Emily Doyle

Postdoctoral Fellow, Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador

PhD in the Division of Community Health and Humanities, Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador


Emily was born in and currently lives in St. John’s with her husband and three children. She descended from European settlers in what is now known as the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. She recognizes the place she calls home as the ancestral homelands of the Mi’kmaq and Beothuk and recognizes the Inuit of Nunatsiavut and NunatuKavut and the Innu of Nitassinan as the original people of Labrador.
Her Ph.D. research in the Faculty of Medicine’s Division of Community Health and Humanities at MUN was an interdisciplinary investigation of the school food system. It involved examining health, education and food systems theory and practice as they interact in schools in this place. The goal of her research was to explore how a systems-thinking approach can lead to new and different insights which have the potential to improve the NL school food system. She investigated current policies and programs, knowledge and attitudes of stakeholders and the way programs interact in the NL context. Her research helps to narrate some of the tensions in the school food system through emphasizing values such as sustainability and community which have been extraneous to traditional purely financial reductions of school food.

Emily has been personally engaged in the school food system (as a researcher, a mother, a teacher, a community member, a school health promotion consultant) and a core principle of her research is to be able to learn from studying and being engaged in the system: how it works and how this understanding can be applied to help build together a more healthy sustainable school food system. This methodology of phronetic social science offers practical knowledge as the key to making social science matter. Knowledge is developed in collaboration with local people and places.

She now works as a postdoctoral fellow at Grenfell Campus in the School of Science and the Environment. She is working with Dr. Kelly Vodden to support the work of the Rural Resilience Lab. In this role, Emily will be coordinating the Atlantic PhiLab project. She is also working with Dr. Mumtaz Cheema in supporting food and agricultural research initiatives.

Previous to this position, Emily taught both inside and outside the school system. She worked and volunteered with a number of food sustainability organizations and initiatives. She also has a Master of Philosophy from MUN, a Bachelor of Education Conjoint with the Diploma in Technology Education, a BA in Psychology from Acadia University, and a Diploma in Farm Management from McGill University.

Emily’s research interests include:

  • Applying systems thinking to research and collaboration in food systems, public health and education.
  • Place-based approaches to research and teaching
  • Collaborative and creative knowledge production

Research Engagement


  • Understanding School Food in Newfoundland and Labrador Through a Systems Framework



  • Doyle, E., & Orren, K. (2021) A Work in Progress: Conversations about the possibilities of fish in schools in Newfoundland and Labrador. Presented at the Joint Annual Conference Association for the Study of Food and Society (ASFS); Agriculture, Food & Human Values Society (AFHVS); Canadian Association for Food Studies (CAFS); The Society for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition (SAFN).
  • Doyle, E. (2017). An Assessment of the Newfoundland and Labrador School Food Environment. Presented in the 12th Annual Assembly of the Canadian Association of Food Studies (CAFS), Toronto, ON.
  • Doyle, E. (2016). Measuring Complexity in the School Food Environment. Presented in the 6th International Conference on Food Studies, Berkeley, CA.
  • Doyle, E. (2015). The case study as a valuable method of inquiry for school food system research. Presetned in the First National School Food Conference, Montreal, QC.

Poster Presentations

  • Doyle, E. (2019). An Assessment of the NL School Food System. Presented in the 31st Annual Canadian Student Health Research Forum, Winnipeg, MB.
  • Doyle, E. (2016). Food, Fish and Farming in the NL K-12 Curriculum. Presented in the 3rd Biennial Our Food, Our Future Conference: Research that Feeds NL, St. John’s, NL.

Research Engagement Presentations

  • 2021 Panel member Farm to Cafeteria Sea to School Webinar
  • 2019 MUN Botanical Gardens Nature Talks series
  • 2018 Presentation to Eastern Health, Health Promotion Division
  • 2018 Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Applied Health Research
    Exchange Group on Cost & Value in Healthcare
  • 2017 Consultations with Public Health Agency of Canada on Health and the Built Environment
  • 2017 Little Green Thumbs teachers’ training session

Community Involvement

  • O’Brien Farm Foundation (OBFF) Board Member