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Kristina Marquardt

Kristina Marquardt
I am a researcher in the subject rural development at the Department of Urban and Rural Development. My research interests include social and agro-ecological aspects of small-scale agriculture in forests margins. I am also the Vice Head of Department at the Department of Urban and Rural Development (SOL).


My research focuses on smallholders’ diverse and dynamic land uses for food production, agrarian change, forest transitions and maintenance of ecosystem services in the landscape. Right now I'm leading a research project that studies how farmers in Nepal invest long-term in the landscape as a strategy to manage risk.


I give lectures about rural livelihoods system in the Global South, small-scale land use systems, farmers’ management of ecosystem services  etc. on our agronomy program and master program. I have previously (2012-2016) been responsible course coordinator for the course International Rural Development (LU0056) at the Urban and Rural Development (SOL)


During the last years, I have been working in several   research projects that focus on how small-scale land use can contribute to maintaining ecosystem services in the landscape and how these systems are affected by agricultural and forest policy:

- What is secondary about secondary forest? Building smallholder forest futures in Peru’s Amazonian frontier (will start during 2021). 

- The pratice of resilience in moutain landscapes: exploring risk and landscape investments in rural Nepal (ongoing).  This project is about what resilience means in practice for small-scale farmers in Nepal. The project aims to investigate what strategies and practices the farmers use to manage the risks they face in their everyday lives, especially through the long-term investments they make in the landscape in which they live. It can for exmaple be to manage forests for specific purposes, building terraces and irrigation facilities.

- Forest and agrarian transition, smallholder practices and new forms of land governance (ongoing). The project is an inter-disciplinary network project between researchers in Brazil, Nepal, Peru and Sweden. The project aims to re-examine current theoretical models of changing forest and agricultural landscapes, and to better understand what local effects new forms of land governance have on small-scale land uses.

-Thinking beyond REDD: analysing smallholders' motivations and actions for ecosystem serivce managment (2015-2019). In this research we suggests that we rethink how we intend future management and governance of ecosystem services (ES) and how climate mitigation measures can be achieved. We approach ES from a landscape perspective and try to better understand smallholder motivation and measures for ES management and how these can promote forest cover maintenance and other forms of ES provision while addressing smallholder livelihood needs. This has been investigated using ethnographic and PRA methods in two contrasting case studies, Brazil and Nepal. These results will feed into a larger discussion of motivations and potential incentive structures for collective action.

- PECA - Payment of Ecosystem services – Consequenses and Alternatives (2012-2014). In PECA we explored governance, livelihood and social and cultural impacts of payment systems for ecosystem services (in particular REDD) in Brazil, Nepal, Peru and Tanzania. We have then compared these with cases of small-scale use of land/forest which are successful in providing ecosystem services but where no payment is involved.

You can find more information about all the international projects here:

- In the project AgResources (2012-2015) I focused on ecosystem services in agriculture from a farmer's perspective in a Swedish context and how to plan for ecosystem services in future production systems. 


My post doc research explored how farmers working with small-scale intensive swidden farming systems in western Amazon perceive, describe, denominate and manage the fundamental ecological functions in a swidden farming system (e.g. soil fertility, biomass accumulation, soil water regulation, genetic diversity of crops) i.e. ecosystem services (ES). 


My doctoral research started out from questions concerning farmers’ own strategies to handle soil fertility problems in the Peruvian Amazon. By using participatory action research methodology, the research process was able to open up and expand and include questions concerning diversity in environmental perceptions, farmers’ land management knowledge, farmers’ learning within the context of local institutions and what outside structures that could support such learning processes.


I have a background as a soil and plant agronomist (MSc in Agriculture) and have a PhD and am an Associate Professor in Rural Development. I have previously worked at the County Administrative Board, conducted a JPO position at CIAT (International Center for Tropical Agriculture) and enjoyed a postdoctoral period with ICRAF- Latin America (World Agroforestry Centre).


I supervise students at bachelor, master and doctoral levels.

I have been the  deputy supervisor for the doctoral students:

- Dil Khatri (2018). Climate and Development at the Third Pole. Dynamics of power and knowledge reshaping community forest governance in Nepal.
- Nícia Givá (2016). Parks with people? Action Research in Bridging Conservation and Livelihoods.

Selected publications

Pain A, Marquardt K, and  Khatri D B (accepted). Secondary Forests and Agrarian Transitions: Insights from Nepal and Peru. Special issue on Secondary Forest in Human Ecology.

Pain A, Marquardt K, Arvid Lindh, Niles J Hasselquist (2020). What is secondary about secondary tropical forest? Rethinking forest landscapes. Special issue on Secondary Forest in Human Ecology.

