Alyssa Beavers

Alyssa Beavers

Assistant Professor


Nutrition and Food Science

Alyssa Beavers

My current research focuses on two areas: gardening and food security.  I research urban gardening as a health promotion strategy, examining both the health impacts of gardening as well as factors that influence maintenance of gardening. This research uses a community-based participatory research approach, partnering with local gardening organizations throughout the research process.  I also examine the relationship between food security and aspects of diet quality, food purchasing and other means of food procurement.

Research interest(s)/area of expertise

 Urban gardening, food security, community-based participatory research


  • PhD: Human Nutrition, Michigan State University
  • Dietetic Internship: Iowa State University
  • MS: Nutritional Science, Iowa State University

Selected publications

Beavers AW, Kennedy AO, Blake JP, Comstock SS. Development and evaluation of food preservation lessons for gardeners: Application of the DESIGN process. Public Health Nutrition. 2023;27(1).

Gilleran MM, Koosis AO, Hill AB, Beavers AW. A qualitative examination of the Detroit community food response to COVID-19. Nutrients. 2023;15(13):3047.

Alaimo K, Beavers AW, Coringrato E, Lacy KM, Ma W, Hurley TG, Hébert JR. Community gardening increases vegetable intake and seasonal eating from baseline to harvest: Results from a mixed methods randomized controlled trial. Current Developments in Nutrition. 2023;7(5).

Sachs S, Tharrey M, Darmon N, Alaimo K, Boshara A, Beavers A, Litt J. “To me, it's just natural to be in the garden”: A multi-site investigation of new community gardener motivation using Self-Determination Theory. Wellbeing, Space, and Society. 2022; 3.

Beavers AW, Atkinson A, Varvatos LM, Connolly M, Alaimo K. How gardening in Detroit influences physical and mental health. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health. 2022, 19(13), 7899;

Niles MT, Beavers AW, Clay LA, et al., A Multi-Site Analysis of the Prevalence of Food Insecurity in the United States, before and during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Current Developments in Nutrition. 2021; 5(12).

Litton MM, Beavers AW. The relationship between food security status and fruit and vegetable intake during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nutrients. 2021; 13(3):712.

Beavers AW, Atkinson A, Ma W, Alaimo K. Garden characteristics and types of program involvement associated with sustained garden membership in an urban gardening support program. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening. 2021; 59:127026. doi:10.1016/j.ufug.2021.127026

Gascon M, Harrall KK, Beavers AW, et al. Feasibility of collection and analysis of microbiome data in a longitudinal randomized trial of community gardening. Future Microbiology. 2020; 15(8):633-648. doi:10.2217/fmb-2019-0195

Beavers AW, Atkinson, A, & Alaimo K. How gardening and a gardener support program in Detroit influence participants’ diet, food security, and food values. Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition. 2020; 15(2). doi:10.1080/19320248.2019.1587332

Alaimo K, Beavers AW, Crawford C, Hodges Snyder E, & Litt JS. Amplifying health through community gardens: A framework for advancing multicomponent, behaviorally based neighborhood interventions. Current Environmental Health Reports. 2016; 3, doi: 10.1007/s40572-016-0105-0

Courses taught by Alyssa Beavers

Fall Term 2024 (future)

Winter Term 2024 (current)

Fall Term 2023

Winter Term 2023

Fall Term 2022

Winter Term 2022