Sonja Vermeulen

Associate Fellow, Hoffmann Centre for Sustainable Resource Economy


Sonja Vermeulen is WWF’s Global Food Lead Scientist. Her career has bridged academic and applied research, and natural and social sciences, with a strong focus on linking science with public policy and private sector strategies, particularly in Africa and Asia.

Among other topics she has worked on climate change, agriculture, land use, food security, bioenergy, forestry, conservation, land governance and business practice.

In 2018 she is serving as a Commissioner on the EAT-Lancet Commission on Healthy Sustainable Diets, which is exploring how more than nine billion people can eat nutritious diets within planetary environmental boundaries, and as a member of Unilever’s Sustainable Sourcing Advisory Board.

Dr Vermeulen holds an MA in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge, an MSc in Tropical Resource Ecology from the University of Zimbabwe and a PhD in Population Biology from Imperial College London.

Past experience

2018 - present Global Food Lead Scientist, WWF 
2010-17 Head of Research, CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security
2008-09 Director, Programme on Business and Sustainable Development, IIED