Gund Graduate Fellow, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Carina Isbell is an MS student in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at UVM. Before starting her master’s degree, Carina earned her BS in Community & International Development from UVM and pursued undergraduate research on crop diversification in Vermont and the motivations underlying seed saving in the state. As an undergraduate, she also had the opportunity to work for The Huertas Program, which focuses on bolstering food security and the availability of culturally meaningful foods among migrant farmworkers in Northern Vermont by planting kitchen gardens. Now an MS candidate in the Department of Community Development and Applied Economics, she has continued to focus her research on topics related to the intersections between agrobiodiversity, planetary health, and cross-cultural values. In this vein, her thesis research explores the potential linkages between formal and informal seed systems with the intent of strengthening local resilience, access, and value for growers within the Northeast.  She is also currently involved in other national- and international-scale projects, including one which seeks to better understand how crop diversification affects nutritional outcomes among women and children in sub-Saharan Africa. As she continues in her career, she hopes to keep pursuing work that is not only transdisciplinary in nature but also transnational in scope and relevance.


Advisor: Daniel Tobin

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

Crop diversity, food policy, seed systems, rural development, climate change


  • BS, Community & International Development, University of Vermont