Dr Jennifer Lucey

Senior Researcher and Deputy Director, Nature-based Solutions Initiative


Jennifer Lucey is the Deputy Director of the Nature-based Solutions Initiative and a Senior Researcher specializing in biodiversity and sustainable agriculture at the Smith School for Enterprise and the Environment (Department of Geography) at the University of Oxford.

Her impact-driven research aims to find and refine nature-based solutions for transforming agricultural landscapes to support biodiverse and resilient ecosystems, while maintaining and enhancing yields for a healthy human population. Jen trained as a biodiversity ecologist at the University of York, where her PhD focused on the impacts of forest fragmentation in oil palm landscapes. She went on to spearhead the Socially and Environmentally Sustainable Oil Palm Research Programme (SEnSOR 2015-2024), leading an international, multidisciplinary team to investigate the effects of oil palm certification on livelihoods and biodiversity.

Jen works at the interface between science, policy, and practice, collaborating closely with industry, government, and NGOs to develop innovative research that addresses stakeholder needs. From 2015-2018, she was as a NERC Knowledge Exchange Fellow, working with the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil to develop zero-deforestation policy and methodologies. Recognised as an authority on biodiversity and forests in oil palm landscapes, Jen has participated in numerous advisory groups, including the RSPO Biodiversity and High Conservation Value Working Group, the NERC Scientific Advisory Network, and the High Carbon Stock Approach Scientific Advisory Committee. Her contributions have earned her a NERC Early Career Impact Award and generated a REF2021 Impact case study.

Jen is currently leading a project to establish an Agricultural Resilience Impact and Innovation Hub, aiming to build industry partnerships and foster interdisciplinary collaboration across ecology, plant science, and social science to co-create impactful research and innovation.