Wei Zhang is a research fellow in the Environment and Production Technology Division (EPTD). She is a leading social scientist on socio-ecological system management and resilience research at IFPRI and has represented IFPRI on a number of global research initiatives and working groups. At EPTD, she leads the research program on ecosystem services under the Natural Resource Management (NRM) theme. Her work has focused on policy-relevant research on the intersection between agriculture, development, and nature. Her research areas have included valuing and modeling ecosystem services in relation to land use and management practices, integrated landscape planning for sustainable agriculture and livelihoods, and understanding the socioeconomic and behavioral factors in ecosystem and natural resource management decision-making, using behavioral experiments and applied econometric methods. She has extensive experience leading and undertaking multidisciplinary research projects in Africa (Nigeria, Kenya, and Ghana), south Asia (Nepal, India and Bangladesh), eastern and southeastern Asia (China, Cambodia and Vietnam).
A Chinese national, Wei joined IFPRI in November 2008 as a postdoc fellow. Prior to that, Wei was a consultant at the Environment Department of the World Bank for about two years, where she worked on Payment for Environmental Services (PES) and the linkage between PES and poverty. Wei earned a Ph.D. in Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics at Michigan State University with a specialization in Environmental and Resource Economics. She has a Master’s degree in Community Development and Applied Economics from University of Vermont and a BA degree in International Economics from Renmin University of China.