Who I Am

PhD Major: Human Dimensions of Natural Resources

A Bit About Me

I am a conservation and development economist working on market based approaches to conservation, with a primary focus on East Africa. Building on 14 years working in international development, my PhD research at CSU seeks to tailor systemic approaches commonly used in market development to conservation problems across the tropics.

What I Hope To Do

As part of my PhD research, I am currently working with a UK foundation to provide research and policy advisory services for the Kenyan forestry sector. Specifically, I am currently exploring the potential for sustainably managed, high productivity tree plantations to alleviate pressure on natural forests by providing substitute products for tropical fuelwood and timber. While the literature points to a ‘plantation conservation benefit’, I argue that this is limited to a certain set of conditions, which require pro-active policy support in national frameworks.

The Graduate Student Research Scholarship will contribute to the costs of a stakeholder workshop in Nairobi in Summer 2023, at which preliminary research findings will be shared with partners across the Kenyan government, private sector, and civil society. Further research will be co-developed with partners, leading to a series of academic and practitioner-focused outputs later in the year.

If successful, the project should serve to inform more sustainable, integrated management of both planted and natural forests at the national level, supporting livelihoods of forest-dependent communities while reducing deforestation and degradation pressures in high conservation value landscapes.

My Personal Thanks

My personal thanks go out to the Africa Center for their kind support for this project, as well as collaborators in Kenya.