Dana Cordell


Dr Dana Cordell is a Research Director at the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). She holds several degrees including a PhD in Sustainable Futures from UTS and Sweden’s Linkoping University.

As an outcome of her doctoral research, Dana co-founded the Global Phosphorus Research Initiative (GPRI) and public website Phosphorus Futures in 2008 with colleagues in Sweden and Australia. In 2010 Dana was employed by the Stockholm Environment Institute to work as a core member of a competitive international consortium of researchers on the Sustainable Use of Phosphorus project for the European Commission (D.G. Environment). Due to her reputation as a leading researcher on phosphorus scarcity, she was invited by UNEP to co-author a chapter on phosphorus and food security and sit on the multi-stakeholder international phosphorus task team. Dr Cordell currently leads 90 partners in the collaborative P-FUTURES project across Australia, Vietnam, Malawi and the USA, which works with local stakeholders to identify how urban food systems can cope or transform in response to the emerging global phosphorus challenge.

Dana provides expert commentary to international media and is frequently invited to speak at international academic, industry and community-based conferences and to publish papers and book chapters in academic, UN, popular science and industry journals. Her 2009 article in Elsevier’s Global Environmental Change has attracted 1875 citations, making it one of the esteemed journal’s most cited articles and a position in Science Direct’s Top 25 Hottest Articles (Environmental Science).

In addition to her pioneering research on sustainable phosphorus futures, Dana also has over 15 years of sustainable research experience leading and undertaking interdisciplinary sustainable water, sanitation, and food and waste management projects. Dana leads the Sydney’s Food Futures project which models current and future food production scenarios to support stakeholder dialogue and decision-making on resilient food futures for Sydney in the face of climate change and urban growth.

Dana is interested in issues facing both developed and developing countries. She has had experience working with indigenous rural appropriate technology organisations in Nepal and Far North Queensland. She has also volunteered for the Australian Conservation Foundation developing renewable energy technology information for a key environmental NGO in East Timor.

Dana’s excellence in the field of sustainability research has been recognised with a host of prestigious accolades including the Eureka Prize for Environmental Research (2012) a Banksia Mercedes-Benz Environmental Research Award and a position in Australia’s 100 Women of Influence (2013).

Winner of the Advance Food and Agriculture Award 2016
> Celebrating the work of winner Dana Cordell | Watch
> Acceptance speech by Dana Cordell | Watch