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Roni A. Neff, PhD

  • Associate Professor

Departmental Affiliations

Center & Institute Affiliations

Contact Information

615 N. Wolfe Street
Room W7009
Baltimore, Maryland 21205


Center for a Livable Future website

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PhD, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2006
ScM, Harvard School of Public Health, 1997
AB, Brown University, 1989


My research focuses on understanding and changing food systems, particularly addressing food system intersections with climate change and food system inequities. A primary focus is food wastage and food donations; and I continue to work on issues of urban food system resilience and sustainable diets. I use qualitative and quantitative tools, approaching my research themes from angles including policy, communications, consumer behavior, program evaluation, and modeling. I'm especially interested in the complex social realities that complicate well-meaning public health efforts.

I engage with broader food system issues in my role as director of the Food System Environmental Sustainability and Public Health program at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF). I teach the courses, Baltimore Food Systems: A Case Study in Urban Food Environments, and Food System Sustainability Practicum. I also co-direct the school's MPH Concentration in Food Systems & Public Health and our Certificate Program in Food Systems & Public Health. I edited the first textbook on the US food system, Introduction to the US Food System: Public Health, Environment, Equity (Wiley-Jossey Bass, 2014, 576 pgs). My current roles external to Johns Hopkins include serving on the Board of the Agriculture, Food and Human Values Society, the National Academy of Sciences' Food Forum, and the National Academy of Sciences panel on consumer waste of food.

Honors and Awards

Excellence in teaching, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2010 - 2019

Delta Omega Award for Innovative Public Health Curriculum – Second Place, for Food System Certificate (co-leader of certificate), 2017

Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award, SOURCE, JHSPH 2014

Champion of the Month, May 2014, SOURCE, JHSPH

SOURCE Service Learning Faculty Fellow, 2012-13

Delta Omega Public Health Honor Society, Alpha Chapter, 2007

Victor P. Raymond Award in Health Policy, 2003

  • Food system
  • food waste
  • food donations
  • food insecurity
  • resilience
  • climate change
  • policy
  • communication
  • sustainability
  • health disparities
  • Baltimore
  •  history
  • occupational injury and illness
  • resilience
  • equity
  • qualitative

Below are my most recent publications (as of June 2018):

  • Neff RA, Edwards D*, Ramsing R, Palmer A, Righter A, Wolfson J. Reducing meat consumption in the US: A nationally representative survey of attitudes and behaviours. Public Health Nutrition. In press.
  • Neff RA, Dean E, Spiker ML*, Snow T. Salvageable food losses from Vermont farms. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems & Community Development. In press.
  • Chodor G*, Zhao X*, Biehl E, Mitrani-Reiser J, Neff RA. Food Security after Disasters: A Systems Modeling Approach. BMC Public Health. In press.
  • Hecht A*, Biehl E, Chodor G*, Neff RA. Trauma informed social policy and food system resilience. Public Health Nutrition. In press.
  • Biehl E, Buzogany S, Baja K, Neff RA. Planning for resilient urban food systems: A case study from Baltimore, Maryland. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems & Community Development. In press.
  • Nutrition policy for healthy meals in early childhood: Impacts on diet quality and food waste
  • Protein consumption, environment and public health
  • Urban Food System Resilience
  • Wasted Food