Sophia Carodenuto

Sophia Carodenuto
Assistant Professor
Natural resources governance, Global food systems, sustainability, Africa studies
Office: DTB B324

PhD (Freiburg University, Germany)

Area of expertise

Natural resources governance, Global food systems, sustainability, Africa studies

Sophia Carodenuto is an interdisciplinary scientist focusing on forest governance in research and practice. She works closely with public and private actors to better design, understand, and implement sustainable land use policy.

Her geographic focus is mainly in Africa, where she worked for over a decade as a sustainability practitioner operationalizing public policy in collaboration with communities, policy makers, business, and development organizations before moving to Victoria in 2018. 



My research looks at how international forest policy is designed and implemented on the ground in tropical forest countries.

My latest research focuses on the sustainability of global value chains, especially those products and commodities that impact forests in producer countries, i.e. forest-risk commodities such as cocoa, coffee, and palm oil. In partnership with communities, governments, and business, I look at the effectiveness of zero-deforestation commitments in forest-risk commodities. Currently, I am looking closely at zero deforestation cocoa in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana through the SSHRC-funded project: “Follow the bean: Tracing Zero Deforestation Cocoa.”  

 For more information, please see my website:


I enjoy sharing my passion for environmental sustainability, forest governance, and international development with the diversity of students at UVic. By sharing my international experience working as a practitioner on sustainability policy design and implementation in diverse contexts, I introduce students to a range of applications of the knowledge they gain in my courses. The learning activities that students are exposed to in my classrooms aim to create and foster the skills needed in a wide range of careers, helping students to be well-prepared for various professions, in academia and beyond. Through my courses, I motivate students to pursue their dreams after graduation and inspire those students who are interested in working on environmental issues, whether at the global and local level. I have taught the following courses:

GEOG 101A: Environment, Society, and Sustainability 

GEOG 314: Global Environmental Change and Human Response

GEOG 388: Regional Studies: Governance of Natural Resources in Africa (designed course)

GEOG 450: Environment and Sustainability in Practice, Capstone Seminar

Please check out my website for more about my experiential learning approach: