Photo of Marylynn Steckley

Marylynn Steckley

Associate Professor

Degrees:B.A., Human Geography/English Literature (Brock University) M.A., Human Geography/International Development (University of Waterloo) Ph.D., Geography and Migration/Ethnic Relations (Western University) Post-Doc., Indigenous Health and Food Systems (Western University)
Phone:613-520-2600 x 5068
Office:Room 2113
Dunton Tower

My current research follows two streams. One area of my research is broadly situated within socio-cultural and environmental determinants of health, with a focus on food systems. I am specifically interested in how global inequality, social hierarchies, and prestigious commodities bear on food preferences, agro-food production systems, and public health. I have two ongoing projects related to this work. The first is an examination of the political ecology of coconut water, and my field research has explored the impacts of coconut water on Thai landscapes and traditional food displacement.  Another of my projects is CIHR-funded and explores the prospects of a community-based “Food Sovereignty Assessment of Health” in Haiti. This work is aimed on the one hand at moving beyond “food security” metrics, which often perpetuate narratives of “scarcity” and “deficits” that often lead to “food dumping” and food aid, and on the other hand, towards tools that consider community resources, gendered differences in health and food systems access, and the relationships between agricultural production systems, environmental health, and nutritional well-being.

My second ongoing research agenda is related to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in higher education pedagogies. I am particularly interested in the prospects of virtual experiential learning to provide climate-friendly global connections, in possibilities for creative pedagogies to enhance well-being and mental health, and how programs and policies can enliven inclusion and equity for both students and faculty alike. As part of this work, I am the co-editor of a forthcoming volume that explores critical innovations in Global Development Studies pedagogy.

Before coming to Carleton, I was an Assistant Professor in Global and International Studies at Portland State University in Oregon. I completed my post-doctoral research in Indigenous Food Systems and Health at Western University with a focus on examining the differential food security impacts of environmental change and dietary displacement across space. My scholarly contributions related to Haiti are based on over 5 years of lived experience in Port-au-Prince and Desarmes and are focused on food sovereignty and agrarian change.

Alongside my academic path, I have worked in the field of International Development as a Policy Analyst, Advocacy and Food Justice coordinator, and Disaster Response Coordinator. I have also conducted field research investigating value-added recycling activities in waste-picking communities in Cambodia and Indonesia, and post-disaster vulnerability and governance responses to the 2004 tsunami in Thailand.

Selected Publications

Steckley, M., Steckley, J., Osna, W., Civil, M., S. Sider. 2023. The Implications of Food Sovereignty vs. Food Security-driven Policy for Health, Agriculture, Nutrition, and Gender Equity: the case of Haiti. Development Policy Review. DOI:

Steckley, M., Steckley, J., Harkness, I., Osna, W., Civil, M., and S. Sider. 2023. Gender, Food Security and Social Determinants of Health in Haiti: A Systematic Review. The Journal of Haitian Studies 28(2):198-236. DOI:

Steckley, M., and J. Steckley. 2023. Food Sovereignty as Climate Resilience: How food security has failed Haiti, and why peasants want food sovereignty. In Gadhoke, Pretty; Brenton Barrett, P; and Katz, Solomon H. “Transformations of Global Food Systems for Climate Change Resilience: Addressing Food Security, Nutrition, and Health.” CRC Press, Taylor and Francis Group.

Steckley, J., Steckley, M. and N. Boumba. 2022. Commodifying The Counter-Movement: how foreign funding shapes progressive social movements in Haiti. In Paul Austin Stacey (ed.). Connections and Exclusion: People Without History in Contemporary Contexts in the Global South. Brill.

Steckley, M., Fortin, E., & A. Minic. Exploring Representation (EDI) in Students as Partners (SaP) initiatives: a case study of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in the Students as Partners Program (SaPP) at Carleton University. 2022. International Journal of Inclusive Education. DOI: 10.1080/13603116.2022.2104944

Steckley, M. Food Meanings, Identity, and Status: The Case of Haiti, Kraft Dinner, and Zen Crunch. Food Matters. 2022. In: David Szanto, Amanda DiBattista & Irena Knezevic (eds.). Food Studies: matter, meaning & movement. Food Studies Press.

Steckley, M., & J. Steckley. E-volunteering as International Experiential Learning: Student and Community Perspectives. (2021, In Press). Canadian Journal of Development Studies.

Richmond, C., Neufeld, H., Steckley, M., Bezner-Kerr, R., & K. Wilson. (2021). Supporting food security For Indigenous families through the restoration of Indigenous foodways. The Canadian Geographer. DOI: 10.1111/cag.12677

Weis., M. Steckley, and B. Frayne (2020). An impermanent subsidy: Cheap industrial food and the urban margin. In: Jonathan Crush, Bruce Frayne and Gareth Haysom (eds.), International Handbook on Urban Food Security in the Global South (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar).

Richmond, C., Steckley, M., Neufeld, H., Bezner Kerr, R., Wilson K., & B. Dokis. 2020. First Nations food environments: Exploring the role of place, income and social connection. Current Developments in Nutrition 4(8). Indigenous Health Special Issue. DOI:

Steckley, M. 2019. “Manman, poukisa y’ap rele m blan?” [Maman, why are they calling me blan?]: race, research, and mothering in cross-cultural contexts. In: Mothering from the Field: the impact of motherhood on site-based research. Bahiyyah Muhammad, and Melanie- Angela Neuilly (eds). Rutgers University Press.

Steckley M, & J. Steckley 2018. Gender, land grabbing and prospects for women’s livelihoods in Haiti. The Journal of Feminist Economics. DOI:

Steckley M, & T. Weis. 2017. Agriculture In and Beyond the Haitian Catastrophe. Third World Quarterly 38:2 (397-413). DOI: 10.1080/01436597.2016.1256762

Steckley, M. 2016. Why ‘race’ matters in struggles for food sovereignty: Experiences from Haiti. Geoforum 72: 26-29. DOI:

Steckley M., & T. Weis. 2016. Peasant Balances, Neoliberalism, and the Stunted Growth of Non-Traditional Agro-Exports in Haiti. The Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies 41(1). DOI: 10.1080/08263663.2015.1130293

Steckley, M. 2016. Eating Up the Social Ladder: How dietary aspirations limit prospects for food sovereignty in Haiti. Agriculture and Human Values 33(3): 549-562

Steckley M, & Y. Shamsie. 2015. Manufacturing Corporate Landscapes: The case of agrarian displacement and food (in)security in Haiti. Third World Quarterly 36(1): 179-197.