Brent Swallow

Professor of Agricultural and Environmental Economics, the University of Alberta, Canada

Member of the WLE Steering committee

bswallow (at)

Brent Swallow is Professor of Agricultural and Environmental Economics at the University of Alberta, Canada. Dr. Swallow earned B.S.A. and M.Sc. degrees from the University of Saskatchewan and a PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His major fields of study at the PhD level were resource economics and development economics; he has continued to study the nexus between agricultural development and environment throughout his career.  

After completing his graduate training, Dr. Swallow lived and worked in the United States, Lesotho and Kenya for over 25 years, returning to Canada in 2009. Between 1991 and 2009, Dr. Swallow was a research scientist at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and a program leader and principal scientist at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF). He led ICRAF’s pan-tropical research on policy options, natural resource governance and payments for environmental services, and from 2007-9 was Global Coordinator of the Alternatives-to-Slash and Burn Partnership for the Tropical Forest Margins. 

Since arriving at the University of Alberta in 2009, Dr. Swallow has continued to conduct payments for ecosystem services research on institutions and markets for REDD (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) in developing countries and bio-carbon offsets in Alberta.  He has conducted research on the contributions of wild foods to diets in rural South Africa and co-leads a project entitled “Alleviating Poverty and Malnutrition in Agrobiodiversity Hotspots” in India.  His newest project is concerned with the multiple values of land put to different uses around Alberta’s main cities.  

He has authored 80 journal articles and book chapters and is a Distinguished Associate of the World Agroforestry Centre and a member of the Edmonton Food Council.  He teaches courses on food systems, the economics of world food and agriculture, and development economics.