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portrait of Dr Laura Pereira

Dr Laura Pereira

Post Doctoral Research Fellow

School of Health Sciences, Division of Health Services Research and Management

Contact Information


Postal Address

City, University of London
Northampton Square
United Kingdom



Laura Pereira completed her BSc majoring in Zoology, Ecology and Law at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in South Africa in 2005. In 2006 she went on to complete her BSc (Hons) in Ecology and Environmental Science with distinction, working on nitrogen dynamics in southern African agriculture. She was also elected as a member of the Wits Student Representative Council and the president of the Wits chapter of the Golden Key International Honour Society. Having received a Wits University Council Scholarship for study overseas, she moved the Oxford University School of Geography in 2007 where she read for an MSc in Nature, Society and Environmental Policy at St Hilda’s College. Her dissertation involved using a materialistic approach to analyse the legal commodity chain of coca in Colombia. In 2008 she received a Clarendon Scholarship and an Oppenheimer Memorial Trust Grant to undertake her DPhil studies at Oxford. The title of her thesis is ‘Private sector adaptive capacity to climate change impacts in the food system: food security implications for South Africa and Brazil.’ She was also awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship for the academic year commencing September 2009.

Following a stint as a Future Agricultures Consortium (FAC) early career fellow at the Institute for Development Studies at Sussex University, she became a Giorgio Ruffolo and Gundle Public Service Post-doctoral fellow in the Sustainability Science Program at Harvard's Kennedy School. She then moved back to South Africa and completed a post doc at UCT under the bio-economy chair and was then employed at the Centre for complex systems in Transition at Stellenbosch university under the GRAID project to work on sustainability transformations in the food system. She is now based at the Centre for Food Policy, City University of London, working on a Wellcome Trust funded SHEFS project that focuses on healthy and sustainable food systems in South Africa, India and the UK.


  1. DPhil, Oxford University, United Kingdom, Oct 2008 – Jun 2012
  2. MSc, Oxford University, United Kingdom, Oct 2007 – Sep 2008
  3. BSc (Hons) Ecology, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, Feb – Dec 2006
  4. BSc (Zoology, Ecology, Law), University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, Feb 2003 – Dec 2005


  1. Researcher, Stellenbosch University, Jan 2016 – Dec 2017
  2. Post doctoral research fellow, University of Cape Town, Oct 2013 – Dec 2015
  3. Early career research fellow, Institute of Development Studies, Oct – Mar 2012
  4. Post-doctoral research fellow, Harvard University, Sep 2012 – Aug 2013


Afrikaans (can read, write, speak and understand spoken), English (can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review), French (can read and understand spoken), Portuguese (can read and understand spoken) and Spanish - Latin American (can read and understand spoken).


Geographic Areas

  • Africa - Southern
  • Americas - Latin


Books (2)

  1. Pereira, L.M., Girard, A.M. and McElroy, C.A. (2017). Conclusion. ISBN 978-1-138-90409-5.
  2. Archer, E., Dziba, L., Mulongoy, K.-.J., Maoela, M.A., Walters, M., Biggs, R. … Sitas, N. The Regional Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services for Africa: Summary for Policymakers. Bonn, Germany: Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.

Chapters (15)

