Dr. Sheila Navalia Onzere is a research scientist with HURDL - the Humanitarian Response and Development Lab within the George Perkins Marsh Institute at Clark University in Massachusetts. She earned a PhD in sociology and sustainable agriculture from Iowa State University. Her research interests focus on livelihoods, gender, food systems, forestry, climate change, and development in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). She has considerable experience working on international development issues in SSA. She received a fellowship from the Borlaug LEAP in 2006 to carry out fieldwork for her dissertation research while attached to The International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). Her research focused on the intersection between agricultural innovation, the transformation of social networks and access to markets. While writing her dissertation, she worked as the program coordinator for the Master in Sustainable Development Program at the University of Florida. She has also worked as a gender specialist for the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Nairobi, Kenya.
In 2014, she was one of the 20 early career scientists from around the world who were invited to attend the global Future Earth Food Systems conference. Since joining HURDL in late 2014, Onzere has worked on various projects which aim to understand agricultural livelihoods and vulnerability to climate change and variability in the Sahel, as well as, projects that focus gender and forest based livelihoods in Malawi and Liberia.