Guntra Aistara is Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy. She is co-founder of the Environmental and Social Justice Action Research Group, and previously directed the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Sovereignty Program at CENSE.
Guntra is an environmental anthropologist, whose research interests include agroecology and organic agriculture movements, permaculture, agrobiodiversity and seed sovereignty, the political ecology of small farmers' struggles over the control of land and seeds in the face of free trade agreements, and socio-ecological resilience of local food systems.
Guntra holds a PhD from the University of Michigan's School of Natural Resources and Environment. Her dissertation was a multi-sited ethnography of organic agriculture movements in Latvia and Costa Rica. The dissertation explored how culturally divergent traditions and practices surrounding landscape preservation, biodiversity conservation and seed production have shaped the two organic movements' strategies and responses to globalization and entry into regional free trade agreements.