I work on understanding complex social ecological systems and try to find solutions for the conservation problems they produce. As we have more people on the planet and we use more stuff than ever before, I’m increasingly convinced that conservation problems must be tackled with human beings as the focal point. This means using tools from political science, psychology, sociology and economics together with those from the natural sciences, to carve realistic solutions.
I studied chemistry, before working for 8 years as a senior drug metabolism scientist in the pharmaceutical industry. I then left pharma to pursue a career in conservation science. I took the MSc in Conservation Science at Imperial College London, where my thesis was on monitoring and evaluation techniques for small conservation NGOs. For this project I worked with Ewaso Lions; a community based NGO managing conservation conflict involving the impact of large predators on local people. Subsequently I worked for London based environmental law NGO ClientEarth, on their market based conservation initiative the Sustainable Seafood Coalition.
In 2014 I started a NERC-IAPETUS sponsored PhD at the University of Stirling looking at applying a game theory methodology to manage conservation conflicts. My research takes me north to the Orkney Islands where I study a conflict there involving large numbers of wild geese damaging the barley crop.