Gianna Bonis-Profumo

Gianna Bonis-Profumo
Gianna Bonis-Profumo's picture
PhD Candidate
Primary research group: 
Natural Resources-Based Livelihoods
MA Development Studies (Anthropology); Grad Dip Management of Non-Profit Organisations; BA Political Sciences


Researcher and development practitioner focusing on Food Security, Nutrition and Gender. 

Gianna is passionate about food and nutrition security issues, specifically those affecting women, Indigenous populations and smallholder farmers. Her research interests are cross-disciplinary focusing on food security and nutrition issues, gender dynamics and on how these intersect with agriculture in development contexts. Most food insecure people around the world are smallholder farmers, and she is particularly interested in understanding the gendered pathways by which agriculture, livestock and aquaculture programmes can best support nutrition outcomes among rural communities. With a social sciences background, her contributions to the food security and nutrition fields are framed around the socio-cultural aspects of rural agrarian livelihoods and diets, gender relations and programme evaluation matters. 

She has been involved in food and nutrition security projects for over 9 years, including in Timor-Leste, with Aboriginal communities through the Australian Red Cross, and in multiple sustainable food production initiatives. As part of her Master of Development Studies at the University of Sydney, she produced a Briefing Paper on nutrition-sensitive agricultural development focused on Southeast Asia. This framework, combined with her experience working in a rural farm practicing sustainable agriculture, inspired the “Food and Nutrition Hub” project proposal, winner of the BCFN Young Earth Solutions! in 2014.

She has been based in Timor-Leste for 3 years undertaking a PhD based on the BCFNYES! project.  Her research explores the interrelations between women’s empowerment in agriculture, animal-source food production and child dietary diversity among semi-subsistence farming communities. In Timor-Leste, she has consulted for DFAT programmes, lead the local research component of the Strategic Review of the Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SDG2) in strong collaboration with Professor Jessica Fanzo from Johns Hopkins University, and with whom also wrote an agriculture sector review for the World Bank. In 2018 she worked with the UN World Food Program on Social Behaviour Change Communication and led a formative research study on adolescents’ nutrition while undertaking her PhD fieldwork. Now she is back in Darwin to focus on writing her thesis.

Gianna has worked in Australia and Southeast Asia for over a decade in the non-for profit and academic sectors, grew up in Barcelona, and has Italian heritage.

My projects

Before an upgrade of the water system, 12 communities from six Municipalities were selected in 20

This formative research was undertaken to help inform culturally appropriate and effective strate

Timor-Leste Strategic Review: Progress and Success in Achieving the Sustainable Develo

In rural Timor-Leste, agriculture is the main livelihood activity for 70% of its population yet s

People I work with

Assoc Prof Natasha Stacey's picture
Assoc Prof Natasha Stacey
Natural resources-based livelihoods, Associate Professor
Dr. Abu Nasar Abdullah's picture
Dr. Abu Nasar Abdullah
Frances Every's picture
Frances Every
Alumni - PhD Student
Julian Gorman's picture
Julian Gorman
Research Fellow
Indrawati Y. Asmara's picture
Indrawati Y. Asmara
Luke Preece's picture
Luke Preece
Nick Hogarth's picture
Nick Hogarth
Nick Smith's picture
Nick Smith
Ria Fitriana's picture
Ria Fitriana
Dr Sarah Hobgen's picture
Dr Sarah Hobgen
Research Associate
Prof. Owen Stanley's picture
Prof. Owen Stanley
Kamal Melvani's picture
Kamal Melvani
PhD Student
Ronju Ahammad's picture
Ronju Ahammad
Casual Researcher
Dirk Steenbergen's picture
Dirk Steenbergen
Post-doctoral Fellow (NAMRA)
Pia Harkness's picture
Pia Harkness
PhD Student
Frederika Rambu Ngana's picture
Frederika Rambu Ngana
PhD student
Hannah Ling's picture
Hannah Ling
PhD Student
Dr Lisa Petheram's picture
Dr Lisa Petheram
Sam Pickering's picture
Sam Pickering
Research Associate
Kim Hunnam's picture
Kim Hunnam
PhD Student
Emily Gibson's picture
Emily Gibson
PhD Student

My blog posts

Gianna Bonis-Profumo's picture

This blog was published by The Crawford Fund, on

Gianna Bonis-Profumo's picture

In late August I had the opportunity to attend the Crawford Fund Annual Food Security Conference focused on food waste and food loss along the supp

My Places