Dr. Sieg Snapp

Sieg PicProfessor Sieg Snapp is a soils and cropping systems ecologist at Michigan State University and Associate Director of the Center for Global Change and Earth Observations. She has edited two books and published more than a 100 journal articles and extension bulletins on integrated nutrient management, ecological intensification, agricultural systems, and participatory action research. Her research interests include international agricultural system design for a changing climate and understanding processes that can be harnessed for sustainable production. She has pioneered the development of multipurpose crops for food and environmental security, including the first agronomic reports on perennial wheat and perennial pigeonpea.

Dr. Snapp has extensive experience in the use of participatory action research and extension, and a commitment to co-learning, from the Upper Midwest to Southern Africa. She is possibly best known for being the ‘mother’ of the mother and baby trial design, as a means to support participatory research, communication and innovation.



Areas of expertise: Agrobiodiversity, Agroecology, Agronomy,  Extension, Modeling, Soil Science, Sustainability Science



Snapp, S.S. and B. Pound (Eds.) 2008. Agricultural Systems: Agroecology and Rural Innovation for Development. Academic Press. 380 pp.

Pound, B., S.S. Snapp, C. McDougal and A. Braun (Eds.) 2003. Uniting Science and Participation: Managing Natural Resources for Sustainable Livelihoods. Earthscan, U.K. and IRDC, Canada.


Manuscripts submitted

Rogé, P., T. Diarisso, F. Diallo, Y. Boiré, D. Goïta, B. Peter, M. Macalou, E. Weltzien and S.S. Snapp. Future possibilities for perennial grain crops in the sorghum-growing region of Mali. J. Peasant Studies. Ms in review.

Isaac, K. S.S. Snapp, L. Butare, and J. Kelly. Genotype by cropping system interactions in climbing bean and maize associations in Northern Province, Rwanda. Field Crops Research. Ms in review.

Published or in press: 

Droppelmann, K.J., S.S. Snapp, and S.R. Waddington. 2017. Sustainable intensification options for smallholder maze-based farming systems in sub-Saharan Africa. Food Security 9:133-150, DOI 10.1007/s12571-016-0636-0

Li, G., J.P. Messina, B.G. Peter, and S. Snapp.  2017.  Mapping land suitability for agriculture in Malawi. Land Degrad. Develop., doi: 10.1002/ldr.2723.

Messina, J.P, B.G. Peter, and S.S. Snapp.  2017.  Re-evaluating the Malawian Farm Input Subsidy Programme.  Nature Plants 3. doi:10.1038/nplants.2017.13.

Mungai, L., S. Snapp, J.P. Messina, R. Chikowo, A. Smith, E. Anders, R.B. Richardson, and G. Li.  2017.  Smallholder farms and the potential for Sustainable Intensification.  Frontiers in Plant Science, doi: 10.3389/fpls.2016.01720

Isaac, K., S.S. Snapp, K. Chung and K. Waldman. 2016. Assessing the value of diverse cropping systems under a new agricultural policy environment in Rwanda. Food Security 8: 491-506. doi:10.1007/s12571-016-0582-x

Isaac, K.B., S.S. Snapp, J.D. Kelly, and K.Chung. 2016. Farmer knowledge identifies a common bean ideotype for maize-bean intercrop systems in Rwanda. Agriculture and Food Security 5 (15):DOI 10.1186/s40066-016-0062-8.

Kane, D., P. Rogé, and S.S. Snapp. 2016. Perennial grains: A bibliometric and topic modeling analysis of existing literature. PLoSone 11(5).

Ortega, D.L., K.B. Waldman, R.B., Richardson, D., Clay, and S.S. Snapp. 2016. Sustainable intensification and farmer preferences for crop system attributes: evidence from Malawi’s central and southern regions. World Development 87: 139-151.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2016.06.007

Adebiyi, J.A., L. Schmitt Olabisi., S.S. Snapp. 2015. Understanding perennial wheat adoption as a transformative technology: Evidence from the literature and farmers. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems. 31: 101-110. doi: 10.1017/S1742170515000150

Kurwakumire, N., R. Chikowo, S. Zingore, P. Mapfuma, Mtambanegwe, A. Johnston, and S.S. Snapp. 2015. Nutrient management strategies on heterogeneously fertile granitic-derived soils in sub-humid Zimbabwe. Agronomy J. In press.

