Professor Andreas Neef

MSc/PhD University of Hohenheim, Germany

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Director - Development Studies


I joined the Faculty of Arts as Professor in Development Studies in December 2013. I was previously employed as Professor of Resource Governance and Participatory Development at the Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies, Kyoto University, and as Research Professor in Knowledge and Innovation Management at Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan. I hold MSc and PhD degrees in Agricultural Economics, Development Policy and Rural Sociology from the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart, Germany. I have extensive research experience in Mainland Southeast Asia, West Africa, the South Pacific and the Middle East. I served two times as scientific advisor to the German Parliament on issues of global food security and on societal and political discourses on the commodification of biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Research | Current

  • Post-disaster response and recovery
  • Natural resource governance
  • Land grabbing, development-induced displacement
  • Participatory approaches to research and development
  • Ethics and governance in the food-water-energy nexus
  • Climate change adaptation and community resilience

I am leading a three-year collaborative research project on “Climate Change Adaptation in Post-Disaster Recovery Processes: Flood-Affected Communities in Cambodia and Fiji”, funded by the Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research. This project explores how rural communities living in flood-prone river basins respond to increasing incidences of floods under the influence of climate change and other risk factors, such as hydro-power development, forest conversion and environmental degradation. The project combines applied research and capacity-building and brings together natural and social scientists from New Zealand, Australia, Fiji and Cambodia.

Another research project looks into the role of tourism in the post-disaster recovery process in Thailand, Fiji and Vanuatu. The project is funded by the Faculty of Arts, University of Auckland and is conducted in collaboration with Chulalongkorn University (Thailand), the University of the South Pacific (Fiji) and the Department of Tourism (Vanuatu). 

I am also involved as a co-investigator in a three-year project on “Identification and Mapping of Alternative Land Conflict Resolution and Capacity Development for Local Government in East Nusa Tenggara Province, Indonesia” with Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, which is funded by New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT).

I am an affiliated researcher in a three-year project entitled “Food Security and Land Grabbing among Agro-pastoralist Communities in Semi-arid Areas in Central Tanzania” headed by Professor Tadasu Tsuruta, Kinki University, Japan and funded by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.

Teaching | Current


DEVELOP 710 Development Policies and Institutions

DEVELOP 712 Undertaking Development Research

DEVELOP 713 Ethics and Governance in International Development

Postgraduate supervision

Ongoing PhD Theses

  • Dina Viktoria Sinlae: Potential and Challenges of Agriculture - Tourism Linkages for Poverty Alleviation in Indonesia
  • Anna Matevosyan: Understanding Local Environmental Governance: The Case of Wildlife Refuges in Taiwan
  • Hyrine Munga: Adoption of Household Renewable Energy Technologies (RETs): Domestic Biogas in Rural Kenya - Co-supervisor with Dr Brad Coombes (School of Environment, UoA) 
  • Jacqueline Fa'amatuainu: Climate Law in the Pacific - Co-supervisor with A/Prof Underhill-Sem (Development Studies)
  • Osamuede Odiase: Urbanisation and Disaster Risk: Assessing the Resilience of African Communities in Auckland to the Risk of Natural Hazards

Completed PhD Theses

  • 2015, Chalathon Choocharoen: Recording, Validating and Scaling up Local Ecological Knowledge of Ethnic Minority Farmers in Northern Thailand and Northern Laos (with Professor Volker Hoffmann, University of Hohenheim)
  • 2015, Emel Zerrouk: Resource Grabbing in Myanmar: Mechanisms, Impacts and Discourses. PhD thesis, Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies, Kyoto University, Japan (with Professor Shinya Funakawa, Kyoto University)
  • 2011, Iven Schad: "We Vietnamese Do New Things Differently": Facing Uncertainty in Agricultural Innovation (with Professor Volker Hoffmann, University of Hohenheim)
  • 2010, Thai Thi Minh: Agricultural Innovation Systems in Vietnam’s Northern Mountainous Region. Six Decades Shift from a Supply-Driven to a Diversification-Oriented System (with Professor Volker Hoffmann, University of Hohenheim)
  • 2008, Rupert Friederichsen: Opening up Knowledge Production through Participatory Research? Agricultural Research for Vietnam's Northern Uplands. (with Professor Franz Heidhues, University of Hohenheim and Professor Dieter Neubert, University of Bayreuth)

Ongoing MA Theses

  • 2016, Lucy Benge: Mobile People, Mobile Policy: Framing Planned Relocation as a Strategy of Climate Change Adaptation
  • 2016, Jeffrey Sabour: Youth Empowerment in South Auckland: Gauging the Potential of Participatory Action Research (together with Ritesh Shah)
  • 2016, Helen Grant: Possibilities and Constraints of Crowdsourcing as a Digital Participatory Method for Empowering Auckland Communities (together with Jesse Hession Grayman)
  • 2016, Kahukura Bennett: The Role of I-Taukei Fijian Women in Post-Disaster Recovery Processes 

