Tropical forest and peatland ecosystems are extraordinarily complex, as are the human communities that live around and interact with them. This is the beauty of these ecosystems, but also presents challenges for their sustainable management. I am driven to understand the nature of the relationship between the ecological and anthropological components of these ecosystems, and how these relationships might be improved to provide benefits for both conservation and people. An ecologist by training, I am increasingly striving to develop multi-disciplinary approaches and understanding relating to the above challenges.
There are few places where developing such an understanding is more necessary than in Borneo, whose forests and peatland ecosystems are of immense value for reducing carbon emissions, biodiversity conservation and the numerous benefits they provide to local people, but are severely threatened by agricultural conversion, drainage, fire and wildlife harvesting. My research here is conducted in partnership with numerous Indonesian and international collaborators.