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Dr Rounaq Nayak


Lecturer in Sustainable Food Systems

The modern global agri-food sector faces challenges such as feeding increasing global populations, climate change, scarcity of natural resources and reducing the carbon footprint. Poorly designed agri-food systems have led to food insecurity in the global population, with 820 million people being undernourished. Inadequate access to healthy diets, siloed policies, complex supply chains with poor transparency and accountability has led to issues such as stunting, wasting and underweight children across the world. One approach to tackle this issue is through sustainable intensification (SI) where agricultural yields are maximised without adverse environmental impacts by viewing the agri-food sector through a systems lens. My research interest lies in understanding how the agri-food supply chain can be made more resilient by adopting realistic policies which incorporate sustainable adoption of Industry 4.0. Designing people-centred systems instead of technology-centred systems is key in achieving the successful adoption of technology to meet all the dimensions of sustainability. That people will not strictly adhere to every single protocol is a given - what I am interested in is understanding how we should design modern agri-food systems such that we would achieve maximum compliance with policies and adoption of useful technology while ensuring food and people safety and security at every point along the food supply chain.

I am a social scientist with a specialisation in applying human factors methods to complex systems. I have a keen interest in understanding the impact of change on human behaviour, and its subsequent impact on the health and welfare of children across the world. Specifically, in understanding and exploring the negative impacts of change on the food system, and identifying how change can be managed positively. In addition to carrying out research in the food sector, I also have experience in carrying out Quality Improvement in the healthcare sector at the Oxford University Hospitals.

I am interested in collaborating with researchers, and stakeholders of the food industry within and outside academia on research projects within my areas of research interest. My skills include carrying out systems analyses using Human Factors techniques across industries, using a variety of qualitative and quantitative methods leading to service improvement and policy design.

I am a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and a Member of 'SALUS: the Food Safety Culture Research Group', a research group comprised of researchers concerned with improving local, national and global food safety cultures to improve resilience within food systems.

I am always keen to learn more about applying human factors and systems methods across the food industry, so whether you have similar interests, or want to find out more, please feel free to get in touch with me.

Areas of Research Interest:
1. Social Sustainability and Agriculture 4.0
2. Food Security, Transparency and Accountability
3. Food Safety Culture
4. Food Fraud & Crime
5. Ethical behaviour in the agri-food supply chain


Professional Memberships

Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)

Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Member of the The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health

Academic Department: Food, Land and Agribusiness Management

Tel: +44 (1952) 815233

Twitter: @rounaq_26

Office: AC7 Aspire Centre

Research profile: ORCID

Research profile:


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Other publications


You can contact Dr Rounaq Nayak if you would like to discuss any of the following course modules:



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