policies and provide an enabling environment for agricultural innovation.

Funded by: International Development Research Center (IDRC) and Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) (2011-14).

Project publications:

Pelletier, B., Hickey, G.M., Bothi, K. and Mude, A. (2016). Linking rural livelihood resilience and food security: An international challenge. Food Security 8(3): 469-476.

Brownhill, L., Njuguna, E., Bothi, K., Pelletier, B., Muhammad, L.W. and Hickey G.M. (Eds). 2016). Food Security, Gender and Resilience: Improving Smallholder and Subsistence Farming. London, UK: Earthscan.

Hickey, G.M., Pelletier, B., Brownhill, L., Kamau, G.M. and Maina, I.N. (2012). Challenges and opportunities for enhancing food security in Kenya. Food Security 4(3): 333-340.