I am an interdisciplinary environmental scientist broadly interested in relationships between people and the landscapes they manage. My work focuses on interactions between land-use, biodiversity, and human well-being; and on the role of human social and cultural organization in structuring patterns of biodiversity. I am also interested in understanding broad-scale patterns in human linguistic and cultural diversity, and the forces that both foster and constrain diversity in languages and human social groups.
I combine approaches from a number of fields in my work, including spatial ecology, environmental anthropology, evolutionary biology, and livelihoods-based approaches from human geography. My research to date has produced both peer-reviewed publications and community-based conservation and research projects. Much of my recent work has been carried out in collaboration with smallholder farmers in eastern Panama. I have also worked with rural communities and ecosystems in Brazil, Costa Rica and Canada.
I am currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto, where I am working with Marie-Josée Fortin in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and with Christian Abizaid in the Department of Geography. I am also part of an interdisciplinary collaboration that grew out of a working group at the NSF’s National Evolutionary Synthesis Centre led by Michael Gavin, Russell Gray, Fiona Jordan and Simon Greenhill.
I completed my PhD through the Landscape Ecology Lab of UBC’s Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences, and my MSc through the Neotropical Environment Option Program of McGill University and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama.
My research has been funded by the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council, National Science Foundation, Killam Trusts, Organization of American States, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, and International Development Research Centre.