Monika Zurek

Senior Researcher at the Environmental Change Institute


Dr Monika Zurek is a senior researcher at the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford and a member of the ECI Food Systems Group. For more than 15 years she has worked on food systems, environment and development interactions in research and international organizations as well as in the consulting and the philanthropic sector. Currently she works on an EU funded project called SUSFANS (Metrics, Models and Foresight for European SUStainable Food And Nutrition Security) where she manages the work packages on the conceptual framework and the sustainability metrics for the project (WP1) as well as on stakeholder engagement and scenarios review and use (WP6). Monika’s research interests include both work on how to balance environmental, food security and poverty alleviation goals and on forward looking and scenarios methodologies and participatory research.

Prior to joining ECI, Monika worked with Climate Focus, a consulting firm focusing on climate change mitigation and land use issues. Before that, she was part of the Agricultural Development Team of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation managing grants to improve the environmental sustainability of agricultural systems and risk management in agriculture. She also served as an economist at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and supported the Scenarios Working Group of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Monika started her career as a researcher at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), working on agricultural sustainability projects in Costa Rica and Mexico. She was also a lead author for various environmental assessments such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, AR4), the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD).

Monika holds degrees from the University of Hohenheim (MSc equivalent/Diploma in agricultural biology) and Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Germany (PhD in agricultural economics).


Recent Relevant Publications: 

Zurek, M., Keenlyside, P., Brandt, K. (2015) Intensifying agricultural production sustainably: A framework for analysis and decision support. Climate Focus and International Food Policy Institute (IFPRI)

Pingali, P., Schneider, K., Zurek, M. (2014). Poverty, Agriculture and the Environment: The Case of Sub-Saharan Africa. p. 151-168 Marginality: Addressing the Nexus of Poverty, Exclusion and Ecology Joachim von Braun and Franz W. Gatzweiler (ed.), Springer Dordrecht, Heidelberg.

Zurek, M., Streck, C., Roe, S., Haupt, F., Parker, C., dePinto, A., Wollenberg, E. (2014) Climate Readiness in Smallholder Agricultural Systems: Lessons Learned from REDD+. Climate Focus, International Food Policy Institute (IFPRI) and CCAFS.

Dickie, A., Streck, C., Roe, S., Zurek, M., Haupt, F., Dolginow, A. (2014) Strategies for Mitigating Climate Change in Agriculture: Recommendations for Philanthropy. Climate Focus and California Environmental Associates.

Zurek, M., Streck, C. (2013) Addressing Agricultural Drivers of Deforestation: Opportunities for Catalytic Donor Interventions. Climate Focus.

Ash, N., Blanco, H., Brown, C., Garcia, K., Henrichs, T., Lucas, N., Raudsepp-Hearne, C., Simpson, R. D., Scholes, R., Tomich, T., Vira, B., Zurek, M. (2010) Ecosystems and Human Well-being: A Manual for Assessment Practitioners. Island Press, Washington DC. (lead on Chap 5: Scenario development)

Huddleston, B., Ziervogel, G., Zurek, M.B (2008) Climate Change and Food security: A Framework Document. FAO,  Rome and SEI, Stockholm.

Ranganathan, J., Ash, N., Bennett, K., Irwin, F., Lucas, N., Raudsepp-Hearne, C., Zurek, M. B. (2008) Ecosystem Services: A guide for policymakers. WRI, Washington DC. (lead on Chap 4: Future trends)