Mirjam Hazenbosch


“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” wrote the Chinese philosopher Laozi in the Dao De Jing. We are facing huge challenges in achieving food security and biodiversity conservation. Even though the path to solving these problems may seem daunting due to their scope and complexity, I believe we should take Laozi’s words at heart and start countering these issues by taking single steps at a time.

My experience with conservation projects in the Netherlands, New Zealand and the USA made me realize that often the first step in solving a challenge is to get a thorough understanding of what the problem is. That is why I decided to pursue a PhD.

I am investigating how agricultural production and biodiversity conservation can be achieved in smallholder farming communities, taking smallholder farming in Papua New Guinea as my study case. 

I also take steps outside of my research to raise awareness for sustainability issues by writing articles for the Dutch website duurzamestudent.nl and managing the blog content for Conservation Optimism!


Download Mirjam's PhD thesis here


My research interests lie in the field of sustainable agriculture and conservation. I am trying to find an answer to the question of how we can feed the world’s population while safeguarding the environment in a changing social-ecological system.


The overall aim of my study is to contribute to our understanding of how natural resources in Papua New Guinea can be managed to produce the food required by its growing population while at the same time conserving the environment. 

Click here to learn more about my project!


Internship with Proforest, a not-for-profit that helps people to manage and source natural resources sustainably

2016 – present   

DPhil/PhD student – University of Oxford

2013 – 2016      

Bachelor of Science (summa cum laude), in biology (major) and psychology (minor) – University College Utrecht with an exchange to the University of Washington

My DPhil project is supervised by Professor E.J. Milner-Gulland (University of Oxford), Dr. Rebecca J. Morris (University of Southampton) and Dr. Emilie Beauchamp (International Institute for Environment and Development).

My research is funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF). 

2019   - Short-listed for the Vice Chancellor's Social Impact Awards

2018   - BBSRC CGRF-IAA award to fund my fieldwork in Papua New Guinea

2017   - BBSRC CGRF-IAA award to fund my fieldwork in Papua New Guinea

2016   - Scatcherd European Scholarship & BBSRC Studentship to fund my DPhil project

2015   - Valedictorian of the Class 2015-½ at University College Utrecht

2014   - Dean’s List of the University of Washington

2012   - Short-listed for the Jan Kijne Research Award at Leiden University


Withfield et al. (2019), Exploring temporality in socio-ecological resilience through experiences of the 2015–16 El Niño across the Tropics. Global Environmental Change(55), 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2019.01.004.

Mirjam Hazenbosch