Sophie-Dorothe Lieke

Current Position

Doctoral Researcher, University of Goettingen, RTG 2654 Sustainable Food Systems, Subproject C3 Societal views on sustainable food systems (Prof. Spiller, Prof. Busch)

Sophie-Dorothe Lieke is a member of the ‘Sustainable Food Systems’ Research Training Group. Under supervision of Prof. Achim Spiller and Prof. Gesa Busch, she is working on a PhD that focusses on understanding societal views, particularly trade-offs, which happen when navigating choices of sustainability within food systems. Her interests lie in understanding the interplay between consumers and the factors (such as knowledge, beliefs, trust, product labels and claims) that influence decision-making processes. Using palm oil as her case study commodity, she delves into various aspects of local and international social contexts and culture, aiming to understand how these shape different people's perceptions and behaviors. Additionally, she explores how sustainability-related information treatments can effectively foster greater citizen engagement and enhance understanding of the intricacies involved in the trade-offs existing within food systems.

Research Interests

Societal views on sustainability
Environmental trade-offs
Pro-environmental behaviour
Consumer behaviour


  • As from 2021: PhD in Sustainable Food Systems, University of Göttingen, Germany
  • 2020-2021: MSc Environmental Management, Lancaster University, England
  • 2015-2019: BSc (Hons) Biology & Geography, University of St Andrews, Scotland
  • 2018: Study Abroad at Macquarie University, Australia

Professional Experience

  • Co-founder & director of PLASTIC:Unwrapped

Conferences & Webinars

  • Webinar guest speaker for ‘Galapagos: The Last Evolution’ speaking on ‘How does plastic pollution affect Galapagos?’, October 2020
  • Webinar guest speaker for ‘Salty Warriors’ speaking on ‘Plastic-free July’, July 2020
  • Webinar guest speaker for the University of the Sunshine Coast speaking on ‘PLASTIC:Unwrapped in practice’, Australia, March 2020
  • Participating mediator at the National Plastics Colloquium, November 2019, South Africa


  • English
  • German
  • Swahili


  • Lieke, S.-D., Spiller, A. and Busch, G. (2024) ‘Are consumers still barking up the wrong (palm) tree? Insights into perceptions towards palm oil-related labels and claims’, Food Quality and Preference, 120, p. 105258. doi:10.1016/j.foodqual.2024.105258
  • Lieke, S.-D., Spiller, A. and Busch, G. (2023) ‘Can consumers understand that there is more to palm oil than deforestation?’ Sustainable Production and Consumption, 39, pp. 495–505. doi: 10.1016/j.spc.2023.05.037