Alena has an academic and professional background in food security and international development. She holds an MSc in Human Development and Food Security, which she completed in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).
Her research explored the dynamics between high seas fishing and low-income coastal countries. She has worked for several years in sustainable small-scale fisheries projects in Mauritania with the German Development Agency (GIZ).
As part of her current Biology DPhil research, she is dedicated to identifying sustainable methods to decrease the environmental impact of shrimp farming in Viet Nam. Alena employs a range of research methodologies, including primary data collection, environmental and socio-economic trend analysis, and qualitative behaviour change research. She is utilising HESTIA to standardise environmental data, and hence conduct a longitudinal life cycle assessment of shrimp farming in the Mekong River Delta to identify changes and trends of the sector. In addition, her research on farmer behaviour will be closely linked to the farmer toolkit that will be developed by HESTIA to help design long-lasting sustainability interventions.’