Addressing the unintended consequences of tropical forest restoration for people and biodiversity.
I currently hold a NERC-IIASA Collaborative Fellowship to conduct systems-analysis based research into the potential outcomes of forest restoration initiatives in tropical regions. I am based at Bangor University, but work closely with colleagues at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Austria, particularly in the Integrated Biosphere Futures and Biodiversity, Ecology and Conservation research groups.
I am working to improve and extend IIASA's Global Biosphere Management Model (GLOBIOM), and integrate with deforestation models developed by Dr Isabel Rosa at Bangor University, to better represent land use change dynamics at the national and sub-national level, and to model the potential outcomes of forest restoration policies through processes such as leakage and market feedbacks. I will assess outcomes of forest restoration policies for carbon, biodiversity and liveilhoods, and seek to identify policy solutions that avoid unintended consequences, such as displaced deforestation and net biodiversity loss.
This research is focussed on Colombia, working with collaborators at the Instituto Humboldt, and the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana.
Tropical peatland restoration - University of York
Prior to joining Bangor University, I spent two years as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of York, studying tropical peatland restoration in Sumatra, Indonesia for a Newton Fund project. I worked with an inter-disciplinary research team spanning social scientists, GIS and remote sensing specialists and soil scientists from the UK and Indonesia. I led field teams to conduct ecological surveys of oil palm smallholdings and forests growing on peat, and conducted modelling of landscape connectivity for forest-dependent wildlife species.
Find out more about this project here: https://www.york.ac.uk/yesi/research/resilient-ecosystems/tropical-peatland-restoration/
Rubber plantations in Southeast Asia - livelihoods, biodiversity and carbon - University of East Anglia
My PhD research focussed on rubber plantations (Hevea brasiliensis) as a driver of deforestation in Southeast Asia, with two broad strands. Firstly, assessing the importance of rubber plantation expansion as a driver of land use change, and the potential for carbon payments (e.g. through REDD+) to offer a financially attractive alternative to deforestation for rubber. Secondly, I conducted ecological fieldwork to assess the potential for agroforestry to improve biodiversity values in high-yielding rubber farms, without impacting farmer livelihoods.
I continue to contribute to sustainability initiatives around natural rubber production.
I am a conservation scientist, working across disciplines to understand the difficult trade-offs we negotiate in biodiversity and environmental conservation, with the aim of finding solutions that offer benefits for people, biodiversity and the wider environment.
I have led ecological field surveys to assess evidence trade-offs and win-wins for biodiversity, livelihoods and carbon in smallholder plantation landscapes in Southeast Asia, but also use a variety of economic and spatial modelling approaches to understand how land use change affects biodiversity, people and climate at larger scales.
Location: Thoday Building, School of Natural Sciences, Bangor University (currently working from home)