Marquardt K, Pain A and  Khatri D B (2020). Re-reading Nepalese landscapes: labour, water, farming patches and trees. Forests, Trees and Livelihoods: doi:10.1080/14728028.2020.1814875

Bartholdson Ö, Abdallah J M, Marquardt K and Salomonson L (2019). Is REDD+ more of an institutional affair than a market process? The concealed social and cultural consequences of an ongoing REDD+ project in Kolo Hills, Tanzania. Forests. 10 (618):

Marquardt K, Pain A, Bartholdson Ö and L Romero Rengifo (2018). Forest dynamics in the Peruvian Amazon – understanding processes of change. Small-scale Forestry. 18(1), pp 81-104.

Khatri D, Marquardt K, Pain A and H Ojha (2018). Shifting regimes of management and uses of forests: What might REDD+ implementation mean for community forestry? Evidence from Nepal. Journal of Forest Policy and Economics. Volume 92, pp 1-10.

Eksvärd K and K Marquardt (2018). From change to transitions? Learnings from environmental protection activities in Sweden. Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems. Vol 42(2), pp 189-209.

Egerlid J, Marquardt K and Ö Bartholdson (2016). Forest conservation versus indigenous forest territory rights in the Peruvian Amazon – the case of the Kechwa-Lamas village Alto Huaja and the roles external actors. International Journal of Agricultural Resources, Governance and Ecology. Volume 12(4), pp 381-405.

Marquardt K, Khatri D and Pain A (2016). REDD in the light of forest transition, agrarian change and ecosystem services in the Mid-Hills and Terai of Nepal. Human Ecology. Volume 44, Issue 2, pp 229–244. DOI: 10.1007/s10745-016-9817-x

Marquardt K, Vico G, Eksvärd K, Glynn C, Dalin P, Björkman C and Weih M (2016). Farmer perspectives on introducing perennial cereals in Swedish farming systems: A sustainability analysis of plant traits, farm management and ecological implications. Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems. Volume 40, Issue 7, pp 432–250.

Lindell L, Åström M E, Marquardt K and Henningsson M (2014). Farmers’ (local and colonists) perceptions of environmental changes in the forest frontier of the upper Amazon, Peru. International Journal of Resources, Governance and Ecology (IJARGE). Volume 10(4), pp 394-418.

Marquardt K, Milestad R and Porro R (2013). Farmers' Perspectives on Vital Soil-related Ecosystem Services in Intensive Swidden Farming Systems in the Peruvian Amazon. Human Ecology, 41, pp 139-151. DOI 10.1007/s10745-012-9522-3 

Marquardt K, Milestad R and Salomonsson L (2013). Improved fallows: A case study of an adaptive response in Amazonian swidden farming systems. Agriculture and Human Values, 30, pp 417-428. DOI 10.1007/s10460-012-9415-5 

Marquardt Arévalo K, Ljung M and Sriskandarajah N (2010). Learning Through Feedback in the Field: Reflective Learning in a NGO in the Peruvian Amazon. Action Research (AR), Volume 8(1), pp 29-51.

Marquardt K, Salomonsson L and Brondizio E (2010). Small-scale farmers’ land management strategies in the Upper Amazon: an action research case study. Interciencia, 35 (6), pp. 421-429.

Marquardt K, Geber U and Salomonsson L (2009). Farmers Facing Rapid Agricultural Land Condition Changes in Two Villages in the Upper Amazon, Peru. Can Action Learning Contribute to Resilience? International Journal of Resources, Governance and Ecology (IJARGE), Vol 8, Nos. 5/6, pp. 457-483.

Marquardt Arévalo K and Ljung M, 2006. Action Research on Land Management in the Western Amazon, Peru – a Research Process, its Outcomes and the Researcher’s Role, Systemic Practice and Action Research, 19, pp. 309-324.


PhD thesis

Marquardt Arévalo K (2008). PhD dissertation. Burning Changes. Action research with Farmers and Swidden Agriculture in the Upper Amazon, 2008:42, ISBN:978-91-85913-75-6


Reports and popular publications

Romero Rengifo L and K Marquardt (2015). La agricultura indígena de Kechwa-Lamas y los servicios ecosistémicos – que hay de aprender? SERVINDI.

Bartholdson Ö, Beckman M, Engström L, Jacobson K, Marquardt K and L Salomonsson (2012). Does paying pay off? Paying for ecosystem services and exploring alternative possibilities. Report series Department of Urban and Rural Development. No 1/2012.

Englund O, Berndes G, Lundgren L, Palm M, Engström L, Bäckman C, Marquardt K and E Stephansson (2011). Producing Feedstock for Biofuels: Land-Use and Local Environmental Impacts. Technical report for the EU Biofuel Baseline project. Report no: FRT 2011:06. Chalmers University of Technology. Gothenburg. Sweden.

Marquardt K (2010). Ecosystem Services and the Service Managers, Amazon Agroforestry. ICRAF Amazon Newsletter, Vol 2, No 1, sept 2010.



Researcher at the Department of Urban and Rural Development; Division of Rural Development
Telephone: +4618672099
Work description: Researcher and teacher in rural development at the Department of Urban and Rural Development, and the director of PhD studies at the Urban and Rural Development (SOL).
Postal address:
Inst för stad och land, Box 7012
Visiting address: Ulls väg 27, Uppsala