Research

Photo of tropical forest and oil palm

Predicting Novel Threats

In order to evaluate human impacts on biodiversity at the species and ecosystem scales, my research focuses on identifying and predicting the occurrence of specific land use types. I have been particularly interested by habitat loss for agricultural production, including predicting deforestation and biodiversity impacts of oil palm plantation expansion globally and in a subsequent regional study in the Peruvian Amazon.

I am also the developer of a course and code repository on remote sensing and spatial analysis for SES systems in Google Earth Engine: GEEforSynthesis.

Photo of Danum Valley Conservation Area, Borneo

Protected Area Effectiveness

My work at SESYNC examines potential tradeoffs between conservation and food production through the lens of the global protected area network. I use regression and machine learning models to understand and predict cropland relationships between cropland impacts and ecological and socio-economic factors, including those impacting food security.

Cheetah crossing under fence
Photo Credit: Florian Weise

Land use impacts on species

I work to develop techniques for assessing species populations and distributions by incorporating remotely sensed data on land use, citizen science observations, and population modeling. One example of this is work I co-led to assess the distribution and population of cheetah in Southern Africa. I am currently working to understand how differences in habitat utilization influence vertebrate responses to land use conversions for agricultural production.