Vanessa Wynter


I’ve grown up with easy access to the outdoors and spent a large part of my childhood exploring the woods in my backyard.

This interest in conservation has evolved during my undergraduate studies in Biology at Oxford University when I was introduced to the both the link and conflict between social and environmental needs. I conducted coursework projects on food sustainability and agricultural practices with the goal of better understanding how to balance the needs of farmers with efforts to lower environmental impacts.


I am interested in understanding how human activity impacts biodiversity. Working with the Food Sustainability Analytics group on the HESTIA project during my undergrad introduced me to quantifying the climate change and biodiversity impacts of our food systems.

Currently my interests center around exploring the biodiversity impact of food systems along with understanding the implications of environmentally friendly alternatives on stakeholders such as farmers. I am also interested in the role of research on human-driven biodiversity loss in informing and influencing policy.


My current research is in the biodiversity impacts of coffee agriculture. I am exploring the different types of coffee growing practices which range from low-intensity agroforestry systems to monocultures of coffee and their respective impacts on biodiversity. Existing models of estimating biodiversity loss due to land use will be applied in my research to estimate coffee agriculture’s current biodiversity impact on a global scale. With this I am hoping to assess the limitations of these existing models. I will then use the Mitigation Conservation Hierarchy (MCH) to inform a set of possible mitigation strategies to reduce the biodiversity impact of coffee in the supply chain.

This project involves supplementing and building on existing meta-analysis datasets and mapping global coffee presence and biodiversity impact with qGIS.


Woman with white tshit river runs behind