I am the lead of the Land Use and Food Security (LUF) team in the business unit Agrosystems Research—Wageningen Plant Research. The team consists of about 20 professionals. We focus on developing healthy farming and food systems, starting from people and nature. We do this through Dynamic Expertise Groups. In the team LUF, these are in particular: ‘International projects’, ‘Agroecology & biodiversity’, ‘Social & transition sciences’, ‘Climate & soil’, ‘Grassland’ and ‘Agrivoltaics’.
About half of my time I work as a senior scientist in related projects in the Netherlands and internationally. I develop and apply integrative and systemic approaches to understand and support the evolution and governance of coupled systems, in particular, farming and agri-food systems. I am passionate about interacting with diverse stakeholders, and combining qualitative and quantitative data. I use concepts such as agroecology, regeneration and social-ecological systems to address multiple interacting dimensions. I have extensive experience in inter- and transdisciplinary cooperation.
Before joining WUR, I was a visiting professor at the Federal University of Pernambuco, UFPE, at Recife, Brazil. I coordinated the collaborative German-Brazilian research project INNOVATE on sustainable land and water management, based at the Technical University Berlin. I was an assistant professor at Hohenheim University (Stuttgart) in tropical animal production. I coordinated a collaborative project on socioeconomic effects on biodiversity in Namibia and South Africa, based at Gießen University, Germany. I worked for several years in organic crop-livestock farms in Germany and France and am holding a certificate of organic farming from France.
I studied Agricultural Sciences (Plant Sciences) at Bonn University and Göttingen University, Germany. My graduation thesis was about socioeconomics of urban livestock farming in Burkina Faso in cooperation with CIRDES. My PhD dealt with smallholder cattle keeping in the Eastern Amazon as part of a German-Brazilian cooperation of Göttingen University with EMBRAPA. I hold a postdoctoral degree (“Habilitation”) in Livestock Husbandry Systems from Hohenheim University, Germany.