I am a researcher interested in the ecological and social dimensions of the conservation and restoration of ecosystem services.
While natural forests continue to shrink rapidly across the tropics, recovery of forest landscapes is urgently needed to contribute toward biodiversity conservation and to provide ecosystem services essential for human life. From my research in Kenya, I have seen first-hand how biodiversity conservation can come at a high cost for local communities, where the traditional conservation approach has failed to involve people living in these areas and resulted in a general lack of support for conservation and subsequent degradation of conservation areas. To achieve equitable conservation futures, it is essential to explore alternative landscape-scale conservation and restoration approaches that include and empower those living in key areas for conservation.
I am passionate about researching the conservation and restoration of critical ecosystem services in shared landscapes (rather than protected areas), using pollination services as a case study service. By contributing to the reproduction of over 90% of flowering plants in the tropics and approximately 75% of leading global food crops, crop pollination is a key component of ecosystem functioning at the intersection of the climate, biodiversity, and food insecurity crises.
My PhD investigates the environmental and social dimensions of the relationship between natural habitat and crop pollination services in tropical smallholder farms in Kenya. The project is supervised by Dr Chris Kaiser-Bunbury and is funded by the Bakala Foundation and the Alliance of Bioversity and CIAT.
Before starting my PhD at the University of Exeter, I completed both my BSc and MSc degrees in Environmental Science at ETH in Switzerland, with a focus on tropical forest restoration for both my degree projects.