Catherine Brinkley

Catherine Brinkley

Position Title
Assistant Professor

Community and Regional Development


Brinkley, an assistant professor in the Department of Community and Regional Development, focuses on integrating food-system services with urban areas. Brinkley completed both her Ph.D. in city and regional planning and VMD degree veterinarian medicine at the University of Pennsylvania before joining the UC Davis faculty in 2015.

Research interests:

Environmental planning, public health, food systems, rural-urban linkages, access to healthy food, farm-city networks, on-farm clean energy solutions

Brief overview:

The health of humans, animals, and our environment depend on how we produce and provide access to healthy food. As part of that important equation, I focus on the flow of agricultural products to urban consumers. In particular, I map access to fresh produce and clean energy for low-income communities. By examining the connections between farms and homes, I hope to inform policies that improve sustainable land use and equitable access to health.

I also teach community governance and community development courses, where students learn how to engage effectively with policy makers and local communities for change.

Current projects:

  • Developing rural-urban integration model for farm and urban vitality
  • Investigating pathways to healthy food in communities that have a high prevalence of the population living in ‘food desert’ conditions
  • Studying district heating systems and the local impacts of waste and biomass incineration on nearby neighborhoods
  • Helping establish backyard poultry regulations