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Katy Jeary

Katy Jeary

PhD Candidate

Katy Jeary (née Wilson) works on trade-off analysis within agricultural landscapes in particular between food security, livelihoods and ecosystem services. Her research aims to understand the social and ecological impacts of land use policies in the Budongo Forest landscape of Uganda.


I hold a Bachelor's degree in Biology and Master's degree in Environmental Technology from Imperial College London. I have experience working in policy and advocacy; researching, writing and communicating evidence on agricultural development, natural resource management and food security to international policymakers and development experts. My background is in applied ecology, resource management, international development, and natural resource modelling.


  • 2010-2013: Agriculture for Impact, Research Analyst


  • PhD Candidate in Geography, University of Cambridge (2013-Present)
  • MSc Environmental Technology - ecological management, Imperial College London (2009-2010)
  • BSc (Honours) in Biology, Imperial College London (2006-2009)

Funding and awards

  • Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Studentship (2013-Present)
  • Cambridge Home and EU Scholarship Scheme (2013-Present)
  • Natural Environment Research Council Studentship (2009-2010)


My research aims to investigate the implementation strategies of land sparing and sharing and their impact on future land use patterns, on stakeholder behaviour and on food security and incomes.

Land sparing and land sharing have been proposed as frameworks to explore the trade-offs between agricultural productivity and biodiversity conservation. Their assessment, however, has largely failed to consider the potential local level impacts on food security, ecosystem services and livelihoods. In the Budongo Forest Reserve and surrounding landscape, deforestation and land use change threaten the natural resources on which the majority of the population depend. I hope to expand the relevance of the land sparing and land sharing framework as a strategic land planning tool to include a broader number of factors.

It is hoped that this research will contribute to the design and consideration of future landscape management plans, as well as add to the already significant theoretical and material debates around reconciling agriculture and biodiversity.


  • Jeary, K, et al. 2018. Conservation and agriculture: finding an optimal balance? In: Sandbrook, C., Cavanagh, C.J. and Tumusiime, D.M. Conservation and development in Uganda. London and New York: Routledge/Earthscan.
  • Parotta, J.A., et al, 2015. The Historical, Environmental and Socio-Economic Context of Forests and Tree-Based Systems for Food Security and Nutrition. In: Vira, B., Wildburger, C. and Mansourian, S. Forests, Trees and Landscapes for Food Security and Nutrition. A Global Assessment Report. IUFRO World Series Volume 33.
  • Conway, G. and Wilson, K. 2013. New genetic crops in a global context. In: Bennett, D.J. and Jennings, R.C. (eds). Successful agricultural innovation in emerging economies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Juma, C., Tabo, R., Wilson, K. and Conway, G. 2013. Innovation for sustainable intensification in Africa. A Montpellier Panel Briefing Paper. Imperial College London.
  • Conway, G. (with Wilson, K.). 2012. One billion hungry: can we feed the world? Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
  • Arnold, T. and Wilson, K. 2011. Scaling up nutrition (SUN). A Montpellier Panel Briefing Paper. Imperial College London.
  • Handforth, C. and Wilson, K. 2011. Beyond big ideas. Searching for the middle ground in agricultural development. A Global Village, issue 5.

External activities

  • Member, University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute
  • Member, University of Cambridge, Political Ecology Reading Group