Ataharul Chowdhury, PhD

Associate Professor, University of Guelph

I am an educator, a social scientist, and a believer in sustainable change. If you are in making change and impacting lives, I am here to listen up. This website is a window into my research, teaching and service practices. You will find news and information about my research, teaching publication, and reflection shared on my news and blog.


About Me
I am an educator, a social scientist, and a believer in sustainable change. I grew up on a family farm, but I have had the opportunity to live, study and work in different countries. I am currently an Assistant Professor of Capacity Development and Extension at the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada. My expertise and academic background intersect in the sub-fields of agricultural science, extension education, communication and innovation studies, and rural and regional development. I completed my doctoral studies at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), Vienna, Austria. My doctoral research was in the area of sustainable agricultural development and focused on video-mediated learning to support agricultural innovation in Bangladesh. I have held research and faculty positions at the University of the West Indies, Trinidad & Tobago; University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences; the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations; and Bangladesh Agricultural University. I have developed a passionate interest in food, agriculture and the environment, and the roles these play in the well-being of communities. To help build more sustainable agriculture and rural development in remote and resource-poor communities around the world, I have collaborated with many leading national, regional and international partners. I am the current secretary of the Association for International Agricultural and Extension Education, and one of my notable global contributions is the capacity-development framework for strengthening agricultural innovation that has been implemented by the FAO, European Union and Agrinatura in countries in Africa (Angola, Burkina Faso, and Ethiopia), Asia (Bangladesh, Laos) and Central America (Guatemala, Honduras). The originality and novelty of my research approach have directly contributed to my being awarded the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) post-doctoral scholarship and, subsequently, three SSHRC grants. I have been sought out as an advisor, keynote speaker, and reviewer by institutions such as Wageningen University, The University of the West Indies, Australian National University, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, University of the Philippines, the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Qatar Research Foundation, and the Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services. At the University of Guelph, I have taught Research Methods, Community Engagement, Project Management, Technology Stewardship, Development in Practice, International Communication, and Interpersonal Communication.

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