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Daniel Warshawsky


Contact Information
E-mail: warshaws@usc.edu
Phone: (213) 740-2876
Office: AHF B56c

Curriculum Vitae
Faculty Profile on Departmental Website
Personal Website

Biographical Sketch

Daniel N. Warshawsky is a lecturer in the Spatial Sciences Institute at the University of Southern California where he teaches courses in geography and conducts his research on urban food systems.

Rapid urbanization of the planet has placed pressure on humanity to build ecologically sustainable, healthy, and socially just cities. In particular, key challenges associated with access to water, food, energy, and sanitation threaten the livability of the urban environment. Yet, while a range of institutions have gained political and financial support to achieve sustainability, improve health, and empower communities, it is unclear which organizations are best suited to achieve these goals. Moreover, institutions do not operate in silos, as a range of human-environmental processes shape their trajectories and socio-historical contexts.

To fill this gap, Daniel’s research critically examines the governance regimes and development discourses which shape how institutions operate in urban food systems. Through in-depth case studies in the U.S. and South Africa, Daniel’s research reveals how state, private, and non-governmental organizations operate across scales and sectors to shape food systems in cities. In Chicago, Daniel analyzed the increasing role of metropolitan food banks as part of neoliberal urban governance regimes. Building on this work, Daniel’s research in South Africa has identified the size, scope, and spatial configuration of Johannesburg’s urban food system to determine the roles that transnational, national, and local institutions play in ensuring food security for the urban poor.

Most recently, Daniel has started two multi-year studies which examine the urban metabolism of food waste in Los Angeles and Johannesburg. Located at the intersection of political ecology, public health, and environmental justice, this research critically examines how food waste is produced, regulated, and reused by a range of institutions. In addition, these studies examine how food waste is transformed into alternative energies, changing brown food waste to green energy. In all, this research has the potential to impact food insecurity and health, land use and environment, and methane output associated with global climate change.

In honor of his research, the Association of American Geographers (AAG) presented Daniel with the award for the best dissertation in urban geography and named him a finalist for the J. Warren Nystrom Award for the best dissertation in the field of geography.



Ph.D. , University of Southern California, 2011
M.S. , University of Wisconsin, 2006
B.A. , University of Illinois, 2003
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