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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, energy, and land sustainability.

Formerly, I worked as a researcher at the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) on 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 its policy impact. Between 2015-2016 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 examines the global environmental footprint of countries and sectors. I use environmentally-extended multi-regional input-output analysis, a data-driven technique which combines macro-economic and environmental data to map fluxes of resource use and pollution across major production, consumption and trade networks.

Whilst the focus of my research is global and cross-sectoral in scope, I am particularly interested in (i) conceptual and empirical interrogation of the 'Water-Energy-Food Nexus', (ii) resource use embodied in agricultural trade, and (iii) the imapct (positive and negative) of trade on resource insecurity.Global Water Trade

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


Relevant publications

  • Taherzadeh, O. (In preparation). National resource risks in a globalised world.
  • 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
  • Taherzadeh, O. and Caro, D. (Submitted). Drivers of water and land use embodied in international soybean trade
  • 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:

  • 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]
  • Environment & Sustainability: Management Studies Tripos [MSE08]

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]