Leah Mungai

Deans Postdoctoral Research Associate
Visiting Scientist


  • PhD, Geography, Michigan State University, 2020
  • MS, Geo-Information Science, Salem State University, 2013
  • BA, Information Systems, Thiel College, 2008

Research Areas

  • Human-Environment Interactions
  • Sustainable Agriculture for Smallholder Farming Systems and Agricultural Extension Services
  • Land Cover and Land Use Change
  • Sub-Sahara Africa


My research focuses on human-environment interactions using an interdisciplinary lens of geography and agroecology at multiple geographic scales for African smallholder farming systems. I examine spatial-temporal patterns of sustainable intensification of agriculture and link these to land use, climate, and social-economic drivers. I use mixed-methods that integrate context-specific information from researchers, farming communities, and extension services to develop appropriate solutions towards sustainable agricultural systems.

Selected Publications

Mungai, L. M., Messina, J. P., & Snapp, S. (2020). Spatial Pattern of Agricultural Productivity Trends in Malawi. Sustainability, 12(4), 1313.

Peter, B. G., Mungai, L. M., Messina, J. P., & Snapp, S. S. (2017). Nature-based agricultural solutions: Scaling perennial grains across Africa. Environmental Research, 159, 283-290.

Mungai, L. M., Snapp, S., Messina, J. P., Chikowo, R., Smith, A., Anders, E., … & Li, G. (2016). Smallholder farms and the potential for sustainable intensification. Frontiers in plant science, 7, 1720.

Rogé, P., Snapp, S., Kakwera, M. N., Mungai, L., Jambo, I., & Peter, B. (2016). Ratooning and perennial staple crops in Malawi. A review. Agronomy for Sustainable Development, 36(3), 50.