Joan McGregor’s current research interests are focused on a number of questions in moral and legal philosophy.
Bioethics and environmental ethics join in research on the moral issues in sustainability. One of the most pressing sustainability questions pertains to modern food systems. Contemporary food systems are complex and multinational, involving workers and consumers from diverse cultures and economies. These systems must be capable of feeding large culturally varied populations without compromising social justice, human health, and the health of the planet. These questions are multifaceted and require approaches and methods from a variety of disciplines. In order to tackle these challenges, McGregor’s current project is directing "Just Food," a multi-year, transdisciplinary project designed to research moral and cultural questions related to modern food production and consumption, including the consideration of the unintended consequences of the practices and technologies that we develop in our food systems.
McGregor directed three National Endowment for the Humanities summer institutes on sustainability, “Fierce Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and the Foundations of the Land Ethic” in 2009 and in 2011, “Beyond the Land Ethics: Sustainability and Humanities”, "Extending the Land Ethic."