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Wilma Hart

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, School of Biological Sciences, The University of Queensland

I specialize in working at the intersection of agricultural production, conservation, climate change adaptation and mitigation, and rural development. I hold a PhD in ecosystem ecology from ETH Zürich, Switzerland, and have eight years of postdoctoral research experience studying agroecology in cropping systems throughout tropical Africa and Southeast Asia, at both ETH Zürich, Switzerland and The University of Queensland, Australia. My current research focuses on understanding how to design and manage cocoa landscapes to meet the demands for agricultural production while conserving biodiversity, mitigating and adapting to climate change, and improving rural livelihoods.


  • 2020–present
    Postdoctoral research fellow, The University of Queensland
  • 2018–2020
    Senior scientific associate, Swiss Platform for Sustainable Cocoa
  • 2018–2020
    Postdoctoral research fellow, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich
  • 2017–2018
    Project manager, Fondation François Sommer, Paris
  • 2014–2017
    Postdoctoral research fellow, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich
  • 2008–2013
    PhD candidate, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich


  • 2013 
    Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Doctor of Science
  • 2008 
    Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, MSc in Environmental Sciences
  • 2007 
    Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, BSc in Environmental Sciences


  • 2022
    Can sustainability certification enhance the climate resilience of smallholder farmers? The case of Ghanaian cocoa, Journal of Land Use Science
  • 2021
    The effectiveness of cocoa agroforests depends on shade tree canopy height, Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment
  • 2020
    Cocoa agroforestry systems versus monocultures: a multi-dimensional meta-analysis, Environmental Research Letters
  • 2019
    Soil fertility and Theobroma cacao growth and productivity under commonly intercropped shade-tree species in Sulawesi, Indonesia, Plant and Soil
  • 2018
    groforestry systems can mitigate the severity of cocoa swollen shoot virus disease, Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment
  • 2018
    Climate-smart sustainable agriculture in low-to-intermediate shade agroforests, Nature Sustainability
  • 2017
    Does shade tree diversity increase soil fertility in cocoa plantations?, Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment
  • 2017
    Shade trees have limited benefits for soil fertility in cocoa agroforests, Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment