Postdoctoral position in Sustainability and leakage in beef & soy supply chains in South America


Chalmers University of Technology


Sunday, October 15, 2017

Start Date

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

This postdoctoral position focuses on understanding the role that agricultural commodity supply chain sustainability initiatives, such as certification schemes, moratoria, voluntary corporate commitments and government regulations, play in reducing the clearance forests and other ecosystems in the tropics. Tropical deforestation--a major contributor to climate change and a prime driver of biodiversity loss globally--is increasingly caused by large-scale, commercial agricultural production of commodities such as beef, soybeans and palm oil, often destined for export markets and consumers globally. The aim of the postdoctoral project is to contribute to the understanding of the effectiveness of interventions aimed at improving the sustainability of supply chains for beef and soybeans in South America, with a particular focus on the role of supply chain actors and the risk of leakage effects (i.e., that efforts to improve sustainability of production and trade in in specific places may result in increased environmental impacts and illegal activities elsewhere, whether through displacement of specific landowners and land-uses or through market effects).

This research will be both supported by, and contribute to, the development of a new web based platform and associated research program, Transparency for Sustainable Economies – Trase. Trase presents a radically new approach to support decision makers and other actors in the implementation and monitoring of existing initiatives and commitments to decrease deforestation and increase sustainability of global supply chains of agricultural commodities. The work of Trase is led by the Stockholm Environment Institute and the Global Canopy Programme and is supported by Chalmers University and a growing number of other research institutions, governments and private and civil society actors. This gives the postdoc the possibility to link to a broad international research network and contribute towards a new frontier of research and practice in supply chain transparency and sustainability.

The postdoc position is placed at the division of Physical Resource Theory, one of five divisions within the Department of Space, Earth and Environment. Physical Resource Theory offers an interdisciplinary research environment that relies on a range of different scientific methods, from energy system modelling and agent-based modelling, to remote sensing, econometrics and surveys. Our aim is to advance challenge-driven scientific excellence by crossing traditional disciplinary boundaries and by increasing the level of cross-collaboration in environmental research as well as with society at large.

Contact Name

Martin Persson

Contact Phone

+46 31-772 2148

Contact Email