My career so far spans the academic, the third sector, advocacy and policy sectors. My interest in the relationship between people and the natural environment led me to study Geography as an undergraduate, then work for several years in an environmental sustainability NGO that supported the work of grassroots projects across London. I also ran an environmental and skills-based training programme for vulnerable 16-25 year olds.
Following my MSc in Conservation Science, I worked for an advocacy group that sought to promote sustainable agricultural practices in sub-Saharan Africa, before return to academia for my PhD with ICCS. My field experience focusses on exploring the natural resource consumption patterns of people in Central Africa, specifically Cameroon. I have experience of field research in challenging environments, communications, and advocacy for environmental sustainability, conservation science and sustainable agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa and South-East Asia.
I’m so proud to be part of diverse group such as ICCS and help tackle the major issues affecting conservation and biodiversity.
My research focusses on understanding the drivers of natural resource use, in particular wildmeat and on designing and assessing locally informed and participatory monitoring methods in Cameroon.
I also work on improving the ethics of conservation research using social research methods, and exploring the conditions that enable indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs) to conserve their lands.
My research focusses on exploring how to better incorporate local ecological knowledge into the monitoring of wildlife populations and their threats, and into conservation initiatives for more effective outcomes that account for local nuances. I am currently working on the Darwin Initiative funded project "Why Eat Wild Meat", to understand the multitude of drivers of wild meat consumption and barriers to participation in alternative projects in rural villages in Cameroon.
- 2019-Present: Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Oxford. “Why Eat Wild Meat?”
- 2015-2019: DPhil Student, University of Oxford. “Incorporating Local Ecological Knowledge into Wildlife Population Monitoring”.
- 2014- 2015: Project & Communications Officer, Agriculture for Impact. Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College London
- 2013: Independent Research, Imperial College London and Zoological Society London. “Rapid assessment of the status and distribution of the Forest Elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis) in South East Cameroon”
- 2013- Present: Freelance Ecology Fieldwork Assistant (Various across the UK)
- 2012-2013: Conservation Science MSc, Imperial College London. With Distinction and awarded the Gerald Durrell Prize.
- 2012: Research Assistant, Frontier Cambodia. “Livelihoods and sustainable resource use in Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary”.
- 2009- 2012: Project Executive, London Community Resource Network
- 2006- 2009: Geography BSc, Queen Mary University of London. Awarded 2.1 (Hons)
- 2015: NERC CASE Studentship
- 2013: Gerald Durrell Prize – Prize awarded for the quality of my thesis research during my Conservation Science MSc
- 2012: Rectors Scholarship– Studentship awarded based on previous experience, achievements and dedication to conservation
- 2015: 27th International Congress for Conservation Biology, Montpellier France. “Noticing the Elephant in the Forest” Poster presentation.
- 2014: Student Conference for Conservation Science, Cambridge England. “Noticing the Elephant in the Forest” Poster presentation.
Member of the British Ecological Society
Member of the Royal Geographical Society
- Booth H, Arias M, Brittain S, Challender DWS, Khanyari M, Kuiper T, Li Y, Olmedo A, Oyanedel R, Pienkowski T and Milner-Gulland EJ (2021) “Saving Lives, Protecting Livelihoods, and Safeguarding Nature”: Risk-Based Wildlife Trade Policy for Sustainable Development Outcomes Post-COVID-19. Front. Ecol. Evol. 9:639216. doi: 10.3389/fevo.2021.639216
- Whytock, R et al. 2021. Robust ecological analysis of camera trap data labelled by a machine learning model. Methods in Ecology and Evolution. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/2041-210X.13576
- Booth, H et al. 2021. Investigating the risks of removing wild meat from global food systems. Current Biology. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.01.079
- Brittain, S et al. 2020. Ethical considerations when conservation research involves people. Conservation Biology. 10.1111/cobi.13464
- Ibbett H, & Brittain S, 2019. Conservation publications and their provisions to protect research participants. Conservation Biology. https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.13337
- Brittain, S et al., 2018. Combining local knowledge and occupancy analysis for a rapid assessment of the forest elephant Loxodonta cyclotis in Cameroon's timber production forests. Oryx. 10.1017/S0030605317001569