Polly Ericksen

Polly Ericksen

Program leader, Sustainable livestock systems

Polly leads the research program on Sustainable Livestock Systems at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). She has worked at ILRI since 2010.  She has a PhD in Soil Science and an MSc in Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a BS in History from Swarthmore College. She has over 25 years of experience working on agricultural development, natural resource management and global environmental change in developing countries. This includes experience working for the World Agroforestry Centre, Catholic Relief Services, a research fellowship at Columbia University’s International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), and five years at the University of Oxford working with the Global Environmental Change and Food Systems (GECAFS) initiative of the Earth Systems Science Partnership. She also leads the Environment Flagship of the Livestock Agri-food Systems CRP.

My Projects


Programme for climate-smart livestock systems

My Publications

Livestock and Climate: Innovations

  • Ericksen, Polly J.

High-yield dairy cattle breeds improve farmer incomes, curtail greenhouse gas emissions and reduce dairy import dependency in Tanzania

  • Hawkins, J.W.
  • Komarek, A.M.
  • Kihoro, Esther
  • Nicholson, C.F.
  • Omore, Amos O.
  • Yesuf, G.U.
  • Ericksen, Polly J.
  • Schoneveld, G.R.
  • Rufino, Mariana C.


  • Ericksen, Polly J.
  • Jones, Christopher S.
  • Marshall, Karen
  • Baltenweck, Isabelle
  • Banerjee, Rupsha R.
  • Crane, Todd A.
  • Bett, Bernard K.
  • Kemp, Stephen J.
  • Wright, Iain A.
  • Duncan, Alan J.
  • Dominguez-Salas, Paula
  • Charlie Pye-Smith, Charlie
  • Thornton, Philip K.

A shift from cattle to camel and goat farming can sustain milk production with lower inputs and emissions in north sub-Saharan Africa’s drylands

  • Rahimi, Jaber
  • Fillol, Erwann
  • Mutua, John Y.
  • Cinardi, Giuseppina
  • Robinson, Timothy P.
  • Notenbaert, An Maria Omer
  • Ericksen, Polly J.
  • Graham, Michael W.
  • Butterbach-Bahl, Klaus

The context for Anticipatory Action in East Africa

  • Ericksen, Polly J.

Climate change is already hitting Africa’s livestock: Here’s how COP26 can help

  • Ericksen, Polly J.
  • Cramer, Laura