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Navin Ramankutty
Professor, Global Food Security and Sustainability, Liu Institute for Global Issues and Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability
Office: Liu Institute for Global Issues, Room 201B
Office Phone: (604) 827-1745

Navin Ramankutty joined UBC in July 2014 as a Professor in Global Food Security and Sustainability, IRES. Navin’s research concerns global land use change and its implications, focusing on agricultural practice and the implications for environmental change and food security.  He employs data and models to address the question of how to feed 9-10 billion people while reducing agriculture’s environmental footprint.

His research interests include global agriculture and food security, land use and cover change, global environmental change, global climate change, earth system science, ecosystem services, climate-vegetation interactions, global biogeochemical cycles.


His current professional activities include serving as Editor, Global Food Security and Associate Editor, Environmental Research Letters.


Selected Recent Publications:

1. Martellozzo, F., J. S. Landry, D. Plouffe, V. Seufert, P. Rowhani, and N. Ramankutty, Urban agriculture: a global analysis of the space constraint to meet urban vegetable demand, Environmental Research Letters, 9(6), 064025, 2014.

2. Ray, D. K., N. Ramankutty, N. D. Mueller, P. C. West, and J. A. Foley, Recent patterns of crop yield growth and stagnation, Nature Communications, 3, 1293, 2012.

3. Ramankutty, N., and J. Rhemtulla, Can intensive farming save nature?, Guest Editorial, Front. Ecol. Environ., 10(9), 455-455, 2012.

4. Seufert, V., N. Ramankutty, and J. A. Foley, Comparing the yields of organic and conventional agriculture, Nature, 485(7397), 229-232, 2012.

5. Foley, J. A., N. Ramankutty, K. A. Brauman, E. Cassidy, J. Gerber, M. Johnston, N. D. Mueller, C. O’Connell, D. K. Ray, P. C. West, C. Balzer, E. M. Bennett, S. R. Carpenter, J. Hill, C. Monfreda, S. Polasky, J. Rockström, J. Sheehan, S. Siebert, D. Tilman, and D. P. M. Zaks, Solutions for a Cultivated Planet, Nature, 478(7369), 337-342, 2011.

6. Deryng, D., W. J. Sacks, C. C. Barford, and N. Ramankutty, Simulating the effects of climate and agricultural management practices on global crop yield, Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 25, GB2006, doi:10.1029/2009GB003765, 18 pp., 2011.

7. Ramankutty, N., E. Heller, and J. Rhemtulla, Prevailing Myths about Agricultural Abandonment and Forest Regrowth in the United States, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 100(3), 1-11, 2010.

8. Barona, E., N. Ramankutty, G. Hyman, and O. T. Coomes, The role of pasture and soybean in deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon, Environmental Research Letters, 5(2), 024002, 2010.

9. Ellis, E. C., and N. Ramankutty, Putting people in the map: Anthropogenic biomes of the world, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 6, 439-447, 2008.

10. Ramankutty, N., A. Evan, C. Monfreda, and J. A. Foley, Farming the Planet. 1: The Geographic Distribution of Global Agricultural Lands in the Year 2000, Glob. Biogeochem. Cycles, 22, GB1003, doi:10.1029/2007GB002952, 2008.

Current Research Grants 

Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Discovery Grant, Principal Investigator on project titled “Agricultural land use and its Earth system implications." CAD$54,000/year from 2012-2017.


Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Discovery Accelerator Supplements, Principal Investigator on project titled “Observing and modelling land use change and its environmental consequences at global scales”. CAD$40,000/year from 2012-2015.


Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (subaward from Univ. of Minnesota), Co-investigator on project titled “Global Landscapes Initiative”. USD$200,000/year from 2011-2014.


Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Partnership Development Grants, Canada. Coinvestigator on project titled “Indigenous minority livelihoods and food security in the China-Vietnam borderlands”. CAD$36,282 from 2011-2014.

Invited Lectures, Conference, Presentations, Workshops (selected 5)

1. World Wildlife Fund’s ‘Kathryn Fuller Science for Nature Seminar Series’, Oct 2012.

2. University of British Columbia, Dept. of Geography and Liu Institute for Global Issues, British Columbia, Mar 2011.

3. Stockholm Resilience Centre, Jan 2011.

4. Annual Science Meeting 2009 of QUEST (Quantifying and Understanding the Earth System), Keynote speaker, Cotswold, UK, Apr 2009.

5. Global Change Symposium, University of Toronto, Toronto, Sep 2008.

Outreach and Communication

Blog post about his work on mapping agriculture in Latin America.

Interviews: CBC Radio’s “The Current” on Oct 18, 2011; CNN International on Apr 25, 2008.

Press releases: Oct 2011 ("Feeding the world while protecting the planet"); Nov 2007 (“Environmental researchers propose radical "human-centric" map of the world”).

Global crop yield data was used in graphic accompanying New York Times Sunday Edition story titled “A Warming Planet Struggles to Feed Itself”, 4 June 2011.

Navin Ramankutty
Professor Navin Ramankutty co-authored a paper published in Nature
19 November 2014
  A global assessment of the carbon cycle and temperature responses to major changes in future fire regime
New paper co-authored by Professor Navin Ramankutty: increased fire frequency may actually cool the climate
Currently Teaching:
RMES 500T: Global Food Security and Sustainability
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