Dr. Sarah Nischalke

Research themes
  • Land use and food security
  • Environmental and climate change
  • Mobility and migration
  • Knowledge
  • Social and cultural change and adaption
  • Growth, inequality and poverty
Research countries
  • China
  • Ethiopia
  • India
  • Nepal
  • Pakistan
  • South Africa
Research topic
Food and nutritional security, food culture, gender, rural development, climate change adaptation, sustainable livelihoods, migration and agriculture, ethnicity
Research projects

NutriHAF-Africa: Diversifying agriculture for balanced nutrition through fruits and vegetables in multi-storey cropping systems in Ethiopia and Madagascar

Professional experience

Sarah Marie Nischalke is a senior researcher with a doctoral degree in human geography from the University of Göttingen and a Double Masters degree in Sociology, Anthropology and Political Science (Global Studies) from Albert-Ludwigs University of Freiburg and University of Kwazulu Natal, Durban, South Africa. Before joining ZEF she worked as food security analyst for the International Centre of Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) in Nepal for several years - on mountain food and nutrition security, gender and climate-smart agriculture /adaptation across the Himalayas in the Himalayan Climate Change Adaptation Program. Prior to that she worked in an urban megacity projects for the University of Freiburg (Sustainable Megacities, Hyderabad, BMBF) on food security, sustainable lifestyle & consumption and organic food in India, for which she coordinated the work package ‘food, nutrition and health’. In her work she has a particular interest in bridging nutritional and agricultural sciences with the help of social science approaches and tools such as gender-integration and in connecting ground realities of local communities to theory.


PhD Human Geography, Doctoral Degree, at the Institute of Geography, Georg-August-University Göttingen on "Changes and risks in the megaurban food system of Hyderabad/India: a Bourdieuan approach to lower middle classes`vulnerable food sovereignty"

MA Global Studies – Sociology, Political Science, Anthropology, Albert-Ludgwis-University, Freiburg, Germany and University of Kwazulu Natal, Durban, South Africa

BA European Studies – Social Sciences, Social Geography, Media, English, Spanish at the University Osnabrück



Center for Development Research (ZEF)

Walter-Flex-Str. 3

D - 53113 Bonn, Germany

Phone: +49 228 73 4031

Fax: +49 228 731889

E-mail: snischal@uni-bonn.de

Web: www.zef.de


Sarah Nischalke. 2015. We are where we eat - The analysis of the social and spatial dimension of urban food systems with the help of inequality research (MUFN, FAO).
Sarah Nischalke and Suman Bisht. 2015. Challenges to women as food and risk managers in the context of floods: A case study from Tinsukia, Assam. In: Center for North East Studies, JMI (eds.): Gender Issues in the Eastern Himalaya.


Kurvits, T.; Kaltenborn, B.; Nischalke, S.; Karky, B.; Jurek, M. and T. Aase. 2014. The last straw – Food security in the Himalaya and the additional burden of climate change (UNEP).
Sarah Nischalke. 2014. Adaptation Options to Improve Food Security in a Changing Climate in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan Region. In: Walter Leal (eds.): Handbook of Climate Change Adaptation.


Sarah Nischalke. 2013. Risks and changes in the megaurban food system of Hyderabad/India – A Bourdieuan approach to lower middle classes’ vulnerable food sovereignty. Goltze Universitätsverlag. Göttingen.


Sarah Nischalke. 2011. In-depth analysis of changes in Hyderabad’s food system and food culture - Consumption patterns, food supply chains and impacts on sustainability and climate change.


Sarah Nischalke. 2010. Urban life between Crises and Plenty – Food Security Vulnerability among Hyderabad’s Lower Middle Classes in Context of Global Change.


Nischalke, S.; Surepally, S. and C. Dittrich. 2009. The challenge of organizing Hyderabad’s food system in context of global change – An analysis on relevant stakeholders, networks and power relations.

Sarah Nischalke

Senior Researcher