skip to primary navigation skip to content

Oliver Taherzadeh

Oliver Taherzadeh

PhD Candidate

Oliver is interested in how environmental risks connect different actors within the global economy. His PhD explores this in relation to water, climate, and land management.

Formerly, I worked as a researcher at the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI). Here, my research sought to advance policy coherence and accountability within global supply chain management and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. I was an inaugural member of SEI's Policy Advisory Group, established to investigate and develop their policy impact. Between 2015 and 2016 I coordinated the development of a successful £3.4m research proposal to The Global Food Security Programme.



  • Associate Fellow, Centre for International Sustainable Development Law [2018]
  • Researcher, Stockholm Environment Institute [2013-2016]


  • PhD, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge [2016-]
    "Navigating the Global Resource Nexus: Methods, Priorities, and Policies"
  • Environmental Economics: University of York, Starred First [2011-2014]
    Dissertation: O. Taherzadeh, P. Howley, 'No net loss of what, for whom? stakeholder perspectives to biodiversity offsetting in England', Environment, Development and Sustainability, (2018). doi: 10.1007/s10668-017-9967-z


  • CSAR PhD Student Award: Centre for the Application of Research, University of Cambridge [2018]
  • Philip Lake Fund Award: Department of Geography, University of Cambridge [2018]
  • Vice-Chancellor's Award: Cambridge Trust, University of Cambridge [2016-]
  • Travel Fund & St John's Fund: Darwin College [2017]


My research, funded by the Vice-Chancellor's Award (Cambridge Trust), combines macro-economic and resource use data on 250 million supply chains to assess the global environmental footprint of countries, sectors and consumers. I use environmentally-extended Input-Output Analysis, Material Flow Accounting, and Network Analysis to identify important actors and policy measures within this context.

Global Water Trade

[Example of global virtual water trade analysis between 189 countries using the EORA MRIO database]


Relevant publications:

  • Taherzadeh, O., Bithell, M. and Richards, K. 2018. When defining the boundaries of nexus analysis, let the data speak. Resources, Conservation and Recycling (137): 314-315. doi: 10.1016/j.resconrec.2018.06.012
  • Caro, D., Taherzadeh., Thomsen, M. (Submitted). Water embodied in international trade of soybean
  • West, C., Taherzadeh, O., Fordington, A. and Croft, S. (2016). Accounting for UK biomass consumption impacts overseas: potential indicators for the UK and Devolved countries. Report for JNCC/SNH

Relevant blogs:

  • Taherzadeh, O. and Probst, B. (2018). Eating less meat is a climate priority. Available on The Conversation UK and The Conversation France
  • Taherzadeh, O. (2018). Rethinking the Nexus: Why a Systemic Approach is Necessary. Available on Nexus Platform
  • Taherzadeh, O. and West, C. (2016). Harmonising India's water accounting with the SDGs. Measure What Matters. Available on Measure What Matters


I supervise on a variety of papers within the Department of Land Economy:

  • Land Economy, Development and Sustainability: Land Economy Tripos [Paper 4]
  • Environmental Economics and Law: Land Economy Tripos [Paper 5]
  • Land, Food and Ecosystem Services: Land Economy Tripos [Paper 16]
  • Environmental Economics and Policy: MPhil Environmental Policy [EPO2]

External activities

  • Representative, Graduate Student Committee [2016-]
  • Member, Cambridge Society for the Application of Research [2017-]
  • Fellow, Cambridge Philosophical Society [2017-]
  • Coordinator: Experience Cambridge, Department of Geography [2017]
  • Coordinator: Sutton Trust Summer School, Department of Geography [2017]