Foto von Mascha Gugganig

Mascha Gugganig, Ph.D.


I am currently the principal investigator for the EIT Food (European Institute of Innovation and Technology) EU project "Cultivating Engagement: a citizen participation forum on vertical farming" partnering with the plant tech company PlantLab (NL), the non-profit organization EUFIC - European Food Information Council - and others.
My colleague Laurie Waller and I organize, conduct and research citizen participation in London and Munich to gain a better understanding of hopes and controversies around indoor vertical farming among a wide variety of social actors.
Findings shall contribute to scholarship on public engagement in (food & agricultural) science and technology and novel modes of food production, and further inform business partners and scientists in other EIT Food projects to critically engage in creating, implementing, and learning from public engagement schemes. For more information please click here

In 2016, I received my PhD at the Department of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia. In my doctoral thesis I explore, and continue to be interested in norms, institutions and (trans-institutional) practices of education and (visual) ethnography in the realm of land relations and food, Indigenous cultural revitalization, and technoscience (agricultural biotechnology).

I received my Magister in Philosophy (Master’s equivalent) at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Vienna (2009). During that time I studied at Brunel University’s Department of Social Science, Media and Communications (London) with the focus on anthropological research on childhood, youth and education.

I conducted ethnographic research and I was involved as a film class instructor at one of several Hawaiian-focused charter schools (between 2007 and 2013). Futhermore I was a Fellow in the Program on Science, Technology & Society at Harvard University (2014/15) and received my PhD in Anthropology at the University of British Columbia in 2016.

Research Areas

  • Science & technology studies, social & cultural anthropology, environmental humanities
  • Critical Indigenous Studies, Postcolonial and Feminist Studies
  • Experimental Ethnography (multimodal, visual, audiovisual, arts)
  • Content: competing forms of expertise and education in agriculture & food; epistemologies and ontologies of land in permaculture, agroecology, agricultural biotechnology, urban farming, as well as in urban planning and debates on gentrification

Awards / Fellowships / Scholarships

  • Four-Year-Fellowship for Doctoral Program in Anthropology/University of British Columbia
  • Bottom Billion Fieldwork Award for ethnographic research in Hawaii, and Non-traditional Research Dissemination Fund for Traveling Exhibition Hawaii beyond the Wave, Hawaii beyond the Postcard, Liu Institute for Global Issues/University of British Columbia
  • Dissertation Writing Award, Department of Anthropology/University of British Columbia


  • American Anthropology Association [AAA]
  • Society for the Social Studies of Science [4S]
  • Science and Democracy Network [SDN]
  • Center for Imaginative Ethnographies [CIE]
  • International Society for Ethnobiology [ISE

Publications (Selection)

Recent Talks (Selection)

  • 2017. The Hawaiian Islands: of island biogeography, sustainable future imaginaries, and (other) lived sensibilities. Society for the Social Studies of Science Annual Meeting, Boston, September 2
  • 2017. [Re]considering Education in STS: civic epistemologies and learnscapes around land, food and agricultural biotechnology on Kauaʻi. 16th Annual Meeting of the Science & Democracy Network, Harvard University, June 30
  • 2017. Vancouver [de]constructed: a contested terrain between Chinese Investment, renovicted houses, and un-settling futures. 13th Congress of the International Society for Ethnology & Folklore (SIEF), Göttingen, March 28
  • 2016. Fearing and fantasizing about Hawaii: doing ethnographic fieldwork in “paradise.” ‘Fantasy/Fear’ 8th Annual McGill Anthropology Graduate Student Conference, Montreal, April 7
  • 2015. STS in the Global [South] - the Case of Agricultural Biotechnology in Hawaii, Society for the Social Studies of Science Annual Meeting, Denver, November 12

Further Work