Knowledge for a sustainable world

BSc, MSc, PhD
Dr Christopher J Turner
Research Fellow in Food Systems and Public Health Nutrition

Food and Markets Department

Natural Resources Institute, Faculty of Engineering & Science

+44 (0)1634 88 3714

C.J.Turner@greenwich.ac.uk

Dr Christopher Turner joined the University of Greenwich in January 2020. He is a Research Fellow in Public Health Nutrition at the Natural Resources Institute (NRI) Food and Markets Department. Chris has an interdisciplinary research background that includes social science and human geography, as well as public health nutrition. His mixed-methods research seeks to improve knowledge and understanding of food environments and drivers of food acquisition in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

Chris graduated from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) in January 2020 with a PhD in Epidemiology and Population Health. His PhD thesis is titled “Investigating food environments and drivers of food acquisition in LMICs: The case of peri-urban Hyderabad, Telangana, India”. As part of his thesis, Chris published a globally applicable conceptual framework for food environment research, as well as the first systematic review of the rapidly emerging body of food environment literature from LMICs. His primary data collection was based in the Andhra Pradesh Children and Parents Study (APCAPS), in Telangana, India, where he designed and implemented a novel qualitative-GIS (Q-GIS) approach featuring participatory photo mapping, photo-elicitation techniques, and in-depth interviews.

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). He was also 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. In addition to his PhD research, Chris led a public engagement project with A-level students from Graycoats Hospital School in London, titled ‘Map your school food environment’. The project was funded by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Public Engagement Competitive Grants scheme.

Prior to being a PhD candidate, Chris was employed as a research assistant at the Department of Human Geography, Lund University, from 2013-15 on a project based in Ghana and Kenya titled “African Urban Agriculture: Environmental, Social and Economic Challenges and Prospects under Changing Global and Demographic Realities”. He has teaching experience at both undergraduate and post-graduate levels, having taught on GIS and development studies courses at the Department of Human Geography, Lund University. He graduated from Lund University in Sweden in 2013 with an MSc in Social Science and Human Geography.

Chris is currently the leader of 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) programme. He is also co-leader of the Drivers of Food Choice - Food Environment Working Group, in collaboration with colleagues at the University of South Carolina, US, under the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Drivers of Food Choice programme. Chris collaborates with the International Network for Food and Obesity / Non-communicable Diseases Research, Monitoring and Action Support (INFORMAS) School Food Monitoring Network. He is also a member of a FORMAS funded multidisciplinary research project titled “What’s to eat? Women, children and the urban food environment: the case of Addis Ababa”, collaborating with colleagues from Uppsala University, Sweden; Lund University, Sweden; and Addis Continental School of Public Health, Ethiopia.

My research interests broadly relate to food systems, food environments, and drivers of food acquisition and consumption, particularly in LMICs. More specifically, I have a keen interest in improving knowledge and understanding about and how people interact with their food environment to acquire and consume foods as part of daily life in LMICs.

I am particularly interested in the development of food system and food environment concepts that may guide empirical research in LMICs. This interest led me to develop a globally applicable food environment conceptual framework (Turner et al., 2018). Going forward, I’m interested in refining these concepts in relation to food and nutrition security across a range of diverse LMIC settings.

I am also interested in the development of novel methods and metrics to capture how people interact with their food environment to acquire and consume foods as part of daily life. This interest led me to develop and implement an innovative qualitative-GIS (Q-GIS) approach as part of my PhD research, featuring participatory photo mapping, photo-elicitation techniques, and in-depth interviews. I am particularly interested in the use of participatory action research and the community-based participatory photo mapping of food environments in LMICs.

  • 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., 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: https://doi.org/10.1093/advances/nmz031.
  • 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: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gfs.2018.08.003

Co-author

  • 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: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gfs.2019.100343
  • 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: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2019.105108
  • 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: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0207685
  • 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: https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10091142
  • 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: https://doi.org/10.1111/1745-5871.12227
  • 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: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12571-017-0658-2
  • 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.
Send an Email