Fellow Spotlight: Tara Benesch

Fellowship Type: Global Food Initiative for Research

Campus: UC Berkeley/UCSF Graduate Student


Degree Objective: Joint Program in Medicine and Public Health

Project Description: Tara is building a partnership between UC Berkeley and universities in Mexico City to share food systems research. She also assists the Berkeley Food Institute in translating research into policy around food issues. Tara also aims to partner with the Carbon Neutrality Initiative fellows at UCSF to put on a sustainability conference on climate change for healthcare providers.

What impact does your fellowship work have on your campus, your community, the state, or the world? Fostering collaboration between UC Berkeley and schools in Mexico will improve our understanding of how different countries address issues that are common to the nations such as diabetes, obesity, sugary beverages. The Climate conference at UCSF will raise awareness of climate change as a health issue and mobilize physicians to take action. Translating research into policy briefs helps lawmakers make informed decisions regarding sustainability and food.

What is a recent success in your project? We recently set a date and confirmed speakers for the climate change conference and connected with an advocacy group in Mexico who will support our work building a partnership to study food policy across countries.

Why are you interested in the Global Food Initiative? Tara believes that food systems play a huge role in climate change and climate change affects the health of all of us.

What do you hope to do in the future using the tools you developed during the fellowship? Tara will become a doctor who understands how food systems affect health and advocates for policies that benefit the environment and human health.


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