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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

01223 333399
Not available for consultancy


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Plant Biology

Food Lanscapes

Infectious Diseases


Political Economy

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Supply Chains

Land Resources

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