Graham MacDonald

Associate Professor
Graham MacDonald
Contact Information

Burnside Hall 627

(514) 398-4828
Email address: 
graham.macdonald [at]
Research areas: 
Global agriculture
Food systems
Land system science
Current research: 

I study regional- to global-scale dimensions of agricultural land use and management. A core focus of my research has been to examine nitrogen and phosphorus as bridging elements that connect interdisciplinary themes around agriculture, food, and the environment. My broader work on food systems is typically at the intersection between the biophysical and farm management context that underlies agricultural production and the socioeconomic factors that influence food consumption.  Drawing on both quantitative and qualitative techniques, my collaborative work increasingly explores urbanization and its links to food systems. A goal in this area is to better understand how the demand for food in cities links consumers to farming systems and agricultural landscapes at different scales, including the implications of these configurations for sustainability. 

  • Ph.D. Natural Resource Sciences, McGill University 
  • M.Sc. Natural Resource Sciences, McGill University 
  • B.A. (Honours), Geography, McGill University 
Selected publications: 
  • McCourt, S., and MacDonald, G.K. 2022. Decomposing three decades of nitrogen emissions in Canada. Earth's Future 10: e2022EF002774. 
  • Barbieri P., MacDonald, G.K., de Raymond A., Nesme T. 2022. Food system resilience to phosphorus shortages on a telecoupled planet. Nature Sustainability 5: 114–122.  
  • Schreiber, K., Hickey, G.H., Metson, G.S., Robinson, B.E., MacDonald, G.K. 2021. Quantifying the foodshed: A systematic review of urban food flow and local food self-sufficiency research. Environmental Research Letters 16: 023003.
  • McCourt, S. and MacDonald, G.K. 2021. Provincial nitrogen footprints highlight variability in drivers of reactive nitrogen emissions in Canada. Environmental Research Letters 16: 095077.  
  • Boudet, F., MacDonald, G.K., Robinson, B.E., Samberg, L.H. 2020. Rural-urban connectivity and agricultural land management across the Global South. Global Environmental Change 60: 101982. 
  • MacDonald, G.K., Jarvie, H.P., Withers, P.J.A., Doody, D.G., Keeler, B.L., Haygarth, P.M., Johnson, L.T., McDowell, R.W., Miyittah, M.K., Powers, S.M., Sharpley, A.N., Shen, J., Smith, D.R., Weintraub, M.N., Zhang, T. 2016. Guiding phosphorus stewardship for multiple ecosystem services. Ecosystem Health and Sustainability 2: e01251. 
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