2023 International Awards: Abigail Bennett

John K. Hudzik Emerging Leader in Advancing International Studies and Programs

Back to News

Published: Tuesday, 21 Mar 2023 Author: Veronica Gracia-Wing

Headshot of Abigail Bennett
Abigail Bennett​​​​

Abigail Bennett is the 2023 recipient of the John K. Hudzik Emerging Leader in Advancing International Studies and Programs, which recognizes early-career faculty members who are making significant contributions in  the advancement of international scholarship, teaching, and/or public service and outreach at Michigan State University.

Bennett is an assistant professor in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Her work investigates the roles that fisheries and aquaculture play in livelihoods and food security around the world. Bennett is a social scientist with a background in policy studies and human geography, asking questions about how harvest, trade, and consumption of aquatic resources varies across space, the drivers of that variation, and the implications for the distribution of benefits among different groups of people. From a policy perspective, Bennett explores how these geographic understandings of fisheries and aquaculture can inform policies and investments to improve wellbeing of people who depend on aquatic resources. 

To address these complex questions, Bennett enjoys working in large, interdisciplinary teams with researchers and students from institutions around the world, building partnerships with international organizations, and engaging with a variety of interest groups ranging from government agencies to fisheries and aquaculture producers and traders. 

Bennett’s current projects include research and innovation in the dried fish value chain in Malawi, transformation and change in small-scale sea cucumber fisheries in Mexico, and global assessments of climate change impacts and adaptation in inland aquatic food systems. Bennett also leads MSU’s memorandum of understanding with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

“To me, being a Global Spartan means connecting people, knowledge, and power from different places and scales to promote positive change.”
- Abigail Bennett

She was nominated by Gary J. Roloff, chairperson and professor in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife. “Dr. Bennett’s engagement with international efforts and scholars across campus has facilitated collaboration with faculty from academic and research institutions around the world. Notably, attention to DEI is an important thread throughout Dr. Bennett’s program. She consistently helps advance DEI principles in all the programming and audiences she is involved with,” said Roloff.

Read more about Bennett’s work: