University of Vermont

Agroecology and Rural Livelihoods Group

Meryl Richards

Meryl Olson

Meryl Richards (formerly Olson), Ph.D. Candidate, Dept. of Plant & Soil Science

  • B.A. (2005) & B.E. (2006) in Environmental Engineering, Dartmouth College, USA
Areas of research:

Biodiversity, climate change, rural livelihoods, agroforestry systems, rained rice systems

Contact Information

Meryl Richards (formerly Olson) received her B.A. (2005) and B.E. (2006) degrees in Environmental Engineering from Dartmouth College. Her Ph.D. research  is titled "Agrobiodiversity, conservation, and food security among small-scale coffee farmers in El Salvador." She conducted her Ph.D. research in El Salvador with farmers of the ACOES and APICAFE cooperatives.

Meryl also spent February - November 2012 on a Fulbright fellowship in Sierra Leone researching agricultural development in rice-growing systems in collaboration with OneVillage Partners (a small NGO) and faculty at Njala University in Sierra Leone. Her research experience and interests center around why smallholder farmers maintain biodiversity on their farms, how it contributes to their livelihoods, and what synergies exist between biodiversity conservation and lower greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture.

In January 2013, Meryl began a position as Science Officer for the Low Emissions Agriculture research theme with the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security.


Group Leader
Graduate Students
Research and Outreach Staff
Contact UVM © 2017 The University of Vermont - Burlington, VT 05405 - (802) 656-3131