Isabel Fletcher Headshot

Senior Research Fellow in Food Policy and Systems Thinking

Roles and Responsibilities

I lead the Policy Unit of the Wellcome-funded Living Good Food Nation Lab project (PI Prof Mary Brennan, UoE Business School).

I am also a co-investigator on the UKRI- funded TRAnsforming the DEbate about livestock systems transformation (TRADE) project (PI Professor Dominic Moran, UoE Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Systems).

I co-convene the Food Researchers in Edinburgh (FRIED) research network and organise its online seminar series.

I guest lecture on topics around food policy and interdisciplinary research for a range of undergraduate and post-graduate courses, including the SPS undergraduate course The Social Life of Food. 


I am a qualitative social scientist whose research is based in science technology and innovation studies, but also incorporates approaches from sociology, food policy and inter- and transdisciplinary research. I have two main research interests: 1) interactions between food system actors (policymakers and industry) and nutrition research and the effects of these interactions on everyday eating and 2) and the ways in which interdisciplinary research is used to address complex social problems, such as unhealthy diets, or the negative environmental impact of food production. These two interests overlap as food research is a new and rapidly developing interdisciplinary topic in the social sciences. I have worked in a variety of interdisciplinary contexts on subjects such as public health models of obesity, food security policy, commercial actors’ responses to public health regulation, the shopping practices of rural consumers in the UK and agri-food systems transformation. 

Research Interests

Food and nutrition policy, especially in high-income countries

Sociological understandings of food consumption and purchasing

Agri-food system transformation, especially in high-income countries

The use of inter- and transdisciplinary research to address complex social problems

Research Area