CHEW Oxford | Founding Members and Affiliates
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Founding Members and Affiliates

Founding Members


Dr Irina Fedorenko

Irina recently completed her DPhil at the School of Geography and the Environment as a Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Trust scholar. She writes about Civil Society and Environmental Activism in Russia and China. Irina has spent over 14 months doing action research in Moscow, Vladivostok, Beijing, Kunming and Hong-Kong. Her Academic interests range from environmental communications and framing to legal reforms and international development. She has presented at the global academic conferences and published in area studies journals, but beyond Academia her work has been featured by UNESCO and think-tanks such as International Institute for Environment and Development. She has also worked as a Teaching Assistant and tutor at the School of Geography, Oxford. Irina received a “Nautilus” Academic Achievement Award from Green Templeton College for leading the CHEW Research Group in 2013/2014. Previously Irina completed with Distinction an MSc in Nature, Society and Environmental Governance with Distinction at Oxford in 2012. For her BA she studied at Far Eastern Federal University, Vladivostok, Russia, where she has first developed an academic interest in the closest neighbor, China.




Dr Saher Hasnain

Saher is a Researcher with the Food Systems Group at the Environmental Change Institute (ECI), and the Research and Community of Practice Coordinator for the Foresight4Food Initiative. Trained as an environmental scientist, Saher has focused on environmental health and food systems in urban areas. For her doctoral research, she examined the influence of factors like fuel policies, urban design, violence, and regional and global food system transformation on food consumption behaviour and spatial mobility in urban Pakistan. She has previously worked as an Educational Coordinator with the Interdisciplinary Food Systems Teaching and Learning Programme (IFSTAL). Find out more about Saher here.




Dr Guanli Zhang

Guanli recently completed his DPhil in Geography and the Environment at University of Oxford. His doctorate examined ordinary people’s life in two heavily contaminated ‘cancer villages’ in East China and the changing rural social landscape against the backdrop of industrialisation, capitalism, and urbanisation. Guanli is one of the founders of CHEW and an active member since 2013.




Dr Loretta Lou

Loretta is a co-founder of CHEW. She is currently affiliated with the London School of Economics (LSE) as a visiting fellow in the Department of Anthropology. She was formerly affiliated with the Department of Sociology at the University of Warwick and a Postdoctoral Associate at Oxford’s Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology (ISCA). Loretta’s research interests lie in the areas of the environment, health, ethics, social movements, and social changes in Greater China.







Dr Coraline Goron

Coraline is Doctor in Political Science, currently a Wiener-Anspach postdoctoral researcher affiliated with the Oxford University China Centre. She obtained a double PhD degree in Politics from the University of Warwick and the Université Libre de Bruxelles in 2017 with a dissertation on the politics of low-carbon transformation in China. Her current research focuses on the politics of online environmental information disclosure and its role the resolution of environmental conflicts in Shandong Province.




Dr Yvan Schulz

Yvan holds a doctorate in social anthropology from the University of Neuchâtel and currently works at the University of Oxford China Centre as a postdoctoral research assistant. His research looks at the evolution of waste-related practices, representations and values in contemporary China. It is based on a political ecology approach and focuses on the nexus between recycling, environmentalism and state governance.




Chris James

While at CHEW, Chris was reading for an MSc in Contemporary Chinese Studies. His main research related to state environmental ideology in China and how this intersects with existing rural-urban divisions.




Aileen Kearney

While at CHEW, Aileen was a third-year undergraduate student at the University of Oxford reading for a BA in Chinese.



David Edwards

While at CHEW, David was reading for an MSc in Nature, Society and Environmental Governance at Oxford. His research explored the centralisation of environmental governance in China, with a focus on the role of data management and digital visualising technologies. He holds graduate degrees in Sinology (SOAS) and China Studies (SAIS-Nanjing), and worked for several years in political risk analysis before returning to academia in 2018.