Faculty + Staff


Peter Todd

Peter Todd is Provost Professor of Cognitive Science, Psychology, and Informatics at Indiana University.  He worked for 10 years as co-founder of the Center for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition (ABC), based at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, before moving to IU in 2005 and establishing the ABC-West Lab.  His research on how people make choices was captured in the books Simple Heuristics That Make Us Smart (Oxford, 1999) and Ecological Rationality: Intelligence in the World (Oxford, 2012).  His ongoing interests cover the interactions between decision making and decision environments, focusing on the ways that people and other animals search for resources—including food, information, and social partners—in space and time.

Rick Wilk

Rick Wilk is Provost Professor of Anthropology at Indiana University where he directs the Food Studies program. His teaching and scholarship works towards addressing the food system as a whole and redesigning food studies to be a more inclusive and interdisciplinary. Wilk's most recent edited books are Time, Consumption, and Everyday Life (with Elizabeth Shove and Frank Trentman, Berg Publishers, 2009), Rice and Beans: A Unique Dish in a Hundred Places (with Livia Barbosa, Berg Publishers, 2011) and Teaching Food and Culture (with Candice Lowe Smith, Left Coast Press, 2015).  Rick's most recent adventures brought him to the National University of Singapore where he was Distinguished Visiting Professor.

Carl Ipsen

Carl Ipsen is an historian of modern Italy and has been a member of the IU faculty since 1994. He is also director of the Collins Living-Learning Center at IU. Carl began work on creating the IU Food Project while serving as the co-chair of the IU Office of Sustainability’s Food Working Group (FWG) which has been promoting the Real Food Challenge and has organized biannual “food summits” aimed at: 1) advancing the discussion about sustainable food procurement with vendors and IU food services and 2) promoting more sustainable food choices among IU students. Carl also initiated a Sustainable Food Committee at Collins (in 2012) and has participated on the Edible Campus Steering Committee, and continues to organize communication across the many food groups on campus.

Graduate Fellows

Madeline Chera

Maddie Chera is an advanced Ph.D. student in the Cultural Anthropology sub-field working on her dissertation on the promotion of traditional foods and the perception of food culture change in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India. She is a Student Representative of the Association for the Study of Food and Society (ASFS), and also a member of the Society for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition (SAFN), an AAA sub-group. Maddie has taught several classes at multiple universities and is working on strengthening food studies pedagogy across disciplines.

Leigh Bush

Leigh Bush is an advanced Ph.D. candidate in the Food Studies program at IU. Her dissertation research focuses on the effects of new media on the culinary community. Prior to working for the Food Institute, Leigh spent two years in the field working with chefs, media producers and software developers involved in the culinary community across Chicago. Leigh has assisted and instructed several classes at the university including Archeology of Wine and Fermented Beverages, Anthropology through Visual Media, Intro to International Affairs, and Interpersonal Communications. Leigh hosted the WTIU documentary Hoosier Hospitality: Wine and acted as managing producer for WFHB’s storytelling radio show The Porch Swing. 


Mark Chatarpal
Aaron Ellis