Colleen Eidt, Ph.D. Candidate

B.Sc.H. Biological Science, Minor Political Science (2008) - University of Guelph


Interests: Food security; sustainability of food systems; development of food and agricultural policies within institutional arrangements of government; and understanding the relationships between social, economic, environmental, and political factors as they relate to food systems

Research Summary:

Inhibitors to the implementation of effective and sustainable food security policies in Kenya

Despite gains in agricultural yields, access to food remains a serious challenge in many parts of the world. Rising food prices, the collapse of many economies, and the context of global climate change have returned food security to the forefront of policy debates. It is now recognized that improving food security requires a more integrated understanding of food systems and that key under-explored areas of these systems are likely to be crucial in developing effective policy changes. In Kenya, institutional changes have begun in order to facilitate knowledge integration within the agricultural sector. Therefore, Kenya provides a unique opportunity to better understand the challenging process of integrating knowledge to develop solutions to food security. In Kenya, as in many developing countries, the issue of low adoption rates of new and potentially beneficial agricultural technologies continues to contribute to food insecurity, in spite of years of research on the issue. My research therefore aims to identify and better understand barriers to integrating knowledge with regards to agricultural technologies and their adoption, and ultimately to contribute to improved agricultural policies. Preliminary findings suggest that we may need to critically examine some existing and widely accepted methodologies, and also examine influential societal and contextual factors, if knowledge integration is to truly improve between two important actors, farmers and those involved in the development of agricultural technologies.


Awards and Scholarships:

Graduate Research Assistantship (2011-2014), International Development Research Centre, Canadian International Food Security Research Fund (CIFSRF) (Hickey).

Graduate Excellence Fellowship (2011), McGill University.

Graduate Travel Award (2011), McGill University.

Graduate Research Assistantship (2010-2011), Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada International Opportunities Fund (Hickey).

Principal’s Graduate Fellowship (2010), McGill University

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, McGill Internal Award (2009-10).

Principal's Graduate Fellowship (2009) McGill University.

Provost's Graduate Fellowship (2009), McGill University.


Demonstrator Positions and Teaching Assistantships:

WOOD 441 – Integrated Forest Management (2010)

AEBI 120 – General Biology (2010, 2011)

ENVB 305 – Population and Community Ecology (2011)



Journal articles

Eidt, C.M., Hickey, G.M. and Curtis, M.A. (2012). Knowledge integration and the adoption of new agricultural technologies: Kenyan perspectives. Food Security 4(3): 355-367.

Conference papers and posters

Eidt, C.M. and Hickey, G.M. (2011). Knowledge integration and the adoption of new agricultural technologies: Kenyan perspectives. Poster presented at the McGill Conference on Global Food Security: “Risks & Threats to Food Security”. Montreal, Canada. 4-6 October 2011.