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Jan de Leeuw

Role in Dryland Systems: 

Center Coordinator, ICRAF and Center Focal Point, ICRAF

Home organization: 

World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)

Position in home organization: 

Drylands Scientist


Jan de Leeuw is Senior Scientist Drylands Systems at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) in Nairobi, Kenya. He earned his BSc and MSc in biology from Amsterdam Free University and the University of Groningen and a PhD in Plant Ecology at the University of Groningen.

Before joining ICRAF he worked at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Nairobi, leading research on vulnerability in pastoral systems, and in research and capacity building in environmental science at ITC in Enschede, the Netherlands Institute of Ecology in Yerseke. His research focuses on ecosystem services delivered in drylands agroforestry systems, the options of tree, water cycle and other interventions to enhance resilience and intensify agricultural production, the risks associated to investment in such development options and the policy and institutional environment to support these.


Before that, Jan worked in Universities of Groningen and Ouagadougou and other research institutions in environmental science in Europe, Africa and Asia and supervised the theses of more than 70 students from all over the world.

He has published 70 ISI journal articles and book chapters on a broad range of topics including two recent papers focusing on characterization of African drylands: the first a Characterization of the Length of Growing Period across Africa (, the second a book on Trees and Resilience (Treesilience) in East African drylands (