Dr Gregory Cooper

Department of Geography

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

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Dr Gregory Cooper
Department of Geography
Geography and Planning Building
Winter Street
S3 7ND

Greg’s research cuts across the major themes of developing agri-food systems, environmental sustainability and social-ecological resilience. He joined the Department of Geography and Institute for Sustainable Food as a postdoctoral research fellow on the UKRI funded Action Against Stunting Hub in March 2021. Prior to joining the University of Sheffield, Greg spent three years at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) as the Postdoctoral Research Fellow on the Market Intervention for Nutritional Improvement (MINI) project (funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the UK Government’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office). Greg completed his PhD in Geography at the University of Southampton, where he used system dynamics modelling to explore the social-ecological sustainability of the Chilika lagoon fishery system in Odisha, India. Greg also holds a BSc in physical geography from the University of Southampton.

Research interests

Greg’s main research interests include the trade-offs and challenges involved in creating nutritious and equitable food systems in low- and middle-income countries; the causes, consequences and options to tackle food losses and wastage; environmental sustainability and the creation of regional ‘safe and just operating spaces’ for Earth’s natural resource systems; the resilience of social-ecological systems in the face of short-term stresses (i.e. disease outbreaks and pollution events) and long-term trends (i.e. population and climate changes), and the causes of the tipping points and regime shifts as social-ecological systems do eventually collapse.

Since his PhD, Greg has specialised in the development of quantitative and qualitative system dynamics modelling tools to tackle questions of equitable food access, social-ecological sustainability and resilience. During the Market Intervention for Nutritional Improvement (MINI) project, Greg led the development of a system dynamics model to identify food system policy levers to increase the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables in small, relatively rural retail markets in the Indian state of Bihar. Over the past couple of years, he has also contributed to the refinement of participatory group model building approaches, which aim to benefit the formal modelling process by bringing together stakeholders with lived experience of the system for the co-creation of knowledge. As such, Greg has spent over one year conducting fieldwork in the Indian states of Odisha and Bihar, where he most recently conducted a series of group model building workshops, value chain assessments and farmer household surveys.


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


Teaching interests

Greg is interested in teaching around the themes of environmental sustainability, resilience and international development. At present, he supervises two Masters students on the GEO6805/6810 dissertation course, and will be contributing to the running of seminars on the GEO6801 ‘Ideas and Practice in International Development’ in the near future.

Teaching activities

GEO6805 (2020/21); GEO6810 (2020/21); GEO6801 (2021/2022)