I am a Mistler Graduate Scholar within WildCRU working on a DPhil looking at ‘The Conservation implications of land tenure systems in the Kavanago Zambezi Ecosystem’. This research project is situated within the WildCRU’s Programme on Conservation Geopolitics.
Having developed a strong foundation in the Social Sciences during my Bachelors degree I then bridged into the Natural Sciences during a two-year interdisciplinary MSc in Sustainable Development and Remote Sensing at Uppsala University and The Swedish Institute of Agriculture.
During this period I worked with the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) in Kenya on a piece of research looking at the impact of land tenure arrangements in Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) programmes. During this time I learnt a great deal about the diversity of forest ownership regimes that govern resource access rights of forest dependent communities and how this interacts with global financial flows earmarked for conservation.
During the second year of my MSc I was based at the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences in Vienna, Austria and I also started working with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) who have a mandate to combat Wildlife and Forest Crime. I stayed with the UNODC as a Visiting Research Scholar while working on my thesis which looked into the use of remote sensing & geospatial technologies to combat wildlife crime in East and Southern Africa. The United Nations of Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) supported me to collect data for this research the results of which can be found here.
My DPhil research focuses on the way colonial and post-colonial land ownership systems have shaped modern institutional arrangements that govern wildlife resources in Sub-Saharan Africa. The focus is on terrestrial mammals primarily endangered due to human hunting either as a source of bushmeat or as a source of income from transnational trafficking. The project will intersect maps that show tenure arrangements and specie vulnerability using IBAT data, I will also support the Trans-Kalahari Predator Programme. The National Geographic Committee for Research and Exploration are supporting my DPhil Fieldwork as an ‘Early Career Explorer’.