Background and activities

Dr. Ferne Edwards has a background in cultural anthropology and works across disciplines including geography, design, health, and planning. She has extensive international research experience specialising in sustainable cities, food systems and social change. Ferne has conducted research in Australia, Venezuela, Ireland and Spain on food waste, urban beekeeping, non-monetised alternative food economies, and food sharing, contributing to more than 30 publications on urban natures, conservation, design, and healthy and resilient cities. Ferne is also highly active in running international collaborative networks and events: she led the governance work package for the EU Horizon 2020 IA project EdiCitNet to establish an international edible cities network; she is an UrbanA Fellow for Just and Sustainable Cities, Awards Director for ‘Why the World Needs Anthropologists’, Review Editor for Frontiers Journal, and an Australian Anthropology Society Fellow. Ferne is co-editor of two upcoming books: ‘Food for Degrowth: Perspectives and Practices’ with Anitra Nelson (Routledge, December 2020) and ‘Food, Senses and the City’ (Routledge, 2021) with Roos Gerritsen and Grit Wesser.

AT NTNU Ferne is a Postdoctoral Fellow working with Dr. Ida Nilstad Pettersen on Socially and Environmentally Just Transitions specialising in urban natures. This research recognises that despite many urban greening efforts that can offer a range of health, social and economic co-benefits, many people still remain estranged from nature. Research is needed on how to best 'bring nature back' to cities to overcome human-nonhuman conflicts while enabling shifts towards greater socio-environmental justice and sustainability to occur. Ferne's research project investigates urban human-nature connections through studying urban beekeeping practices in addition to trialling a range of innovative methodologies (sensory nature walks, citizen science and urban food mapping).

Scientific, academic and artistic work

Journal publications


  • Nelson, Anitra; Edwards, Ferne. (2021) Food for Degrowth: Perspectives and Practices. Routledge. 2021. ISBN 978-0-367-43646-9.

Part of book/report

  • Edwards, Ferne; Espelt, Ricard. (2021) Technology for degrowth: Implementing digital platforms for community supported agriculture. Food for Degrowth: Perspectives and Practices.
  • Edwards, Ferne; Nelson, Anitra. (2021) Future research directions: Food for degrowth. Food for Degrowth: Perspectives and Practices.
  • Edwards, Ferne; Pedro, Sergio; Rocha, Sara. (2021) Institutionalising degrowth: Exploring multilevel food governance. Food for Degrowth: Perspectives and Practices.
  • Nelson, Anitra; Edwards, Ferne. (2021) Food for degrowth. Food for Degrowth: Perspectives and Practices.