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I am a social scientist at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, where I have been working since 2002. I initially trained as an ecologist at the University of London (BSc) and University of Leeds (MSc), spent time rehabilitating chimpanzees in Sierra Leone and chasing fig wasps in the Cook Islands before joining CEH to work on an EU-funded project on biodiversity conflict (BIOFORUM). This led to the realisation that most of my work involved people with differing, often conflicting, perceptions of biodiversity and its management. As a result I did a PhD in political science at the University of East Anglia to develop my knowledge of social science theories and methodologies in order to understand how different people view the natural world and to develop sustainable solutions to complex problems.
Within the context of examining the social dimensions of nature conservation, I carry out research on:
- public attitudes towards biodiversity, including views on how it should or is managed, and the values associated with biodiversity.
- the communication between scientists and decision-makers. As part of this work I have contributed to a guide on developing and improving science-policy communication and a range of one-page briefs.
- the understanding and management of human conflicts over nature conservation.
- the role of stakeholder engagement in nature conservation, particularly in the context of protected areas and species.
August 2002-present: Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. Band 5(S)
PhD on “Analysing the implementation of Natura 2000 in Scotland: An evaluation of processes and outcomes of stakeholder involvement in management plans” (University of East Anglia School of Environmental Sciences)
MSc in Biodiversity and Conservation (University of Leeds)
BSc in Zoology from Queen Mary and Westfield University (University of London)