I’m an Associate Professor at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), Vienna. I also serve as a Senior Associate at World Agroforestry (ICRAF) in Nairobi and as a Research Affiliate with the Abdul Latif Jameel Water and Food Systems Lab (J-WAFS) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge. I study the ecology of innovation systems in areas affected by food insecurity, climate emergencies and conflict, and I help people appreciate the complex connections between land use, identity, choices, and human wellbeing during transitions.
In my research, I have also focused on social and technological change in agriculture, appraised transformation approaches, and explored how best to accompany organisations and communities through their most significant changes. I also cooperated with the agriculture and food industries to improve their sustainability and resilience.
I have a background in agroecology and development research. In my work, I have used participation and planning methodologies, qualitative and quantitative research tools, scenario planning and transition management, and gained extensive practical field experience in sustainable agriculture and natural resource management in the drylands.
In the past, I created, directed and merged research programs and organisations – and I was fortunate to have been entrusted with mentoring some of the most extraordinary teams. At the university, I teach graduate students the essence of navigating transformative change towards sustainable climate, food and water systems.
I worked in sub-Saharan Africa, South-East Asia and Eastern Europe. I’m based in East Africa.