My experiences to date have taught me that conservation is an intricate web that links governments, people, wildlife, and plants, to the very minerals they grow upon. And successful conservation measures must strive to address the many whims of these diverse players in a practical, effectual manner. Therefore, as is true of life itself, conservation cannot be pegged into any one type of science, and is instead fundamentally interdisciplinary. My research interests in turn has spanned both the ecological and social sciences.
At present I am most interested in addressing the demand end of wildlife trade for I believe this is key to long-term survival of global wildlife. I would like to better assess the psychological, cultural, and fiscal drivers behind human use of wildlife products, and how we can use these drivers to develop thorough, implementable methods to successfully reduce unsustainable human behaviour. Additionally, I would like to see conservation efforts shaped and executed with the same meticulous thread that all scientific research strives for.
For my doctoral work I am conducting research:
• on rigorous and repeatable methods for assessing demand of a wildlife product
• to understand the behavioural drivers behind this usage, primarily through the integration of theories and research in public health and social psychology
• on designing, and implementing, an evidence-based behavioural change intervention with thorough evaluation
Through this work, we hope to maximise the effectiveness of future demand reduction efforts, and set a precedent for imbuing time-sensitive, practitioner-driver conservation works with academic rigour. This research is part of the Oxford Martin School Programme on Illegal Wildlife Trade. I am also a member of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Conservation Science in the Department of Zoology, at the University of Oxford.
For more details about my proposed project, see the below donor package, or contact me!
To make this project a reality, however, has not proven an easy task financially. Being an international student wishing to study in the UK, scholarships for tuition and living expenses are extremely rare. Additionally, while working on a PhD, Oxford University does not encourage their doctoral candidates to have employment outside of their research. As a result, Conservation Scholars Foundation, Inc. is working to find individuals who are interested in supporting studies such as mine that hope to change the way we approach wildlife conservation.
If you are potentially interested in helping to support my studies at Oxford please contact me. All financial support for the my studies will be handled by the Conservation Scholars Foundation, Inc. a 501(c)(3) US charitable organization. All contributions will be tax deductible.
Have a listen to my recent guest role on The Refractive Thinker Podcast. Here I discuss wildlife product use, my doctoral work, and how we all play a role in reducing unsustainable practices.