Wei Zhang is an research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in the Environment and Production Technology Division (EPTD). She leads the research program on ecosystem services under the Natural Resource Management (NRM) theme, and conducts policy-relevant research on the intersection between agriculture, development, and nature.
Wei’s research interest includes valuing and modeling ecosystem services in relation to land cover/use and management practices, managing landscape-based ecosystem services (e.g., natural pest regulation) for sustainable agriculture and livelihoods, and understanding the socio-economic and behavioral factors in decision-making regarding ecosystem services and natural resource management, using behavioral experiments (games) and applied econometric methods. She has extensive experience leading and implementing multidisciplinary research projects in Africa (Nigeria, Kenya, and Ghana), south Asia (Nepal, India and Bangladesh), eastern and southeastern Asia (China, Cambodia and Vietnam). Wei has also actively engaged in a number of global research initiatives (e.g., TEEBAgFood) and working groups (e.g., SESYNC, SNAPP).
A Chinese national, Wei joined IFPRI in November 2008 as a postdoc fellow. Prior to that, Wei worked at the Environment Department of the World Bank on Payment for Environmental Services (PES), watershed and biodiversity conservation, 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.