Coronavirus (COVID-19) research

The ongoing COVID-19 outbreak represents an unprecedented challenge for food production, consumption and supply chains across the globe. At the Global Food and Environment Institute (GFEI), we are in a unique position to respond to the complex challenges raised by the pandemic. Our interdisciplinary research community brings together expertise from across academia, industry and public policy.

Many GFEI members are working to deliver research into the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Others are considering how we might start to recover, investigating different opportunities to create enduring and sustainable solutions.  

Our research into COVID-19 is ongoing, and we have the expertise to conduct relevant research in the future. To receive regular updates about our research community and expertise, become a GFEI member.

Our research into COVID-19

A number of colleagues working in GFEI have begun research related to COVID-19.

The impact of COVID-19 on food supply chains

Long-term risks to land use and groundwater pollution due to COVID-19

The impact of past disease, climate and market shocks on African food systems  

Dr Claire Quinn and Professor Andy Dougill are working with the University of Pretoria and FANRPAN to conduct analyses on the impact of past disease, climate and market shocks on African food systems with studies focused across Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia and South Africa.

Food waste prevention and food surplus distribution   

Dr Effie Papargyropoulou is conducting research related to food waste prevention and food surplus redistribution in the commercial sector. This is highly relevant to current changes in the food supply chains due to COVID-19. 

Food shortages and design interventions  

Dr Lucie Middlemiss is an expert in sustainable consumption. Her work is particularly relevant in the context of COVID-19. She is working to understand why food shortages and bottle necks occur from a consumer perspective and design interventions to avoid these. 

The impact of lockdown on food purchasing behaviour, and the environmental sustainability of different dietary choices

Dr Darren Greenwood (School of Medicine) is the Director of the World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Nutritional Epidemiology and a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN), advising Public Health England and other UK government organisations. SACN's remit includes advising on nutritional issues which affect wider public health policy issues such as our response to COVID-19, the nutrition of vulnerable groups and health inequality issues. He has contributed to SACN’s recent rapid review of Vitamin D and acute respiratory tract infections and is a member of the expert panel that drafted the recent National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines on vitamin D use in the context of COVID-19. Dr Greenwood has also contributed to a systematic review and meta-analysis of long-term recovery in survivors of previous coronavirus outbreaks, and the systematic review of the prevalence of long COVID. He is currently involved in research exploring the impact of lockdown on food purchasing behaviour, and the environmental sustainability of different dietary choices.

'A Safe and Just Local Food system' 

Dr Paul Jensen (School of Food Science and Nutrition), Dr Anne Velenturf (Civil Engineering) and Mike Howroyd (Sustainability Service) collaborated with Dr John Lever, Reader at the University of Huddersfield Business School, to investigate the response of local food supply chain actors to the COVID-19 crisis in a project titled: 'A Safe and Just Local Food system'. The project brought together a network of local actors with collaboration results being used to advise local councils on how they can improve resilience in local food systems and make plans for a Yorkshire wide living lab. 

More information  

Read more about research projects related to COVID-19 being undertaken in the Centre for Operations and Supply Chain Research (COSCR), part of Leeds University Business School.

Contact us 

If you would like to find out more about any of these projects, please contact us on: