Meryl Richards

Science Officer for Low Emissions Agriculture
Science Officer
+1 8026 5608 90

Meryl Richards is an agroecologist who joined CCAFS in January 2013 as a Science Officer for the CCAFS Flagship on Low Emissions Agriculture. She received her B.A. (2005) and B.E. (2006) degrees in Environmental Engineering from Dartmouth College, USA. Her dissertation in the Agroecology and Rural Livelihoods Group at the University of Vermont was titled "Agrobiodiversity, conservation, and food security among small-scale coffee farmers in El Salvador."

Her research experience and interests center around synergies and trade-offs between food security and environmental conservation in smallholder agriculture, as well as measurement of GHG emissions from agriculture. She has a particular interest in agroforestry systems and has conducted research in Central America and West Africa.

Some recent publications

Richards MB & Méndez VE (2014). Interactions between carbon sequestration and shade tree diversity in a smallholder coffee cooperative of El Salvador. Conservation Biology 28(2): 489-97.

Richards M & Sander BO. (2014). Alternate wetting and drying in irrigated rice. CSA Practice Brief. CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). Copenhagen, Denmark. Available online at

Richards M, Sapkota T, Stirling C, Thierfelder C, Verhulst N, Friedrich T & Kienzle J. (2014). Conservation agriculture: Implementation guidance for policymakers and investors. CSA Practice Brief. CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Copenhagen, Denmark and Rome, Italy. Available online at

Olson, M.B., Morris, K.S., & Méndez, V.E. Cultivation of maize landraces by small-scale shade coffee farmers in western El Salvador (2012). Agricultural Systems, 111, 63-74.

Olson, M.B., Peyser, R., Méndez, V.E., Fujisaka, S., Oberthür, T., Seville, D. & Georgeoglou, M.U. (2012). Measuring impact at origin. In Specialty Coffee: Managing Quality, eds. T. Oberthür, P. Läderach, H. A. Jürgen Pohlan, & J. Cock, Northcross, Georgia: International Plant Nutrition Institute.

Méndez, V. E., Bacon, C.M., Olson, M., Petchers, S., Herrador, D., Carranza, C., Trujillo, L., Guadarrama-Zugasti, C., Cordón, A. & Mendoza, A. (2010). Effects of Fair Trade and organic certifications on small-scale coffee farmer households in Central America and Mexico. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems, 25, 236-251.

Méndez, V. E., Bacon, C., Olson, M. B., Morris, K. S., & Shattuck, A. (2010). Agrobiodiversity and shade coffee smallholder livelihoods: Synthesis of ten years of research in Central America. Professional Geographer, 62, 357-376.