Gemma Shepherd is an Environmental Affairs Officer in the Division of Early Warning and Assessment in UNEP, where she works on global and regional scientific assessment activities related to land degradation and desertification. She holds MAgSci and PhD degrees in Soil Science from the University of Reading in the UK.
Gemma manages a project conducting multiscale, integrated land degradation assessment and environmental policy evaluation in West Africa drylands. She is a lead author of Chapter 3 – Land of UNEP’s Fourth Global Environment Outlook. She also contributes to other global land assessments, such as the Land Degradation Assessment in Drylands, the Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture, and UNEP’s Strategy on Land Use Management and Soil Conservation. Gemma holds a special interest in strengthening the role of science in environmental assessment and promoting science-policy linkages.
Before joining UNEP in 2000, Gemma conducted research on nitrogen cycling in agroforestry systems in Kenya with the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and on soil assessment in dryland farming systems in Syria with the International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA).