Keighley McFarland joined Ecologic Institute in 2012. Currently, she works as a Researcher with a focus on biodiversity policy, sustainability transitions, land use policy and food systems. She is a native English speaker and speaks fluent German as well as basic French and Spanish.
Specific topics of her work include green infrastructure, the social and economic benefits of ecosystem services, assessment of biodiversity and land use policy, food waste and innovative research dissemination. In the Horizon 2020 project Resource Efficient Food and dRink for the Entire Supply cHain (REFRESH), she collaborates on the development of policy solutions for food waste as well as conceptualizes and implements impact-oriented dissemination approaches. Projects to which she has contributed scientific expertise and project administration support include the European Topic Centre on Biological Diversity (ETC-BD), Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals for Soils, and Land Footprint - Evaluation of Existing Studies and Development of Impact Oriented Land Use Indicators. She has also been involved in research projects in climate, development and resource policy, for example Bottom Up Climate Adaptation Strategies for a Sustainable Europe (BASE) and Follow-Up to the Rio+20 Conference: Sustainable Development Goals and the Green Economy. Keighley McFarland is also active in project aquisition.
In 2014 and 2015, Keighley McFarland completed a research internship at the Dutch Research Institute for Transitions (DRIFT) in Rotterdam, where she researched social innovation in sustainable alternative food networks. This internship was supported by grants from the Konrad von Moltke Fund and the World Food System Center Ambassadors Programme. Before beginning at Ecologic Institute, she worked as an assistant in non-profit administration, climate policy and agricultural policy at Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND) as part of the German Federal Volunteer Service. During her bachelor's studies, she held several volunteer positions, including as a Young Ambassador of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).
In May 2015, Keighley McFarland completed her master's degree in Integrated Natural Resource Management at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (Germany). Her areas of focus in her master's studies were transitions in food systems and sustainable agriculture. She graduated with distinction from UC Berkeley in 2011, where she studied political economy and German with a concentration on European environmental policy and economics. She also completed an exchange semester at the Otto Suhr Institute of Political Science (OSI) at the Freie Universität Berlin (Germany) in 2010, where she focused on European politics and energy policy.
In addition to her work at Ecologic Institute, Keighley McFarland is actively involved with Slow Food Youth Germany (SFY Germany). From 2013 to 2015, she was co-leader of the SFY Germany national convivium and was a delegate of Slow Food Germany to the Slow Food International Congress/Terra Madre in Turin (Italy) in 2012 and 2014. In 2013 she was awarded the Deutschlandstipendium scholarship recognizing her academic achievement and extracurricular engagement.