Though I was trained as a natural scientist, I am fascinated by the human side of wildlife conservation and landscape protection in the developing world, especially under the unfolding impacts of climate change. I have conducted graduate-level research in rural southern Malawi, examining the social and ecological barriers to reforestation and the dynamics of poverty in this forest-dependent system. In future, I am interested in using randomized controlled trials to explore how natural resource use behavior— specifically engagement in or tolerance of forest and wildlife exploitation or crime— may evolve under sustained changes in the household income of the rural poor. I am also broadly interested in the economics of human-wildlife conflicts, including the broader ramifications of land-use conflicts between conservation activities and human livelihoods; the drivers and dynamics of illegal wildlife trade; and equity in conservation.
I am a member of 500 Women Scientists, and an advocate for increased support and equity for under-represented minorities— particularly women, girls and first-generation students— in STEM education and professions.