Roberta's research interests focus on the relationship between theory and practice of sustainable development, with particular reference to food. Her research on local food systems, rural development, public procurement and urban food planning has received media coverage in Italy, the UK, the USA, Finland and Denmark.
In recent years, Roberta has sat on the advisory panel for the Scottish National Food and Drink Strategy and the Welsh Government’s National Food Strategy. She is the Director of CPLAN's Research Centre for Urban and Regional Food Systems (SURF) and a member of the Soil Association’s Catering Mark Standards Committee, Sociologia Ruralis' Editorial Board and the International Urban Food Network's Strategic Advisory Board.
In 2013, Roberta was awarded a an Outstanding Impact Prize by the ESRC.
PhD in Anthropology (with honours), University of Kansas, (2003)
Laurea in Classics (with honours), Ethno-Anthropological Studies, University of Rome, (1994)
Reader, School of City and Regional Planning, Cardiff University (2012 - Present)
Senior Lecturer, School of City and Regional Planning, Cardiff University (2010 - 2012)
Lecturer, School of City and Regional Planning, Cardiff University (2006 - 2010)
Research Associate, School of City and Regional Planning, Cardiff University (2003 - 2006)
Lecturer, Department of French and Italian, University of Kansas (2001 - 2003)
Teaching Assistant, Department of Anthropology, University of Kansas (1997 - 1999)
Memberships / External Activities
Member of the International Urban Food Network's Strategic Advisory Board (2013-)
Member of the Cardiff Food Charter Steering Group (2012).
Member of the Soil Association's Catering Mark Standards Committee (2011-).
Member of the Editorial Board of Sociologia Ruralis (2011-).
Member of Zac Goldsmith's national taskforce to redesign the UK national policy on public food procurement (2009-2010).
Member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the Encyclopaedia of Environmental Management (Taylor and Francis, USA) (2009-).
Scottish Government. Member of the working group invited to advise the Scottish Cabinet on the development of the first National Food and Drink Policy (2008-2009).
City of Rome. Advisor to the Department for School and Educational Policies, (2006 - 2008).
University of Reggio Calabria, Italy. Associate faculty member, supervision of students participating in a PhD programme on "Science, technology and Society", (2005 - Present).
Media. I have acted as a commentator to both print and broadcast media organisations in Italy, Denmark and the UK, including BBC, ITV Wales, Western Mail, London Times, RAI (Italian National Television and Radio), Il Messaggero, Il Giornale, l'Unitá, il Corriere della Sera, la Repubblica, Sole 24 Ore. My research has received media coverage also in Finland and the USA.
Roberta is currently responsible for the MSc-level module Local Food and Sustainable Development. In the past years she has also been responsible for the MSc-level module Environmental Policy and has contributed to the teaching of the 'Live' Project, Theories and Principles of Sustainable Development and Climate Change. At the BSc level, she has taught Environmental Policies and Planning.
2012-2013: Assessing Sustainability in the Context of Food Security (European Commission, Joint Research Centre)
2010-2014: Urban, Peri-urban and Regional Food Dynamics: Towards an Integrated and Territorial Approach to Food (PUREFOOD) (European Commission)
2010-2012: Forecast for the Future: Scaling Up the Community Food Sector (Plunkett Foundation)
2009-2010: Developing a National Food and Drink Strategy for Wales (Welsh Assembly Government)
2009: A Food and Regeneration Strategy for Newport (Welsh Assembly Government, Newport City Council and Newport Unlimited)
2007-2009: Enhancing the Theoretical Understanding of Rural Development (European Commission)
2007: School Meals for Development: Creating a Virtuous Cycle (Bill Gates Foundation)
2005-2008: Delivering Sustainability: The Creative Procurement of School Meals (Economic and Social Research Council)
2003-2005: Going Local? Regional Innovation Strategies and the New Agri-food Paradigm (Economic and Social Research Council)