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Academic Profile - Dr Kelly Donati

Senior Lecturer – Food Systems and Gastronomy


Dr Kelly Donati is a senior lecturer and course coordinator of Australia's only Bachelor of Food Studies and Master of Food Systems and Gastronomy at William Angliss Institute. As a food system leader and scholar, she brings a distinctive blend of interdisciplinary research, policy acumen and robust networks to her teaching and research, with a focus on gastronomy, urban food systems, fermentation, regenerative agriculture and community food initiatives. As an ethnographer in gastronomy and agriculture, her doctoral work developed the concept of multispecies gastronomy, exploring vibrant collaborations between humans and nonhumans in small-scale farming. A recipient of a prestigious 2019-20 fellowship from the Rachel Carson Center at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, Dr. Donati also extends her influence as the founding chairperson of Sustain: The Australian Food Network which enables her to shape impactful research and policy development to support the transition to a more sustainable and equitable food system.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Melbourne, Faculty of Science/Department of Geography, 2017
  • Master of Arts (Gastronomy), University of Adelaide, Faculty of Arts/School of History and Politics, 2004
  • Master of Arts, Monash University, Faculty of Arts/Centre for Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies, 2002
  • Bachelor of Arts (Double Major - Cultural Studies and Women’s Studies), McGill University, Faculty of Arts/Department of English Literature, 1995

Contact details

T: +61 3 9606 2325

Areas of expertise

  • Gastronomy
  • Urban Agriculture
  • Urban Food Systems
  • Community Food Infrastructure
  • Fermentation and microbial studies
  • Food policy research and strategy development

Teaching Responsibilities

  • Fermentation
  • Gastronomy
  • Food and Urbanism
  • Community Food Systems
  • Diet and Health in Society


ResearchGate is a social networking site created for scientists and researchers, providing a platform for users to share papers, conduct research and to collaborate with others.

List of research publications

Dr Kelly Donati's research publications


  • Donati, K. and Rose, N. (2022). Growing Edible Cities and Towns: A Survey of the Victorian Urban Agriculture Sector. Melbourne: Sustain the Australian Food Network.
  • Donati, K. & Rose, N. (2020). "Every seed I plant is a wish for tomorrow" Findings and Action Agenda from the 2020 National Pandemic Gardening Survey. Sustain: the Australian Food Network.
  • Donati, K. and Pike, Lucinda. (2007). Community Gardens: Benefits, Challenges and Governance. Commissioned by The Hornery Institute.

Other Writing

  • Donati, K. (2021). R is for Rumination. Food Feminism Fermentation. 2021 Edition (pp. 70-73). Montreal: Food, Feminism and Fermentation. [poetry]
  • Donati, K. (2020, July 16). With Love, From Lily. Sustain: The Australian Food Network. [blog]
  • Donati, K. (2020, May 4). Breath. Seeing the Woods: a blog by the Rachel Carson Center. [blog]
  • Donati, K. (2020, January 17). Caring for Country and ourselves: bushfires and what the "new normal" means for our food system. Sustain: The Australian Food Network. [blog]
  • Donati, K. (2011). 'For the love of farming' [book review of Deeply Rooted: Unconventional Farmers in the Age of Agribusiness]. Australian Humanities Review. 51.
  • Donati, K. (2010). Melbourne 2030: Super-sized Sustainability. Plane Tree: Journal of the Graduate Student Association. 16(1), 8-12.
  • 2009-2013, Monthly food column for Langtons Wine Magazine.

Academic/Professional Awards

  • Rachel Carson Fellowship, 2019/2020
  • Hautes Etudes du Goût Scholarship (Le Cordon Bleu)
  • LFR Anna M. White Scholarship (University of Melbourne)
  • PhD scholarship, University of Melbourne Departmental Award

Professional Memberships

  • Founding board member of Sustain: the Australian Food Network