Nan Jia is a graduate student at Michigan State University’s Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, and Environmental Science and Policy Program. Her PhD research seeks to uncover how the multiple crises affect global food trade system dynamics. She worked closely with Jack (Jianguo) Liu and members of the lab to reveal the impact of different crises on different stages of trade such as production, handling, transportation, and consumption by using production data, trade data, supply chain data, and consumption data. The interactions between society and nature in the life cycle of food generate a range of socio-environmental impacts in multiple crises status at multiple levels. Therefore, Nan is also strongly motivated to study the specific impacts of these transboundary crises at local, regional, and distant levels.
Our food trade system is essential to sustaining global food security and economic stability. This system facilitates the exchange of diverse agricultural products across different regions, helping to balance supply and demand, mitigate local food shortages, and support the livelihoods of millions worldwide.
My research looks at the dynamics of the global food trade system. I have found it is not stable or in a state of steady growth, but instead the volume of trade shifts greatly from year to year. This exploration has been a journey of discovery, uncovering the subtle yet profound ways in which global events influence our lives. My goal is to understand the inner driving forces that shape the dynamics of this dramatic change. By working to understand various forces, including climate change, regional conflicts, economic downturns, and more, it becomes possible for me to assess and predict what will happen with the global food trade system from year to year.
In my research, I used a blend of long-term remote sensing data, meta-analysis, and network analysis to reveal the nuanced impacts of these crises. One of the key moments in my journey was developing the ‘Polycrisis’ framework, a novel approach to understanding these interconnected challenges. This work has significantly broadened my perspective on crisis management, showing that each crisis can compound and impact the effects of another. In short, each crisis cannot be fully understood in isolation from the others. Their effects ripple through time and space, profoundly impacting countries like specific countries or places. This research underscores the need for integrated crisis management strategies that can adapt to the complex dynamics of a globally interconnected world.
The insights gleaned from this research are crucial for understanding the complexities of our interconnected world. It highlights the need for holistic approaches to manage and mitigate the impacts of these crises, underscoring the importance of international cooperation and proactive strategies. Looking ahead, I am excited to apply this framework to local contexts, integrating it with extensive ground truth observational data from the KBS LTER. This approach promises to enhance our understanding of crisis impacts and supports more effective management and prediction of future crises at both broader boundary and local scale. As I continue on this path, I remain committed to uncovering insights that can guide policymakers and researchers in navigating our increasingly interconnected global landscape.