Kane, D., Snapp, S.S. and A. Davis. 2015. Ridge tillage concentrates potentially mineralizable soil N in the crop row, facilitating maize N uptake. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. 79:81-88.

Petersen, B. and S.S. Snapp. 2015. What is sustainable intensification: Views from experts. Land Use Policy 46:1-10 doi:10.1016/j.landusepol.2015.02.002 Read more


Snapp, S.S., R. Smith, and P. Robertson. 2015. Designing cropping systems for ecosystem services In: The Ecology of Agricultural Landscapes: Long-term Research on the Path to Sustainability. S.K.  Hamilton, J.E. Doll and G.P. Robertson (Eds). Oxford Press.

Robertson, G.P., S. Hamilton, K. Gross, D. Landis, S.S. Snapp, S. Swinton and T. Schmidt. 2015. Farming for Ecosystem Services In: The Ecology of Agricultural Landscapes: Long-term Research on the Path to Sustainability. S.K. Hamilton, J.E. Doll and G.P. Robertson (Eds). Oxford Press.

Chikowo, R., Zingore S, Nyamangara J. Bekunda M, Messina J, Snapp S.S. 2014. Approaches to reinforce crop productivity under water- limited conditions in sub-humid environments in Africa. In: Sustainable Intensification to Advance Food Security and Enhance Climate Resilience in Africa (Lal R, Mwase D, Hansen F, Eds). Springer. 235-253pp. Read more

Technical Articles

Snapp, S.S., T.S. Jayne, W. Mhango, T. Benson and J. Ricker-Gilbert. 2014. Maize yield response to nitrogen in Malawi’s smallholder production systems. Working Paper 9. Malawi Strategy Support Program. IFPRI.

Bezner Kerr, R., L. Shumba, L. Dakishoni, E. Lupafya, S.S. Snapp, P.R. Berti, H. Nyantakyi-Frimpong, I. Luginaah, P. Nalivata, B. Kunkwezu, G. Kanyama-Phiri, A. Jones, M. Katundu, Z. Nkhonya, R. Msachi, A. Chitaya, E. Maona, T. Gondwe, P. Nkhonjera, M. Mkandawire, P. Kanyimbo, G. Gondwe. 2014. Farmer-led Climate Change Adaptation Strategies to Improve Food Security, Nutrition and Soil Health: Policy Recommendations, Proceedings of Climate Change Adaptation Policy Workshop, March 4, 2014, Lilongwe, Malawi.

Bezner Kerr, R, L. Shumba, L. Dakishoni, E. Lupafya, P.R. Berti, L. Classen, S.S. Snapp, and M. Katundu. 2013. Participatory, Agroecology and Gender- Sensitive Approaches to Improved Nutrition: A Case Study in Malawi. FAO Expert Meeting, November 2013 ‘Nutrition-Sensitive Food and Agriculture Systems for ICN+21.Abstract and full paper available online at: http://www.fao.org/food/nutritional-policies-strategies/icn2/expert-papers

Droppelmann, K.J. and S.S. Snapp. 2014. Sustainable intensification in Africa: A review of on-farm studies that assessed performance using multiple criteria. IFPRI Policy paper.

Snapp, S.S. 2014. Agriculture redesign through perennial grains: two case studies and next steps. FAO Convening on Perennial Grains Report, FAO, Rome.  Read more


Waddington, S.R., S. Zingore, R. Chikowo, L. Wairegi, and S. Snapp. 2015. Integrated Fertilizer Policy Guide for Maize-Legume Cropping Systems in Malawi. Africa-RISING, Michigan State University, IITA, IPNI, CABI.

Snapp, S.S. and V.L. Morrone. 2014. Perennial wheat Michigan State University Extension Bulletin. E3208

Steinke, K. and S.S. Snapp. 2013. Climate change and soil management in field crops. MSU E3187.

Morrone, V.L. and S. S. Snapp. 2011. Building soil for organic and sustainable farmers: Where to start. Michigan State University Extension Bulletin. E3144.

Snapp, S.S. 2000. Cost-effective soil fertility management options for smallholder farmers in Malawi.  Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, Gov. of Malawi and ICRISAT. Read more