Patricia Williams, PhD
Professor, Department of Applied Human Nutrition, and
Director, Food Action Research Centre (FoodARC)
Senior Research Scholar, Healthy Populations Institute, Dalhousie University
Canada Research Chair in Food Security and Policy Chair (2007-2017)
FoodARC 47 College Rd. Mount Saint Vincent University,
166 Bedford Highway, Halifax, NS, B3M 2J6
Education and Training:
Dalhousie University – 2001-03
CIHR Postdoctoral Fellow in Health Promotion and Food Security
Atlantic Health Promotion Research Centre (AHPRC)
University of British Columbia – 2001
Ph.D. Interdisciplinary Studies
Mount Saint Vincent University – 1989
B.Sc.HEc. Foods and Nutrition
(with Co-Op and Dietetics Internship)
Prior to completing her PHD, Dr. Williams worked for six years as a dietitian in a variety of settings including the Janeway Child Health Center in St. John’s, NF and the Grace Maternity Hospital in Halifax, NS.
Current Teaching Areas:
My research currently focuses what we can learn through participatory research processes about social and policy change necessary to build food security. I have led several national studies on food security related policy change and the use of plain language knowledge translation tools in building capacity for policy change across Canada. I have also led over a decade of research in a unique model of participatory food costing in Nova Scotia which has resulted in a strong network of individuals/organizations committed to increasing food security on local, provincial and national levels. I am currently the Principal Investigator of a 5–year, 1 million dollar Social Sciences and Humanities Council funded Community University Research Alliance (CURA) project on Community Food Security (CFS), which aims to engage a broad range of stakeholders—including those most vulnerable to food insecurity— in a strategic research alliance to better understand the determinants of CFS while strengthening capacity for improved food security related policy at multiple levels. I am a founding member of the Nova Scotia Food Security Network and Nova Scotia Food Policy Council, and a Research Associate at the Atlantic Health Promotion Research Centre at Mount Saint Vincent University. I am the founding director of FoodARC – Food Action Research Centre at the Mount (formerly Participatory Action Research and Training Centre on Food Security), which was awarded the prestigious Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Partnership Award in 2011 for their work with the Nova Scotia Food Security Network.
Food Action Research Centre (FoodARC):
The Centre supports an interdisciplinary research program that enhances the capacity to address food insecurity in collaboration with students, faculty, community members, practitioners, and decision/policy-makers. Working together, collaborators come from various lived experiences, perspectives, disciplines, research centres, organizations, and sectors to bridge the Mount to communities, other Canadian universities, and governments. For more information about FoodARC and the Food Security Projects please visit www.foodarc.ca
Selected Published Referred Papers:
Carlsson L, and Williams PL . New Approaches to the Health Promoting School: Participation in Sustainable Food Systems. Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition. 2008;3(4): 400-417.
Green-LaPierre R, Williams PL, Glanville T, Norris D, Hunter H, Watt C. Learning from ‘Knocks in life’: Food insecurity among low-income lone senior women. Journal of Aging Research. 2012;Article ID 450630:11 pages.
Green R, Williams PL, Blum I and Johnson CSJ. Can Canadian seniors on public pensions afford a nutritious diet? Canadian Journal on Aging. 2008;27(1):69-79.
Langille, L, Romanow, P, Munro I, Lyons R, Bull A and Williams, PL. Building Collaborative Capacity for Research and Influencing Policy: The Rural Communities Impacting Policy (RCIP) Project. Journal of Rural and Community Development. 2008:3(3):23-55.
McIntyre L, Williams PL, Glanville NT. Milk as Metaphor: Low-income lone mothers’ characterization of their challenges acquiring milk for their families. Ecology of Food and Nutrition. 2007;46(3):263-279.
Noseworthy BL, Williams PL, Blum I, MacLeod M. The Availability and Relative Cost of Locally Produced Foods in Grocery Stores in Nova Scotia. Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition. 2011: 6(2): 188-206
Williams PL, Amero M, Anderson B, Gillis D, Green-LaPierre R, Johnson C, et al. A participatory food costing model in Nova Scotia. Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research. 2012;73(4):181-8.
Williams PL, Johnson CP, Kratzmann MLV, Johnson CSJ, Anderson BJ, Chenhall C. Can households earning minimum wage in Nova Scotia afford a nutritious diet? Canadian Journal of Public Health. 2006;97(6):430-4.
