Nayla Bezares

Food systems affect multiple elements of society, influencing well-being from health, economic and environmental perspectives. In Puerto Rico, recent natural disasters have demonstrated the need for cohesive food systems planning. Nayla studies the sustainability of food resilience strategies in Puerto Rico, such as increasing local food production and expanding highly diverse agricultural systems. The long-term goal of her research is to provide policymakers with relevant information to develop support structures that promote local food system resilience in Puerto Rico by incentivizing agricultural activities that preserve environmental resources, support a healthy food environment, and provide dignified and equitable economic development opportunities. In her research, Nayla applies food system modeling approaches to estimate the land carrying capacity to feed the local population and to estimate the impacts of local food production across environmental, economic, and social domains.

Nayla was born and raised in Puerto Rico and has worked within multiple aspects of food systems throughout the United States. She understands that building resilient food systems requires cohesiveness between efforts to achieve sustainable outcomes for people and the planet. She hopes her research can support the development of cohesive policies.


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