Scholarship spotlight

Dr Jennifer Possingham, Dieu Phan and Graham Possingham at the 2022 Scholarship Celebration

Dr Jennifer Possingham, Dieu Phan and Graham Possingham at the 2022 Scholarship Celebration

Food sustains human life, yet the trends of increasing population, increasingly extreme climate, decreasing agricultural labour, and reduced agricultural land are placing huge strains on food security globally, especially in developing countries.

Inaugural recipient of the Possingham Supplementary Scholarship in Environmental Sustainability,Thi Xuan Dieu Phan (Dieu), will be focusing her PhD research on the importance of transforming sustainable food consumption.

“Now more than ever it is necessary to transform food systems toward sustainability, ensuring food security and healthy diets for future generations,” Dieu says.

“Sustainable food consumption has become a vital subject on the international agenda. However, relevant studies on this topic are conducted in developed countries and are still quite fragmented, and most focus only on single aspects of sustainable food consumption.

“While most of the empirical studies in the literature focus only on the acquisition phase, my research will cover the three phases of food consumption – acquisition, usage and disposal.

“Ho Chi Minh City - the biggest city in Vietnam - implemented a waste sorting program in 2017, but it has not achieved feasible results because of household habits. Organic waste (waste generated from food) and other non-organic waste are unsorted and mixed, therefore more than 70 percent of the waste in Vietnam is buried, leading to environmental pollution.”

While Dieu’s focus is on Ho Chi Minh City, her research will help contribute to the gap in literature on food consumption sustainability in developing countries.

“I am very proud to be the first student to receive the Possingham Supplementary Scholarship,” she said.

“This scholarship has great significance for my PhD and career journey. It encourages me to pursue my thesis on environmental sustainability and consolidate my research interests on sustainable agriculture and food systems sustainability topics.”

Tagged in Lumen winter 2023, lumen, sustainability, scholarship