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Dr. Jennifer Hodbod

Dr. Jennifer (Jenny) Hodbod is an assistant professor in the Department of Community Sustainability at Michigan State University.

Dr. Hodbod is an environmental social scientist specializing in resilient food systems. This involves understanding how to promote food systems that are environmentally and economically sustainable, can equitably feed a growing global population, and are able to adapt to shocks such as climate change, changing dietary preferences, and market price fluctuations.
Dr. Hodbod uses a social-ecological systems perspective to study how innovations in food systems affect their resilience. Her interdisciplinary research identifies trade-offs created between people and the environment, across multiple temporal and spatial scales. The overall aim of Dr. Hodbod’s research agenda is to help create transformations for food systems to more resilient and sustainable trajectories. Co-design and collaboration with communities is crucial to build such transformation, thus Dr. Hodbod works with communities and other key stakeholders to scale up resilience-building innovations. Dr. Hodbod has used this approach with respect to rangeland management in East Africa and the USA, urban agriculture in the USA, Denmark and the UK, and irrigated landscapes in Ethiopia.
Dr. Hodbod joined the Department of Community Sustainability in 2016 from Arizona State University, where she was a postdoctoral fellow in the Global Institute of Sustainability. She earned a PhD and MRes in Environmental Social Science from the University of East Anglia (UK).

Global research interests

  • Food systems
  • Social-ecological systems
  • Resilience assessment
  • Food-energy-water-ecosystem services (FEWES) nexus
  • Rangeland management
  • Urban agriculture

Geographic focus

  • East Africa, with an emphasis on Ethiopia and Kenya

You can contact Dr. Hodbod at

Jennifer Hodbod, headshot