skip to content

Cambridge Global Food Security

An Interdisciplinary Research Centre at the University of Cambridge


Prior to her PhD, Dr Chambers worked on conservation projects in several countries, including: participatory land use planning with Ya'axché Conservation Trust and Fauna & Flora International in Belize (2013), monitoring institutional progress towards biodiversity conservation strategic objectives with UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre in the UK (2013), biodiversity and socio-economic surveys for Amazónicos por la Amazonía and Neotropical Primate Conservation in Northern Peru (2010-2012), video editing for the Golden Langur Conservation Project with Community Conservation, Inc. in the US (2010), and fieldwork for primate conservation projects in Costa Rica and Uganda (2008, 2009).


  • PhD Geography, University of Cambridge (2018)
  • 2012-2013: MPhil Conservation Leadership (Distinction), University of Cambridge
  • 2011-2012: MSc Integrated Resource Management (Distinction), University of Edinburgh
  • 2006-2010: BSc Integrative Biology (Highest Distinction), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Funding and awards


I am a political ecologist, with a focus on interventions that aim to jointly conserve the environment and improve human well-being. Diverse approaches have proliferated globally over the past decade, yet weak evidence exists for their success in practice. My research seeks to: 1) critically assess these interventions by exploring questions such as: how are they designed? what are their implications? why do they fail or succeed according to different perspectives? what politics often drive a disconnect between narratives and outcomes?, and 2) develop collaborative methods with diverse multi-stakeholder groups to design constructive alternatives to dominant approaches to conservation.


Key publications: 

Contributing author for the Global Forest Expert Panel (GFEP) report on Forests, Trees and Landscapes for Food Security: A Global Assessment Report, Chapter 5: Response Options Across the Landscape, 2015. IUFRO World Series Volume 33, Vienna.

  • The politics and reality of interventions for social and ecological benefit, Inter-disciplinarity in Conservation Research Conference (presentation), Cambridge, September 2014.
  • Investigating a landscape of livelihood interventions to incentivise biodiversity conservation in Northern Peru (presentation), Cambridge, Graduate Forum, February 2014.
  • Milich, K.M., Stumpf, R.M., Chambers, J.M., & Chapman, C.A. (2014) Female red colobus monkeys maintain their densities through flexible feeding strategies in logged forests in Kibale National Park, Uganda. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 154(1), 52-60.
  • Land use Implications for community-based conservation of a forest corridor in the Peruvian Amazon (poster), Student Conference on Conservation Science, Cambridge, March 2013.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Geography
Dr Josephine  Chambers

Contact Details

Email address: 
01223 333399
Not available for consultancy