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Department of Zoology


My research in Peninsular Malaysia examines the relationship between socio-economic factors and priorities of smallholder oil palm farmers and the environmental sustainability of their plantations. This includes a focus on the effect of management decisions on arthropod biodiversity and abundance as well as ecosystem services. The research aims to improve understanding of oil palm ecology, smallholder economic relations, and other core ecological and sociological principles. My PhD is funded by the Gates Cambridge Trust. 


After a childhood in Arizona's biodiverse Sonoran desert and later schooling in Düsseldorf, Germany, I studied Zoology at University College Cork in Ireland. For the past few years, I have been working across Latin America in community-based conservation. Experiencing the conflicts plaguing tropical forests provoked my desire to solve a critical problem: while demand for agricultural land threatens biodiversity, production is essential to livelihoods. With educated management, I believe biodiversity conservation has potential to ameliorate poverty and foster improvement for a range of pressing concerns. This belief led me to my current PhD research with Dr. Edgar Turner working with smallholder farmers in Malaysia. 

PhD Student