  1. Skrimizea, E., Lecuyer, L., Bunnefeld, N., Butler, J.R.A., Fickel, T., Hodgson, I. … Young, J.C. (2020). Sustainable agriculture: Recognizing the potential of conflict as a positive driver for transformative change. Advances in Ecological Research (pp. 255–311). ISBN 978-0-12-822017-7.
  2. (2019). Global Environment Outlook – GEO-6: Healthy Planet, Healthy People. In Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1-108-70766-4.
  3. Pereira, L. (2018). Climate Change Impacts on Agriculture across Africa. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Environmental Science Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  4. (2018). Urban Planet. In Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1-107-19693-3.
  5. Karpouzoglou, T., Pereira, L.M. and Doshi, S. (2017). Bridging ICTs with governance capabilities for food–energy–water sustainability. Food, Energy and Water Sustainability (pp. 222–238). Routledge.
  6. Cockburn, J., Koopman, V., Pereira, L.M. and Niekerk, J.V. (2017). Institutional bricolage to address sustainability challenges in the South African sugarcane industry. Food, Energy and Water Sustainability (pp. 133–151). Routledge.
  7. Pereira, L.M. and McElroy, C.A. (2017). An introduction to food–energy–water nexus thinking and sustainability governance. Food, Energy and Water Sustainability (pp. 1–20). Routledge.
  8. Pereira, L.M. and McElroy, C.A. (2017). An introduction to food–energy–water nexus thinking and sustainability governance. Food, Energy and Water Sustainability: Emergent Governance Strategies (pp. 1–20). ISBN 978-1-138-90409-5.
  9. Drimie, S. and Pereira, L. (2016). Advances in Food Security and Sustainability in South Africa. Advances in Food Security and Sustainability (pp. 1–31). Elsevier. ISBN 978-0-12-809863-9.
  10. Eakin, H., Bohle, H.G., Izac, A.M., Reenberg, A., Gregory, P. and Pereira, L. (2012). Food systems in a changing world food, violence and human rights. Food Security and Global Environmental Change (pp. 245–271). ISBN 978-1-84977-661-5.
  11. Schilpzand, R., Liverman, D., Tecklin, D., Gordon, R., Pereira, L., Saxl, M. … Wiebe, K. (2010). Governance beyond the state: non-state actors and food systems. Food Security and Global Environmental Change (pp. 272–300). London: Taylor and Francis. ISBN 978-1-84971-128-9.
  12. Biggs, R., Kizito, F., Adjonou, K., Ahmed, M.T., Blanchard, R., Coetzer, K. … Pereira, L. Current and future interactions between nature and society. In Archer, E., Dziba, L., Mulongoy, K.J., Maola, A. and Walters, M. (Eds.), The IPBES regional assessment report on biodiversity and ecosystem services for Africa (pp. 297–352). Bonn, Germany: Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. ISBN 978-3-947851-05-8.
  13. Stringer, L., Osman-Elasha, B., DeClerck, F., Gebremikael, M.B., Barau, A.S., Denboba, M.A. … Ward, C. Options for governance and decision-making across scales and sectors. In Archer, E., Dziba, L., Mulongoy, K.-.J., Maoela, A. and Walters, A. (Eds.), The IPBES regional assessment report on biodiversity and ecosystem services for Africa (pp. 353–414). Bonn, Germany: Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. ISBN 978-3-947851-05-8.
  14. Kainuma, M., Mangalagiu, D., Asrar, G., Jacob, K., Pereira, L., Rocamora, A. … van der Ende, M. The Way Forward. Global Environment Outlook (GEO-6): Healthy Planet, Healthy People (pp. 581–596). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  15. Asrar, G., Lucas, P., van Vuuren, D., Pereira, L., Vervoort, J. and Bhargava, R. Outlooks in GEO-6. Global Environment Outlook (GEO-6): Healthy Planet, Healthy People (pp. 463–470). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Journal articles (44)

