Growing up on Long Island, NY, I developed a passion for wildlife through nature documentaries, family zoo trips, and scuba diving in the murky, yet ecologically fascinating waters of the nearby bays and inlets. From these experiences stemmed my desire to enter a career in biodiversity conservation, and led me to pursue a degree in biology at Cornell University. During these years, however, I came to understand that conservation encompasses far more than the biological sciences, or as one of my professors put it, “Conservation is not rocket science, it is infinitely more complicated.”
This idea in large part informed my decision to gain a wider understanding of interdisciplinary research techniques and their application to conservation work through a master’s in Conservation Science at Imperial College London. Now moving forward, I hope to employ these methods in my current position with ICCS, as well as my future conservation research.
My general research interests lie in interdisciplinary conservation research, with a particular focus on evaluation to improve effectiveness and efficiency of conservation initiatives. Methodologically, my background lies in quantitative, ecological field research techniques, however, more recently my work has relied on qualitative social data collected through focus groups and semi-structured interviews. I believe a mix of these approaches is invaluable in gaining an understanding of the complex socioeconomic systems in which conservationists typically operate.
Currently I am working as a research assistant on the NERC funded project “Socio-ecological resilience of tropical smallholder agricultural systems,” supervised by Emilie Beauchamp (Oxford), Rebecca Morris (Southampton), and E.J. Milner-Gulland (Oxford.)
This project aims to synthesize data from five El Niño research projects to investigate the impacts of such extreme climatic events on small holder farmers, the socioeconomic and ecological factors mediating these impacts, and subsequent coping strategies.
2017- Present: Research Assistant: Socio-ecological resilience of tropical smallholder agricultural systems, University of Oxford, Department of Zoology, ICCS
2016-2017: MSc Conservation Science, Imperial College London
2014-2015: Research Intern, Macaulay Library, Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology
2012-2016: Educational Content Developer, Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology
2012-2016: BSc Biology, Cornell University
“Evaluating VIMA: Testing the Assumptions Underlying a Small Conservation NGO’s
Theory of Change in Southern Tanzania”
For my master’s research, I conducted an evaluation of a locally run conservation education NGO operating in Tanzania, testing the assumptions underlying the organizations theory-of-change. This involved gathering qualitative information through key informant interviews and focus groups, as well as quantitative data collected through household questionnaires.
Imperial College London, UK
Collaborator: Hans Cosmas Ngoteya, VIMA