Graham MacDonald

Land use and food systemsGraham MacDonald

Associate Professor in the Department of Geography

Office: Burnside Hall 627
Phone: (514) 398-4828
Fax: (514) 398-7437
Personal and lab website
graham.macdonald [at] (E-mail)

Google Scholar Profile


Academic background


Research interests

I study regional- to global-scale dimensions of agricultural land use and management. My interest in food systems is at the intersection between the biophysical and farm management context that underlies agricultural production and the socioeconomic factors that influence food consumption. Much of my current research addresses agricultural commodities trade. How does agricultural trade influence the distribution of resource use across regions? What is the role of international food trade in meeting dietary demand worldwide? I am increasingly interested in urban food systems, including methods to connect demand for food in cities with farming systems at different scales.

Current projects

  • Examining how international food trade influences agricultural resource-use efficiency globally
  • Tracking changes in national food supplies over time, focusing on the relative stability or volatility of food import relationships
  • Identifying strategies to enhance food system resilience across scales

Some recent publications

MacDonald, G.K., Brauman, K.A., Sun, S., Cassidy, E.S., Carlson, K.C., Gerber, J.S., West, P.C.  2015. Rethinking agricultural trade relationships in an era of globalization. BioScience 65: 275-289.

Ray, D.K., Gerber, J.S., MacDonald, G.K., West, P.C. 2015. Climate variation explains a third of global crop yield variability. Nature Communications 6:5898.

MacDonald, G.K., Bennett, E.M., Carpenter, S.R. 2012. Embodied phosphorus and the global connection of United States agriculture. Environmental Research Letters 7: 044024.


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