Professor Bhavani Shankar

School of Geography and Planning

Professorial Research Fellow in Food Systems, Nutrition and Sustainability

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Professor Bhavani Shankar
School of Geography and Planning
Geography and Planning Building
Winter Street
S3 7ND

Bhavani works on research areas at the intersection of food, health and environmental sustainability. He joined the Institute of Sustainable Food and the Department of Geography in April 2020. From 2011 to March 2020, Bhavani was Professor at SOAS University of London, and has previously also held appointments at the University of Reading and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Bhavani’s recent work has been funded by the Welcome Trust, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Leverhulme Trust, UKRI, GCRF, UKAid and the European Commission, among others. During 2022-23 Bhavani served as team leader for the High Level Panel of Experts (HLPE) report on 'Reducing Inequalities for Food Security and Nutrition'. He co-leads the Food Consumption, Health and Sustainability Pillar of the Institute for Sustainable Food at Sheffield and serves on the editorial advisory boards of the journals Global Food Security and Food Policy.

Research interests

Bhavani’s current research interests include sustainable diets, climate and nutrition-sensitive food systems, food and nutrition policy evaluation and inequities in food systems and nutrition. Much of his work is of an interdisciplinary nature, conducted in collaboration with nutritionists, geographers and health, agricultural and environmental scientists. 

Current externally funded projects:

Indian Food Systems for Improved Nutrition:  INFUSION is studying was in which rural communities in India can gain better access to nutrient-dense foods through improved functioning of food markets. 

GCRF Action Against Stunting Hub: The Action Against Stunting Hub conducts research in India, Indonesia and Senegal aimed at addressing the intractable global challenge of child stunting.

Healthy Soil, Healthy Food and Healthy People: H3 is a UKRI-funded project identifying workable paths towards transformed UK food systems, delivered via a series of interventions: on farm, in food manufacturing, distribution and retail.

Innovative Methods and Metrics for Agriculture for Nutrition Actions (IMMANA): IMMANA aims to stimulate the development of novel methods and metrics for research linking agriculture and nutrition. It is co-funded by FCDO and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Sustainable and Healthy Food Systems (SHEFS): SHEFS is a programme aiming to provide policy makers with novel, interdisciplinary evidence to define future food systems policies that deliver nutritious and healthy foods in an environmentally sustainable and socially equitable manner. This LSHTM-led project is funded by the Wellcome Trust.

Nutrished: Nutrished aims to develop and demonstrate a spatially-explicit foodshed-level planning approach that will enable planners to diagnose and plan interventions to help communities ensure stable and resilient supplies of key nutrients


Journal articles


Conference proceedings papers

  • Kadiyala S, Cooper G, Fahmida U, Frongillo EA, Konapur A, Pramesthi IL, Rowland D, Selvaraj K, Shankar B & Zahara NL (2023) Advances in methods and metrics in measuring food environments and implications for healthy food choices. ANNALS OF NUTRITION AND METABOLISM, Vol. 79 (pp 191-191) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Holloway G, Shankar B & Rahmanb S (2002) Bayesian spatial probit estimation: a primer and an application to HYV rice adoption. Agricultural Economics, Vol. 27(3) (pp 383-402) RIS download Bibtex download