Graduate Directory

Sanya Grace Cowal
  • Title
    • PhD Student
  • Division Social Sciences Division
  • Department
    • Environmental Studies Department
  • Email
  • Office Location
    • Nat Sci 2 Main Building, 477
  • Mail Stop No Mailstop

Research Interests

I am an agroecologist studying the ecology and social dynamics of coffee systems in Nicaragua (2018), Vietnam (2019), Mexico (2022), and Hawaiʻi (2023). My ecological research questions involve the influence of local and landscape factors on beneficial insects, with a particular emphasis on coffee management practices that promote natural pest control services. My political ecology work investigates how social and ecological pressures on coffee production influence farm management decisions and producer community.

Honors, Awards and Grants

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program

Ford Foundation Honorable Mention

Heller Agroecology Award

Jessica Roy Memorial Award

Global Food Initiative Ambassador

Graduate Pedagogy Fellowship

Animal Behavioral Society Conservation Award

Lewis and Clark Fund for Exploration and Field Research

Sullivan Leadership Award

Selected Publications

Cowal, S., Morris, J. R., Jiménez-Soto, E., & Philpott, S. M. (2023). Naturally Occurring Vegetation Connectivity Facilitates Ant-Mediated Coffee Berry Borer Removal. Insects, 14(11), 869.

Del-Val, E., Philpott, S. M., Lucatero, A., Fowler, R., Cowal, S., & Hsu, J. (2023). The importance of insect pest biocontrol for maize production: an expert survey. Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, 47(9), 1271-1292.

Le, Q. V., Cowal, S., Jovanovic, G., & Le, D. T. (2021). A Study of Regenerative Farming Practices and Sustainable Coffee of Ethnic Minorities Farmers in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems.

Le, Q. V., Jovanovic, G., Le, D. T., & Cowal, S. (2020). Understanding the Perceptions of Sustainable Coffee Production: A Case Study of the K’Ho Ethnic Minority in a Small Village in Lâm Đồng Province of Vietnam. Sustainability, 12(3), 1010.


Teaching Interests

As a Graduate Pedagogy Fellow through the Center for Innovations in Teaching and Learning, I am collaborating with a community of cross-departmental graduate students to reform UCSC teaching pedagogies through research-based foundations for enacting antiracist and inclusive teaching practices.