  1. Fazey, I., Schäpke, N., Caniglia, G., Hodgson, A., Kendrick, I., Lyon, C. … Kläy, A. (2020). Transforming knowledge systems for life on Earth: Visions of future systems and how to get there. Energy Research and Social Science, 70. doi:10.1016/j.erss.2020.101724.
  2. Pereira, L., Drimie, S., Zgambo, O. and Biggs, R. (2020). Planning for change: Transformation labs for an alternative food system in Cape Town, South Africa. Urban Transformations, 2(1). doi:10.1186/s42854-020-00016-8.
  3. Pereira, L.M., Davies, K.K., Belder, E., Ferrier, S., Karlsson‐Vinkhuyzen, S., Kim, H. … Lundquist, C.J. (2020). Developing multiscale and integrative nature–people scenarios using the Nature Futures Framework. People and Nature. doi:10.1002/pan3.10146.
  4. Wyborn, C., Davila, F., Pereira, L., Lim, M., Alvarez, I., Henderson, G. … Woods, E. (2020). Imagining transformative biodiversity futures. Nature Sustainability, 3(9), pp. 670–672. doi:10.1038/s41893-020-0587-5.
  5. Hamann, M., Biggs, R., Pereira, L., Preiser, R., Hichert, T., Blanchard, R. … Ziervogel, G. (2020). Scenarios of Good Anthropocenes in southern Africa. Futures, 118. doi:10.1016/j.futures.2020.102526.
  6. Akinola, R., Pereira, L.M., Mabhaudhi, T., de Bruin, F.M. and Rusch, L. (2020). A review of indigenous food crops in Africa and the implications for more sustainable and healthy food systems. Sustainability (Switzerland), 12(8). doi:10.3390/SU12083493.
  7. Raudsepp-Hearne, C., Peterson, G.D., Bennett, E.M., Biggs, R., Norström, A.V., Pereira, L. … Aceituno, A.J. (2020). Seeds of good anthropocenes: developing sustainability scenarios for Northern Europe. Sustainability Science, 15(2), pp. 605–617. doi:10.1007/s11625-019-00714-8.
  8. Ely, A., Marin, A., Charli-Joseph, L., Abrol, D., Apgar, M., Atela, J. … Yang, L. (2020). Structured collaboration across a transformative knowledge network-learning across disciplines, cultures and contexts? Sustainability (Switzerland), 12(6). doi:10.3390/su12062499.
  9. Adelle, C., Pereira, L., Görgens, T. and Losch, B. (2020). Making sense together: The role of scientists in the coproduction of knowledge for policy making. Science and Public Policy, 47(1), pp. 56–66. doi:10.1093/scipol/scz046.
  10. Stringer, L.C., Fraser, E.D.G., Harris, D., Lyon, C., Pereira, L., Ward, C.F.M. … Simelton, E. (2020). Adaptation and development pathways for different types of farmers. Environmental Science and Policy, 104, pp. 174–189. doi:10.1016/j.envsci.2019.10.007.
  11. Scoones, I., Stirling, A., Abrol, D., Atela, J., Charli-Joseph, L., Eakin, H. … Yang, L. (2020). Transformations to sustainability: combining structural, systemic and enabling approaches. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 42, pp. 65–75. doi:10.1016/j.cosust.2019.12.004.
  12. Pereira, L.M., Drimie, S., Maciejewski, K., Tonissen, P.B. and Biggs, R. (2020). Food system transformation: Integrating a political–economy and social–ecological approach to regime shifts. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(4). doi:10.3390/ijerph17041313.
  13. Pereira, L., Frantzeskaki, N., Hebinck, A., Charli-Joseph, L., Drimie, S., Dyer, M. … Vervoort, J.M. (2020). Transformative spaces in the making: key lessons from nine cases in the Global South. Sustainability Science, 15(1), pp. 161–178. doi:10.1007/s11625-019-00749-x.
  14. Rana, S., Ávila-García, D., Dib, V., Familia, L., Gerhardinger, L.C., Martin, E. … Pereira, L.M. (2020). The voices of youth in envisioning positive futures for nature and people. Ecosystems and People, 16(1), pp. 326–344. doi:10.1080/26395916.2020.1821095.
  15. Archer, E., Dziba, L.E., Mulongoy, K.J., Maoela, M.A., Walters, M., Biggs, R. … Sitas, N. (2020). Biodiversity and ecosystem services on the African continent – What is changing, and what are our options? Environmental Development. doi:10.1016/j.envdev.2020.100558.
  16. Boatemaa, S., Barney, M., Drimie, S., Harper, J., Korsten, L. and Pereira, L. (2019). Awakening from the listeriosis crisis: Food safety challenges, practices and governance in the food retail sector in South Africa. Food Control, 104, pp. 333–342. doi:10.1016/j.foodcont.2019.05.009.
  17. Pereira, L., Sitas, N., Ravera, F., Jimenez-Aceituno, A. and Merrie, A. (2019). Building capacities for transformative change towards sustainability: Imagination in Intergovernmental Science-Policy Scenario Processes. Elem Sci Anth, 7(1), pp. 35–35. doi:10.1525/elementa.374.
  18. Pereira, L., Bennett, E., Biggs, R., Mangnus, A., Norstrom, A.V., Peterson, G. … Vervoort, J. (2019). Seeding Change by Visioning Good Anthropocenes. Solutions Journal, 10(3).

