Dr Monika Zurek is a titular associate professor and senior researcher at the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford and a member of the ECI Food System Transformation Group. For more than 20 years she has worked on food systems change, environment and development interactions in research and international organisations as well as in the consulting and the philanthropic sector.

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). 

Monika is involved in, and leads on, a number of projects within the Food Systems Group at the ECI including co-leading the Foresight4Food (F4F) initiative (current projects are listed below). She also sits on the coordination team of the UK's cross-government Global Food Security Programme on the Resilience of the UK Food System



  • Zurek, M., Wirths, J., Hebinck, A., Crawford, S., Lidder, Prasad. P. V., Tittonell, P., Herrero,M., Compton, J. on behalf of the CoSAI Taskforce. (2023) Principles for guiding research and innovation toward sustainable and equitable agrifood systems. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems, 7. doi: 10.3389/fsufs.2023.1059063
  • Ingram, J., Bellotti, W., Brklacich, M., Achterbosch, T., Balázs, B., Banse, M., Fielke, S., Gordon, L., Hasnain, S., Herman, L., Kanter, R., Kaye-Blake, W., Mounsey, J., Pihlanto, A., Quinlan, A., Six, J., Stotten, R., Thomas Tomich, T., Attila Tóth, A., Carolina Yacamán, C. & Monika Zurek, M. (2023) Further concepts and approaches for enhancing food system resilience. Nature Food, 4: 440–441. doi: 10.1038/s43016-023-00762-5
  • Moghayer, S., Zurek, M., Muzammil, M., Mason-D'Croz, D., Magrath, J., Tabeau, A., Vervoort, J.M. and Achterbosch, T. (2023) A low-carbon and hunger-free future for Bangladesh: An ex- ante assessment of synergies and trade-offs in different transition pathways Frontiers in Environmental Science, 10.










  • Ash, N., Blanco, H., Brown, C., Garcia, K., Henrichs, T., Lucas, N., Raudsepp-Hearne, C., Simpson, R.D., Scholes, R., Tomich, T., Vira, B. and Zurek, M. (2010) Ecosystems and Human Well-being: A Manual for Assessment Practitioners Island Press, Washington DC. United Nations Environment Programme World Convservation Monitoring Centre. ISBN: 978-1-59726-711-3.