Williams PL, MacAulay R, Anderson B, Barro K, Gillis DE, Johnson C, et al. “I would have never thought that I would be in such a predicament”: Voices from women experiencing food insecurity in Nova Scotia, Canada. Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition. 2012(2-3):253-70.
Williams PL, McIntyre L, Glanville T. Milk Insecurity: Accounts of a Food Insecurity Phenomenon in Canada and Its Relation to Public Policy. Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition. 2010: 5(2): 142-157
Williams PL, Watt C, Amero M, Anderson B, Blum I, Green-LaPierre R, et al. Affordability of a nutritious diet for Income Assistance recipients in Nova Scotia (2002-2010). Canadian Journal of Public Health. 2012;103(3):183-8.
Hamelin AM, Williams PL, Lowitt K, Reimer D. The Implications of Access to Local Food Systems for Health. Synthesis Paper for the Food Security Knowledge Initiative: Building Effective Models for Community Mobilization Planning, Jan 29, 2010 (Principal Investigator)
Mount Saint Vincent University and Nova Scotia Food Security Network. Photovoice Report: Pictures that Represent Voices…Examining Impacts of Participatory Food Costing on Communities and Organizations. Halifax, NS; 2013. (Principal Investigator).
Rowsell R, Reimer D, Llewellyn J, Ramen S, and Williams PL of Sub Node Three, Atlantic Social Economy and Sustainability Research Network. Report: 2010 Forum on Community Food Security and the Social Economy. Final Report submitted toCanadian Social Economy Research Partnerships (CSERP)(Principal Investigator)
Williams PL, Anderson B, Hunter H, Watt C. Synthesis Report: The Nova Scotia Participatory Food Costing Projects (2001-2011): Evaluative Learning from Ten Years of Participatory Research. Halifax, NS;2013. (Principal Investigator).
Williams PL, Vogel E, Gillis D, Johnson C, Reimer D. Community Mobilization and Capacity Building for Policy and Social Change to Address Food Access Issues. Synthesis Paper for the Food Security Knowledge Initiative: Building Effective Models for Community Mobilization Planning, May 15, 2010 (Principal Investigator)
Williams PL, Gillis D, Johnson C, Reimer D, Vogel E. The Use of Deliberative Dialogue Processes in the Nova Scotia Community University Research Alliance: Activating Policy Change for Community Food Security. Synthesis Paper for the Food Security Knowledge Initiative: Building Effective Models for Community Mobilization Planning, Mar 28, 2010 (Principal Investigator)
Williams PL, Vogel E, Roberts S, Hamelin AM, Church J, Vanderplatt, Matheson L, Leblanc C, Taylor S, Yamkowy B, and Cody J, Building Capacity for Food Security through Policy Change: Exploring Food Security at the Federal Level Through a Systems Lens. Final Report submitted to Canadian Foundation for Dietetic Research; 2010 (Principal Investigator)
Anderson B, Cohen S, Williams PL. Ethics of participatory action research on food security related projects: Experiences and lessons learned. Dietitians of Canada Conference. 2012 Jun. 14-16;Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel, Toronto ON.
Carlsson L. Williams PL, Lordly D, Hayes-Conroy JS, Cultivating Food Security in Nova Scotia Public Schools: A Case Study of an Elementary School Garden Project. Canadian Association for Food Studies Fifth Annual General Meeting, May 27, 2010, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Ont. (Paper)
Johnson C, Gillis D, and MacAulay R. Issues, Ideas, and Insights for Knowledge Mobilization in Participatory Action Research ; Williams PL, Watt C, and Hunter H. Issues, Ideas, and Insights for Advocacy in Participatory Action Research;Reimer D, Williams PL, Langille L. Policy Change. Participatory Action Research.
Levkoe C, Williams PL, Baker L, Kneen C, Roberts, S. Regional Perspectives on The Canadian Food Movement. Canadian Association for Food Studies Fifth Annual General Meeting, May 27, 2010, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Ont. (Session)
McIsaac J, Read K, Williams PL, Veugelers P, Kirk S. How are Nova Scotia schools addressing food insecurity? (oral presentation). Canadian Public Health Association Annual Conference. Jun. 13, 2013. Ottawa, ON.
