Alex Trebek Postdoctoral Fellow in AI and Environment (2020-2022)
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Mascha Gugganig is an Alex Trebek Postdoctoral Fellow in AI and Environment at University of Ottawa AI + Society Initiative.
As the Alex Trebek Postdoctoral Fellow in AI and Environment, Mascha Gugganig will look at both the role of innovation in regenerative agriculture, and discursive authorities of policy and industry visions of ‘smart’ farming and AI applications. She will research human-environment relations in agriculture and food production in light of contested novel technologies.
Dr. Gugganig is a socio-cultural anthropologist and science & technology studies (STS) scholar whose current work researches knowledge politics and epistemological differences among various actors – from farmers to youth – who constitute and trouble respective notions of ‘expertise’ and proper ‘education’ on land. Critical public engagement with academic research, science and technology in museums and public spaces, as well as collaborative research through arts-based, multimodal methods form another core area of her scholarship. Based on two previous research projects, she led as PI (funded by the German Research Foundation, and the European Institute for Innovation & Technology – EIT Food). She continues to be interested in the European Union’s multifarious imaginaries of ‘sustainable’ agriculture – from agroecology, to organic farming, to precision farming – and the hopes and hypes of indoor vertical farming as viable urban food production. Her doctoral research looked at the contested use of āina – ‘that which feeds’, or land – for agricultural biotechnology research and development on the settler colonial terrain of Kaua‘i.
Dr. Gugganig received her Ph.D. from the Department of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia in 2016. She previously was a pre-doctoral Fellow at Harvard University’s Program on Science, Technology & Society (2014-2015), a Visiting Researcher at Cornell University’s Department of Science and Technology Studies (2019). From 2016-2020, she was a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Munich Center for Technology in Society at the Technical University Munich, where she continues to be a Research Associate.