    [publisher’s website]

  19. Kehoe, L., Reis, T., Virah-Sawmy, M., Balmford, A. and Kuemmerle, T. (2019). Make EU trade with Brazil sustainable. Science, 364(6438), pp. 341–341. doi:10.1126/science.aaw8276.
  20. Lara, L.G., Pereira, L.M., Ravera, F. and Jiménez-Aceituno, A. (2019). Flipping the Tortilla: Social-ecological innovations and traditional ecological knowledge for more sustainable agri-food systems in Spain. Sustainability (Switzerland), 11(5). doi:10.3390/su11051222.
  21. Pereira, L.M., Calderón-Contreras, R., Norström, A.V., Espinosa, D., Willis, J., Guerrero Lara, L. … Pérez Amaya, O. (2019). Chefs as change-makers from the kitchen: indigenous knowledge and traditional food as sustainability innovations. Global Sustainability, 2. doi:10.1017/s2059479819000139.
  22. Sitas, N., Harmáčková, Z.V., Anticamara, J.A., Arneth, A., Badola, R., Biggs, R. … Valle, M. (2019). Exploring the usefulness of scenario archetypes in science-policy processes: Experience across IPBES assessments. Ecology and Society, 24(3). doi:10.5751/ES-11039-240335.
  23. Mabhaudhi, T., Chibarabada, T., Chimonyo, V., Murugani, V., Pereira, L., Sobratee, N. … Modi, A. (2018). Mainstreaming Underutilized Indigenous and Traditional Crops into Food Systems: A South African Perspective. Sustainability, 11(1), pp. 172–172. doi:10.3390/su11010172.
  24. Pereira, L.M., Karpouzoglou, T., Frantzeskaki, N. and Olsson, P. (2018). Designing transformative spaces for sustainability in social-ecological systems. Ecology and Society, 23(4). doi:10.5751/ES-10607-230432.
  25. Pereira, L., Wynberg, R. and Reis, Y. (2018). Agroecology: The future of sustainable farming? Environment, 60(4), pp. 4–17. doi:10.1080/00139157.2018.1472507.
  26. Termeer, C.J.A.M., Drimie, S., Ingram, J., Pereira, L. and Whittingham, M.J. (2018). A diagnostic framework for food system governance arrangements: The case of South Africa. NJAS - Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences, 84, pp. 85–93. doi:10.1016/j.njas.2017.08.001.
  27. Pereira, L.M., Hichert, T., Hamann, M., Preiser, R. and Biggs, R. (2018). Using futures methods to create transformative spaces: Visions of a good anthropocene in Southern Africa. Ecology and Society, 23(1). doi:10.5751/ES-09907-230119.
  28. Boatemaa, S., Drimie, S. and Pereira, L. (2018). Addressing food and nutrition security in South Africa: A review of policy responses since 2002. African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 13(3), pp. 264–279.
  29. Preiser, R., Pereira, L.M. and Biggs, R. (2017). Navigating alternative framings of human-environment interactions: Variations on the theme of ‘Finding Nemo’. Anthropocene, 20, pp. 83–87. doi:10.1016/j.ancene.2017.10.003.
  30. Rosa, I.M.D., Pereira, H.M., Ferrier, S., Alkemade, R., Acosta, L.A., Akcakaya, H.R. … van Vuuren, D. (2017). Multiscale scenarios for nature futures. NATURE ECOLOGY & EVOLUTION, 1(10), pp. 1416–1419. doi:10.1038/s41559-017-0273-9.
  31. Candel, J.J.L. and Pereira, L. (2017). Towards integrated food policy: Main challenges and steps ahead. Environmental Science and Policy, 73, pp. 89–92. doi:10.1016/j.envsci.2017.04.010.
  32. Pereira, L.M. (2017). Cassava bread in Nigeria: the potential of ‘orphan crop’ innovation for building more resilient food systems. International Journal of Technology and Globalisation, 8(2), pp. 97–115. doi:10.1504/IJTG.2017.088958.