Completed MA Theses

  • 2015, Carl Adams: Community Participation and NGO Response to the April 2014 Floods on the Solomon Islands
  • 2015, Myra Laporte: Mapping the Challenges of the Food, Water and Energy Security Nexus in Seychelles: Efforts to Move Towards Renewable Energy
  • 2015, Lyda Hak: Acquiring skills for employability through technical and vocational education and training (TVET) at the diploma level in Cambodia  - with Ritesh Shah (Faculty of Education and Social Work)
  • 2014, Lara Faye Mula: Targeted Public Distribution System in India: Its Effectiveness and Impacts on Food Security
  • 2014, Jesusa Grace J. Molina: Enhancing Agtas’ resilience and development:  Integrating indigenous knowledge in the disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) policies and plans of Casiguran
  • 2014, Hang Anh Dinh: Challenges in the NGO-business partnerships in the developing world: Case studies of three partnerships in Vietnam
  • 2013, Ryunosuke Minamihara: Perceptions and management of community forests in Cambodia and Fiji. MSc thesis, Kyoto University, Japan (with Kei Mizuno).
  • 2010, Antonia Schneider: Participatory supply chain analysis of high value spices in Northern Lao PDR. MSc thesis, University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany (with Volker Hoffmann)
  • 2010, Annabell Redegeld: Contributions of wild plant resources to food security and income diversification: A case study in a Black Lahu and Karen village in northern Thailand. MSc thesis, University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany (with Volker Hoffmann)
  • 2010, Jegan Ganeshamoorthy: Assessment of local perception of wealth and poverty dynamics in Chieng Khoi, Son La Province, Vietnam. MSc thesis, University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany (with Volker Hoffmann)


Josef G. Knoll Science Award of the Eiselen Foundation, Ulm, Germany, for Outstanding and Applicable PhD research in the Field of Hunger Alleviation (1998); Research Award of the Stuttgarter Hofbräu Foundation, Germany, for Outstanding Scientific Achievements within the Thai-Vietnamese German Collaborative Research Centre (Uplands Program - SFB 564) “Sustainable Land Use and Rural Development in Mountainous Regions of Southeast Asia” (2003); Visiting Research Fellow, Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University (2009); Outstanding Author Contribution Award from Emerald Publishing Group (2014); Prime Minister's Scholarship for Asia: Group Programme (2015)


Director of Development Studies Programme; Graduate Advisor Development Studies; University's Principal Representative for the "Responding to Climate Change" Global Challenge Steering Group of the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN)

Areas of expertise

Post-disaster response and recovery, natural resource governance, land grabbing, development-induced displacement, participatory approaches to research and development, rural development policy, environmental ethics, rural innovation processes, climate change adaptation

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Member of Research Committee, School of Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts; Member of the DevNet Steering Committee; Agriculture, Food and Human Values Society (AFHVS); International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC); Initiative for Climate Adaptation Research and Understanding through the Social Sciences (ICARUS); Member of the Editorial Boards of the journals "Agriculture and Human Values", "International Journal of the Commons", and "Law and Development Review"  

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Nasr, H., & Neef, A. (2016). Ethiopia’s Challenge to Egyptian Hegemony in the Nile River Basin: The Case of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Geopolitics, 21 (4), 969-989. 10.1080/14650045.2016.1209740
  • Neef, A. (2016). Cambodia's Devastating Economic Land Concessions. Related URL.
  • Neef, A. (2016). Cambodia: Land Grabs and Rural Dispossession by Government Design. Rural 21, 50 (03/2016), 20-22. Related URL.
  • Molina, J. G. J., & Neef, A. (2016). Integration of indigenous knowledge into disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) policies for sustainable development: the case of the Agta in Casiguran, Philippines. In J. I. Uitto, R. Shaw (Eds.) Sustainable Development and Disaster Risk Reduction (pp. 247-264). Tokyo: Springer. 10.1007/978-4-431-55078-5_16
  • Neef, A., & Touch, S. (2016). Local Responses to Land Grabbing and Displacement in Rural Cambodia. In S. Price, J. Singer (Eds.) Global Implications of Development, Disasters and Climate Change: Responses to Displacement from Asia–Pacific (pp. 124-141). London and New York: Earthscan/Routledge.
  • Biggs, E. M., Bruce, E., Boruff, B., Duncan, J. M. A., Horsley, J., Pauli, N., ... Curnow, J. (2015). Sustainable development and the water–energy–food nexus: A perspective on livelihoods. Environmental Science & Policy, 54, 389-397. 10.1016/j.envsci.2015.08.002
  • Neef, A. (2015). Sustainable rural development and livelihoods. In H. Kopnina, E. Shoreman-Ouimet (Eds.) Sustainability: Key Issues (pp. 311-328). London and New York: Earthscan/Routledge. Related URL.
  • Neef, A., & Singer, J. (2015). Development-induced displacement in Asia: conflicts, risks, and resilience. Development in Practice, 25 (5), 601-611. 10.1080/09614524.2015.1052374


Contact details

  • Media Contact

Office hours

Tuesday, 3:30-5pm

Web links