McLachlan S, Anderson C, Rojas A, Williams PL. An Exploration of Three Recently Awarded Community University Alliances (CURAs) that Address Community Food Insecurity and Social Justice across Canada. Canadian Association for Food Studies Fifth Annual General Meeting, May 27, 2010, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Ont. (Session)
Pabani N, Knezevic I, Lordly D, Williams PL. Photovoice: Shared Learning’s
through photos. Meal exchange. National Student Summit 2012: Cultivating Change on Campus. 2012 November 16-18; Toronto, ON.
Pabani NF, Williams PL, Catherine Morley C. Participatory Communication: Merging Stories and Video to Evaluate the NS Participatory Food Costing Project (oral presentation). Third International Critical Dietetics Conference.2013 August 15-17; Acadia University, Wolfville, NS.
Pourier, D, Yu V and Williams PL. Pilot Study of Participatory Food Costing Research Methods and Tools in Nova Scotia. Canadian Association for Food Studies Fifth Annual General Meeting, May 27, 2010, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Ont. (Paper)
Tarasuk V, McIntyre L, Williams PL. Addressing Food Insecurity through the Food Movement in Canada (workshop A2). Food Secure Canada’s 7th National Assembly 2012 Assembly -Powering Up! Food for the Future. NAIT. 2012 Nov. 1-4; Edmonton AB.
Williams PL, Knezevic I, Willison M. Thought about Food? 2.0: Tools for Understanding and Taking Action on Food Security. (workshop). Community University Expo 2013: Engaging Shared Worlds. 2013 Jun. 12-15;Corner Brook, NF.
Williams PL, Knezevic I. (2013). Research ethics in the context of participatory research. (oral presentation). Community University Expo 2013: Engaging Shared Worlds. 2013 Jun. 12-15; Corner Brook, NF.
Williams PL. Participatory Action Research and the Food Movement: Issues, Ideas and Insights. Canadian Association for Food Studies, Congress May 28-30, 2011. University of New Brunswick, Fredericton NB. (Session organizer): Williams PL, Anderson B, and Cohen S. Ethical Challenges and Opportunities;
Williams PL, Reimer D, Amero M, Anderson B, Gillis D, Green R. A Model for Sustainable Action on Food
Security: Participatory Food Costing in Nova Scotia, Canada. 20th IUHPE World Conference on Health
Promotion. July 11-15, 2010. Geneva, Switzerland. (Paper)
Williams PL, Power E, Koc, M, Bertrand L. Invited Session. Dietitians moving the food movement: Building
capacity for food security in Canada… beyond 2010. Dietitians of Canada Conference, May 28-29, 2010.
Montreal, Quebec. (Session)
Williams PL, LeBlanc K, Smith D, Langille L and Watt C. Food Security in Nova Scotia: An Opportunity for
Leadership, NS Legislative Assembly Standing Committee on Community Services, 1-3pm, June 7th, 2011.
Williams PL, Vogel E. Food Security Policy at the Federal Level: Why are we stuck and how can we move forward together? Presentation for CFDR Together Advancing Nutrition, Breakfast and Research Showcase. Toronto ON, May 5, 2011
Williams PL, Watt C. Kraft Dinner or Rutabaga: Is there really a choice? Presentation for Social Workers Month/Nutrition Month, QEII. March 31st, 2011.
Other Presentations and Workshops:
Reimer D, Williams PL, and Social Economy and Sustainability Research Network, Subnode 3 Steering Committee and 2010 Forum Planning Committee. Follow up Forum on Community Food Security and the Social Economy. March 24 and 25, 2010, Greenwich, NS.Williams PL, Smith J, Julian B. Release of Study
Results: Participatory Food Costing 2010, News Conference, Faculty Lounge, Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 10:00 – 11:30 AM, May 10, 2011.
Williams PL, Reimer D, Johnson C, Singh A, and Ramen S. CURA Community Food Security Activating Policy Change Community Workshop. Participatory Action Research and Training Centre on Food Security, Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 8:30-4:30. December 1, 2010.
Williams PL, Reimer D, Johnson C, Singh A, and Ramen S. CURA Community Food Security Activating Policy Change Team Gathering. Windhorse Farm, New Germany, Nova Scotia. August 17-19, 2010.