  33. Bennett, E.M., Solan, M., Biggs, R., McPhearson, T., Norström, A.V., Olsson, P. … Xu, J. (2016). Bright spots: seeds of a good Anthropocene. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 14(8), pp. 441–448. doi:10.1002/fee.1309.
  34. Pereira, L. and Drimie, S. (2016). Governance Arrangements for the Future Food System: Addressing Complexity in South Africa. Environment, 58(4), pp. 18–31. doi:10.1080/00139157.2016.1186438.
  35. Pereira, L., Karpouzoglou, T., Doshi, S. and Frantzeskaki, N. (2015). Organising a safe space for navigating social-ecological transformations to sustainability. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 12(6), pp. 6027–6044. doi:10.3390/ijerph120606027.
  36. Pereira, L.M., Cuneo, C.N. and Twine, W.C. (2014). Food and cash: Understanding the role of the retail sector in rural food security in South Africa. Food Security, 6(3), pp. 339–357. doi:10.1007/s12571-014-0349-1.
  37. Pereira, L.M., Owen-Smith, N. and Moleón, M. (2014). Facultative predation and scavenging by mammalian carnivores: Seasonal, regional and intra-guild comparisons. Mammal Review, 44(1), pp. 44–55. doi:10.1111/mam.12005.
  38. Pereira, L. (2014). The role of substantive equality in finding sustainable development pathways in South Africa. McGill International Journal of Sustainable Development Law and Policy, 10(2), pp. 147–148.
  39. Rivera-Ferre, M., Pereira, L., Karpouzoglou, T., Nicholas, K., Onzere, S., Waterlander, W. … Bollmohr, S. (2013). A Vision for Transdisciplinarity in Future Earth: Perspectives from Young Researchers. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development pp. 249–260. doi:10.5304/jafscd.2013.034.031.
  40. Pereira, L.M. (2013). The future of the food system: Cases involving the private sector in South Africa. Sustainability (Switzerland), 5(3), pp. 1234–1255. doi:10.3390/su5031234.
  41. Pereira, L., Da Fontoura, Y.S.D.R. and Da Fontoura, C.F.V.T. (2013). Strategic csr shifts towards adaptive food governance under environmental change: A comparison between south african and brazilian retailers. Revista de Gestao Social e Ambiental, 7(1), pp. 100–112. doi:10.24857/rgsa.v7i1.482.
  42. Pereira, L.M. and Ruysenaar, S. (2012). Moving from traditional government to new adaptive governance: The changing face of food security responses in South Africa. Food Security, 4(1), pp. 41–58. doi:10.1007/s12571-012-0164-5.
  43. Pereira, L. (2010). Becoming coca: A materiality approach to a commodity chain analysis of hoja de coca in Colombia. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, 31(3), pp. 384–400. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9493.2010.00412.x.
  44. Aguiar, A.P., Collste, D., Harmáčková, Z.V., Pereira, L.M., Selomane, O., Galafassi, D. … van der Leeuw, S. Co-designing global target-seeking scenarios: a cross-scale participatory process for capturing multiple perspectives on pathways to sustainability. . doi:10.31235/


  1. Reynolds, C., Isaacs, A., Neve, K., Pereira, L., Sharpe, R. and Wells, R. (2020). Centre for Food Policy at City, University of London response to the EFRA committee enquiry COVID-19 and food supply.