Knowledge for a sustainable world

BSc, MSc, PhD
Dr Christopher J Turner
Senior Lecturer in Food Systems and Public Health Nutrition

Food and Markets Department

Natural Resources Institute, Faculty of Engineering & Science

+44 (0)1634 88 3714

Dr Christopher Turner is a Senior Lecturer in Food Systems and Public Health Nutrition at the Natural Resources Institute (NRI), University of Greenwich. He leads the Food Systems and Nutrition research sub-group, and is the innovation and impact theme lead on Food Systems for Improved Nutrition. He is also a co-manager of the UK Food Systems Centre for Doctoral Training (UKFS-CDT), where he leads the UKFS-CDT Academy. Chris joined the Food and Markets Department at NRI in January 2020 under the Food and Nutrition Security Initiative (FaNSI).

Chris is an interdisciplinary food systems researcher with a background in social science, human geography and public health nutrition. His mixed-methods research features participatory approaches, such as qualitative-GIS and photovoice, to investigate the lived experience of food environments. His research seeks to improve knowledge and understanding of drivers of food acquisition and consumption practices with a view to co-designing public health policies for sustainable healthy diets – particularly in low- and middle-income country settings.

Chris graduated from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) in 2020 with a PhD in Epidemiology and Population Health. Alongside his PhD, Chris led the Agriculture, Nutrition and Health Academy – Food Environment Working Group (ANH-FEWG), funded by the Innovative Methods and Metrics for Agriculture and Nutrition Actions (IMMANA) program. Chris co-led the Drivers of Food Choice – Food Environment Working Group, in collaboration with colleagues at the Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, USA, under the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Drivers of Food Choice program. He also collaborates with the International Network for Food and Obesity / Non-communicable Diseases Research, Monitoring and Action Support (INFORMAS) School Food Monitoring Network. Chris sits on several Advisory Boards for research projects, including the National Institute for Health Research – Obesity Policy Research Unit study on “the role of COVID-19 in shaping relationships with food and food environments in the UK” (PI: Professor Corinna Hawkes, Centre for Food Policy, City University), and the IMMANA funded project “A food environment toolbox: tools to measure natural & built food environments in LMICs” (PI: Assistant. Professor Shauna Downs, Dept. of Health Behavior, Society and Policy, Rutgers School of Public Health). Since 2015, Chris has collaborated with colleagues from Uppsala University, Sweden; Lund University, Sweden; and Addis Continental School of Public Health, Ethiopia on a FORMAS funded interdisciplinary research project titled “What’s to eat? Women, children and the urban food environment: the case of Addis Ababa”.

My scholarly interests broadly relate to interdisciplinary food systems research, with a particular focus on food environments and drivers of food acquisition and consumption. I have a strong interest in the development of theoretical concepts and frameworks to guide research, as well as public health interventions and policy. As a geographer, I have a keen interest participatory research methods as an approach to investigating lived experiences of food environments, with a view to improving our situated knowledge and understanding about and how people acquire and consume foods as part of daily life. My research interests and experience span low- middle and high-income country contexts.

  • 2019: London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine competitive public engagement grants scheme Map your school food environment project (Collaborator).
  • 2016: British Council Newton Bhabha Placement Grant, National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, India (3 months) (Recipient).
  • 2015-present: FORMAS EAT-Addis study: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. PIs: Ekström, L and Jirström, M. (Collaborator).
  • 2015-2020: London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health and the London Centre for Integrative Research on Agriculture and Health PhD Studentship - thesis title: “Investigating food environments and drivers of food acquisition in LMICs: The case of peri-urban Hyderabad, Telangana, India”. Project conducted in collaboration with the Andhra Pradesh Children and Parents Study, Telangana, India. PI Sanjay Kinra. (PhD candidate).
  • 2013-15: FORMAS/VR African Urban Agriculture: Environmental, Social and Economic Challenges and Prospects under Changing Global and Demographic Realities: Ghana, Kenya. PIs: Alsanius, B., and Jirström, M. (Collaborator).

