UCPH - Kobenhavns Universitet - University of Copenhagen Faculty of Science

UNIVERSITY of COPENHAGEN (UCPH) established in Nørregade 10, DK-1165 Copenhagen K, Denmark, represented by Kim Brinckmann, Deputy Director of Research and Innovation or his authorised representatives. University of Copenhagen (UCPH) is the largest institution of research and education in Denmark with over 40,000 students and more than 9,000 employees. UCPH hosts the largest development oriented research environment in Denmark, totalling the equivalent of more than 300 full time staff and 300 PhD students.

The expertise regarding Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture (FNSSA) is mainly found at the Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Social Sciences within the following departments: Food Science; Geosciences and Natural Resource Management; Nutrition, Exercise and Sports; Plant and Environmental Sciences; Food and Resource Economics and Economics.

Development research is a prioritised area of the University, as it covers several of the strategic research areas, including natural resources and ecosystems; resource management, policies and economics; agro-food chains: crops, health and processing; food security and nutrition; water and interaction between nature and culture. Besides research activities, the university has a longstanding history of educational and capacity development programmes with international partners.


University of Copenhagen / Faculty of Science will mainly be involved in WP1 (Task 1.3 “Studies, Analysis, Foresight”) and in WP3 (Task 3.1.”clustering projects and thematic networks”)


