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Department of Geography


Professor Rachael Garrett

Moran Professor of Conservation and Development, and Fellow of Homerton College

My research examines the drivers and impacts of land change, primarily in forest landscapes, and the effectiveness and equity of forest conservation and sustainable agriculture policies and practices. I work closely with farmers and national agriculture and forestry agencies. My research spans Brazil, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Indonesia, Switzerland, and the Republic of Georgia.



Cambridge University

  • 2022-Present Moran Professor of Conservation and Development, Department of Geography & Cambridge Conservation Initiative
  • 2023-Present Fellow, Homerton College
  • 2023-Present Member, Cambridge Conservation Initiative Council
  • 2023-Present Member, Cambridge Global Food Security Steering Committee

ETH Zürich

  • 2019-2023 Assistant Professor and Chair of the Environmental Policy Lab, Departments of Humanities, Social and Political Science and Environmental System Science (dual appointment)
  • 2020-2022 Executive Committee, Institute for Science Technology and Policy
  • 2019-2022 Member, Institute for Environmental Decisions, Institute for Science Technology and Policy, Plant Science Center, World Food System Center, ETH 4 Development, Center for International and Comparative Studies

Boston University

  • 2018-2019 Associate Director, Land Use and Livelihoods Initiative, Global Development Center
  • 2015-2019 Assistant Professor – Human Dimensions of Global Change, Department of Earth and Environment; Faculty Associate, Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer Range Future; Core Faculty, Center for Latin American Studies

Harvard University

  • 2013-2015 Giorgio Ruffolo Postdoctoral Fellow in Sustainability Science, J.F.K School of Government


  • Ph.D. Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources (E-IPER), Stanford University (2013)
  • M.P.A. Environmental Science and Policy, Columbia University (2006)
  • B. A. History and Environmental Analysis and Policy (dual major), Boston University (2003) *Magna Cum Laude, Honors Program, Graduated in three years

Awards & recognitions


  • Swiss Forum for International Agricultural Research (SFIAR) team award for best agricultural research for development
  • 1st Place in the Mapbiomas Annual Award for research using Mapbiomas data
  • Co-chair, Global Land Progamme Science Steering Committee


  • International Geneva Award from the Swiss Network for International Studies for best paper in International Studies that has high relevance to International Organizations
  • Academic Advisory Council Member, United Nations Forum on Sustainable Standards
  • Advisory Council Member, Transparency for Sustainable Economies Initiative, Stockholm Environment Institute
  • Research Council Member, Evidensia, an organization that works to provide credible evidence on supply chain initiatives


  • Awarded an ERC Starting Grant – FORESTPOLICY
  • Science Panel Member, United Nations Science Panel for the Amazon
  • Scientific Steering Committee, Global Land Programme
  • IOP Trusted Reviewer Award (top 15% of reviews at IOP)


  • Second authored article selected for Environmental Research Letters’: i) Featured Articles and ii) IOP Select.


  • Pathways to Prosperity Paper Award, FLARE (Forest and Livelihoods) Network
  • Nominated for the Norman Borlaug Award for Field Research, Rockefeller Foundation


  • Fulbright NEXUS Regional Scholar, U.S. Department of State2015
  • Science Engineering and Education for Sustainability Postdoctoral Fellowship, NSF


  • First authored article selected for Environmental Research Letters’: i) Annual Highlights, ii) Featured Articles, and iii) IOP Select.


  • Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fellowship, Stanford University
  • School of Earth Science Excellence in Mentoring Award, Stanford University


  • Richard L. Kauffman and Ellen Jewett Fellowship, Stanford University


  • Franklin C. Erickson Prize for Excellence in Geography, Boston University


  • Presidential Scholarship, Boston University


Awarded >4 million GBP to date.

Ongoing work

  • Cambridge Alborada Fund – Conservation challenges in the face of gold mining expansion in Côte d’Ivoire
  • CCI Collaborative Grants – Scaling up agroforestry as a forest landscape conservation and sustainable livelihood strategy in West Africa
  • ERA-NET + EJP Co-fund scheme Biodiversa – Sustainable sourcing policies for biodiversity protection, climate mitigation, and improved livelihoods in the cocoa sector (PI, Coordinator)
  • ERC Starting Grant – Identifying the conditions under which forest-focused supply chain policies lead to improved conservation and livelihoods: a pan-tropical analysis (PI)
  • ETH Grant – Novel cattle detection for improved assessment of drivers and impacts of pasture intensification in South America (PI)
  • SNF Project Grant – Assessing the effectiveness and equity of zero-deforestation commitment implementation in the palm oil sector (PI)
  • ERC Marie Curie Program > ETH Plant Science Center Response – Developing climate ready apple production systems in Switzerland (PI)


[Publications will appear automatically from the University’s publications database…]