Lead author:

  • Turner, C. Bhogadi, S., Walls, H. Surendran, S., Kulkarni, B. Kinra, S., Kadiyala, S. (2022) Drivers of food acquisition practices in the food environment of peri-urban Hyderabad, India: A qualitative investigation, Health and Place, 74.
  • Turner, C., Kalamatianou, S., Drewnowski, A., Kulkarni, B., Kinra, S., Kadiyala, S. (2019) Food Environment Research in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Systematic Scoping Review, Advances in Nutrition, 11:387–397; DOI:
  • Turner, C., Aggarwal, A., Walls, H., Herforth, A., Drewnowski, A., Coates, J., Kalamatianou, S., Kadiyala, S. (2018) Concepts and critical perspectives for food environment research: a global framework with implications for action in low- and middle-income countries, Global Food Security, 18:93–101; DOI:


  • Laar, A. […] Turner, C., et al., (2022) Perspective: Food Environment Research Priorities for Africa – Lessons from the Africa Food Environment Research Network, Adv Nutr.,
  • O’Meara, L., Turner, C., Costa Coitinho, D., Oenema, S. (2021) Consumer experiences of food environments during the Covid-19 pandemic: global insights from a rapid online survey of individuals from 119 countries, Global Food Security, 32,
  • Reyes LI, Constantinides SV, Bhandari S, Frongillo EA, Schreinemachers P, Wertheim-Heck S, Walls H, Holdsworth M, Laar A, Nguyen T, Turner C, Wellard K, Blake CE. (2021) Actions in global nutrition initiatives to promote sustainable healthy diets. Global Food Security, 31,
  • Neve, K. […] Turner, C., et al., (2021) Understanding Lived Experience of Food Environments to Inform Policy: An Overview of Research Methods, Research Brief: Centre for Food Policy, City, University of London
  • Constantinides, S.V*., Turner, C*., Frongillo, E.A., Bhandari, S., Reyes, L., Blake, C.E. (2021) Using a global food environment framework to understand relationships with food choice in diverse low- and middle-income countries, Global Food Security, 29, DOI:
  • Surendran, S., Selvaraj, K., Turner, C., Addanki, S., Kishore Kannuri, N., Debbarma, A., Kadiyala, S., Kinra, S., Walls, H. (2020) Characterising the fruit and vegetable environment of peri-urban Hyderabad, India, Global Food Security, 24, DOI:
  • Li, Y., Mallinson, P., Bhan, N., Turner, C., Bhogadi, S., Sharma, C., Aggarwal, A., Kulkarni, B., Kinra, S. (2019) Neighborhood physical food environment and cardiovascular risk factors in India: Cross-sectional evidence from APCAPS, Environment International, 132, 105108, DOI:
  • Berhane HY, Ekstrom E-C, Jirstrom M, Berhane Y, Turner C, Alsanius BW, Trenholm, J. (2018) Mixed blessings: A qualitative exploration of mothers’ experience of child care and feeding in the rapidly urbanizing city of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. PLoS ONE, 13(11): e0207685. DOI:
  • Berhane, H.Y., Ekström, E.-C., Jirström, M., Berhane, Y., Turner, C., Alsanius, B.W., Trenholm, J. (2018) What influences urban mother’s decisions on what to feed their children aged under-five – the case of Addis Abba, Ethiopia, Nutrients, 10, (9) DOI:
  • Prtichard, B., Mackay, H., Turner, C. (2017) Special issue introduction: Geographical perspectives on food and nutrition insecurity in the global South, Geographical Research, 55, (2), 127-130, DOI:
  • Picchioni, F., Aurino, E., Aleksandrowicz, L., Bruce, M., Chesterman, S., Dominguez-Salas, P., Gersten, Z., Kalamatianou, S., Turner, C., Yates, J. (2017) Roads to interdisciplinarity - working at the nexus among food systems, nutrition and health, Food Security, 9, 181-189, DOI:
  • Chris was awarded a studentship in Epidemiology and Population Health in 2015, funded by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the London Centre for Integrative Research on Agriculture and Health (LCIRAH).
  • Chris was the recipient of a Newton Bhabha Placement Grant in 2016, funded by the British Council, leading to a 3-month placement at the National Institute of Nutrition in Hyderabad, India.
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