Reintegrating forgotten local indigenous foods into local foodways* to open pathways that recalibrate its imbalances.
* the social, cultural, ecological and economic practises of producing and consuming food
Loubie has been exploring the Western Cape’s forgotten and neglected indigenous edibles since 2010. Her shift from the landscape industry to exploring local indigenous food plants started with cooking and bottling produce under the brand name Making KOS.
She has been championing the need to cultivate Cape edibles as crops since 2016, and contributes to a variety of research and community projects. She shares her learning through consulting, workshops and social media as well as through publishing.
She founded Local WILD to be a networking, knowledge co-creation and collaboration hub that contributes to reintegrating local indigenous foods into local foodways*. She sees the impact of recalibrating imbalances as vital to the hub.
* the social, cultural, ecological and economic practices of producing and consuming food
LOUBIE RUSCH - founder, Cape wild foods expert
Laura Pereira is the Exxaro Research Chair at the Global Change Institute at Wits University, a research associate at the Stockholm Resilience Centre and a member of the IPBES expert group on futures scenarios and models.
Laura is an interdisciplinary sustainability scientist whose . Her expertise lies in food systems innovations and futures, the role of neglected and underutilised species, ans governance for food system transformation in South Africa. She has many years experience in delivering policy briefs and a prolific record of published papers.
Dr. LAURA PEREIRA - senior research advisor
She brings to the unit an extensive network of local and international collaborators and stakeholders.
Nicola is a plant ecologist focusing on climate change ecology. She holds a DPhil (PhD) from the School of Geography and the Environment (University of Oxford) where she used plant traits to analyse how vegetation responds to climate change.
As part of her current Future Leader Fellowship at Kew Gardens (UK), she will synthesize and expand our understanding of the climate change resilience of neglected and underutilised edible plants in the Greater Cape Floristic region.
Dr. Nicola Kuhn - research project lead
Nicola sees her work with Local Wild as an opportunity to apply scientific learnings to promote local, climate-resilient, food security solutions for the Greater Cape Floristic Region.
Michelle holds a Masters in Economics for Development from Oxford University. She has qualitative research experience in wellbeing and education, worked as an assistant to development consultant.
She is developing a working knowledge of Cape neglected and underutilised species from the Cape, both through her research contribution to the the unit's nutrition study, as well as through establishing a community business bringing local wild foods into cultivation on their family farm in the Northern Cape.