  • Prof. Niels Fold (m) holds a PhD in Economic Geography from the University of Copenhagen and he heads a research group on Environment and Society in Developing Countries at the Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, University of Copenhagen. His research focuses on agro-industrial linkages and regional development in the Global South analysed within a global value chain (GVC) approach. He has worked and published on several agro-industrial value chains in Ghana, Tanzania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Malaysia and Vietnam. He has extensive experience in management of externally funded research projects, coordination of multi-country programs, and handling of cross-disciplinary projects. Niels Fold is former director of a PhD Programme at the University of Copenhagen and presently heading a consortium of Danish Universities that upgrades research capacity at Sokoine University of Agriculture (Tanzania).
  • Prof. Ole Mertz (m) holds a PhD in geography from University of Copenhagen and he heads the Section of Geography at the Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, University of Copenhagen. His research is focused on global environmental change, land use transitions and food security in the Global South. He has worked for two decades on the dynamics of forest-agriculture frontiers looking at how change in agriculture and land use affect socioeconomic and environmental systems. He has been coordinating an EU-FP7 funded project on REDD+ (2011-2014) with 14 partners and was leading a sub-component of the FP6-funded project African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analysis on climate change adaptation in agriculture in West Africa. He is currently member of two Marie Sklosdowska-Curie International Training Networks, is Chief Editor of the Danish Journal of Geography and serves on editorial boards of five international journals.
  • Anja Hansen (f) holds an MSc in Political Science from University of Copenhagen and is international coordinator at the University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Science, Secretariat for Development Cooperation. She has 15 years of experience with donor and stakeholder liaison for development related research from University of Copenhagen, developing strategies for cooperation with partner institutions in Africa, information dissemination, networking, facilitating institutional cooperation with public and private sector as well as civil society organisations. She is the institutional representative in AGRINATURA and European Forum for Agricultural Research for Development (EFARD). Experience from Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, Botswana and other African countries. Previous research: Evaluation as a tool for organisational learning. Working experience from UNESCO, the private sector and NGOs.
  • Prof. John Rand (m) holds a PhD in Economics from University of Copenhagen and he is acting director of the Development Economics Research Group (DERG) at the Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen. Moreover, he is member of the Copenhagen Center for Disaster Research and is co-editor of the European Journal of Development Research (EJDR). Currently, he also serves as reviewer for the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie). His research isapplied with a focus on policy relevance in a developing country context; primarily within the fields of (i) project evaluation, (ii) enterprise dynamics and industrial policy, and (iii) international capital flows. Most research has during the past 15 years been carried out in collaboration with national ministries and research institutions but also with international organizations such as the UN, ILO and the World Bank. Currently, he is coordinating projects in Myanmar, Tanzania and South Africa, but he also has coordination and evaluation implementation experience in Ghana, Mozambique and Vietnam from previous externally funded projects.
  • Prof. Henrik Hansen (m) holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Copenhagen and he is Director of Studies for the Economics programme as well as Director of Studies for the interdisciplinary MSc programme “Global Development” at the Faculty of Science at the university. He is member of the Development Economics Research Group and the Copenhagen Center for Disaster Research and co-editor of the Review of Development Economics. Currently, he is also member of the Programme Committee for the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) and chairperson of the sub-committee for research in the AERC. His recent research has a focus on impact evaluation using both purely quantitative as well as mixed methods approaches. He has been consultant for the Danish aid agency, Danida, the ILO, UNCTAD, UNDP, UNU-WIDER, the World Bank, as well as chairperson of the Board of the Danida Fellowship Center and alternate member of the board of Danida.
  • Prof. Andreas de Neergaard (m) is professor and Associate Dean at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Copenhagen. His research has focused on sustainable farming systems, nutrient use efficiency, sustainable land and soil management, carbon stocks and inventories, greenhouse gas emissions and Climate Smart Agriculture. He has also worked on commercialization of smallholders, organic certification and livelihood/sustainability interactions. Andreas has led one Erasmus MSc (Agris Mundus) and one Erasmus PhD programme (Agtrain) with 6 EU and 10 global research partners. Besides, he has engaged in numerous capacity development programs in HEI’s across Southern and East Africa, and South East Asia. Andreas has been Director of Studies of BSc in Natural Resources and MSc in Agricultural Development at the university.
  • Prof. Lene Jespersen (f) is professor in Microbial Ecology and Food Fermentation at the Department of Food Science, University of Copenhagen. Her research focuses on indigenous food products, food security, biotechnology, food microbiology, fermentation, microbial biodiversity as well as microbial interactions within the human GI tract. She has worked with capacity building in developing countries for more than 25 years primarily in West Africa where she has headed several national and international projects in Ghana, Burkina Faso, Benin and Mali in collaboration with local universities and research organisations. Focus has been on upgrading the West African food sector focusing on food security and safety as well as education and private sector involvement. She has supervised more than 30 PhD students, several from West African countries. Her dissemination output accounts >120 scientific publications and book chapters, >70 proceedings and >30 oral presentations at international and national scientific conferences.
  • Associate prof. Nanna Roos (f) holds a PhD in Human Nutrition from the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Denmark (now UCPH), and has dedicated her research to food and nutrition security in Asia and Africa. Overall, her research has focused on the linkages between food production, diets, nutrition and health, specifically animal-source foods. A core research theme is the nutritional values of aquatic food resources. The past five years she has also been internationally leading in the globally emerging field of insects for food and feed. She has extensive experience in managing, coordinating and implementing externally funded research and research capacity building projects, especially in Bangladesh, Cambodia and Kenya. Currently, she leads the GREEiNSECT project (Kenya, www.greeinsect.ku.dk, 2014-2018), has WP lead the inValuable project (Denmark, invaluable.dk, 2017-2019, and partnering the IMMANA project MEFANIG (Bangladesh, www.stir.ac.uk/mefanig/, 2017-2018). Previously, among others, she has been WP leader in the FP7 EU projects SMILING (2014-2016) and AFSPAN (2014-2015).
  • Associate Prof. (m) Sven-Erik Jacobsen, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences is leading the Research group on Tropical Crops, covering subjects as stress physiology, agroecology and agrobiodiversity, focusing on developing countries of Africa and elsewhere. The research group manages projects, related to under-utilized crops, focusing on food security under stressed, water scarce conditions, affected by climate changes. Teaching is taking place in tropical crop production at BSc and MSc level, in addition to several PhD students. Sven-Erik Jacobsen has previously coordinated several EU projects, such as Latincrop, SWUPMED and WATERWEB, and participated in the south African network Saccnet. He is coordinator of “Development of high quality food protein through sustainable production and processing” (PROTEIN2FOOD), funded by EU Horizon2020 (2015-2020). The project has 19 partners, with the overall aim to improve the quality of plant-protein from a nutritional, economic, environmental and organoleptic point of view. The approach covers the whole food supply chain from ‘farm to fork’ of plant-protein from legumes and new high-quality protein crops (www.protein2food.eu).