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Global Food Systems Institute

Global Food Systems Institute

Olivier Walther

Assistant Professor, Geography

Olivier is an Assistant Professor in the department of Geography at the University of Florida (UF) and the coordinator of the UF African Networks Lab. He is also an Affiliate Faculty at the Center for African Studies, the Center for Global Islamic Studies, the UF Food Systems Institute and the Sahel Research Group. His current research focuses on cross-border trade and transnational political violence in West Africa. Using social network analysis, He studies how borders affect the social networks and spatial patterns of West African traders and violent extremist organizations.

Before coming to Florida, Olivier held faculty appointments at the University of Southern Denmark and Rutgers University and worked as a researcher at the Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research. He received a joint Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Lausanne in Switzerland and the University of Rouen in France (2006).

Crossing borders is something that he has done a lot over the years. Born in Switzerland, he spent part of his youth in West Africa, did fieldwork in Niger, Nigeria, Mali, Ghana, Benin and Mauritania, and worked as a professor and international consultant in Europe and the United States.

He is currently the coordinator of the OECD West Africa research program at the University of Florida.

Olivier is the Africa Editor of the Journal of Borderlands Studies (JBS), a “chief” of the African Borderlands Research Network (ABORNE) and on the advisory board of the African Governance and Space (AFRIGOS) project. He is also on the editorial board of Connections, the journal of the International Network for Social Network Analysis.