Autobiography — I trained as an ecologist and evolutionary biologist at Cambridge University and have over 20 years of field experience working in tropical forests, managing international teams and training students in the UK and abroad. I have published widely on animal communication and the origins and conservation of tropical diversity and have received a number of awards for my work, including a L’Oréal for Woman in Science Fellowship and a Royal Society University Research Fellowship. I was made Professor of Biodiversity at Oxford University in 2015 and have since worked at the interface of science and policy. By training the next generation of decision makers and working closely with NGOs, local governments and the United Nations, my ambition is bring the equitable protection of nature to the centre of the sustainable development agenda.
Research Interests — In my group, the Nature-based Solutions Initiative, we combine key pure and applied approaches from the natural and social sciences to tackle the challenge of understanding and conserving biodiversity, and building socio-ecological resilience in a warming world. On the pure science side, we use experimental and comparative approaches to determine the effectiveness of nature-based solutions to climate change and food security. On the applied side, we consolidate and translate ecosystem science for the benefit of decision makers in government and business.
Nature-based Solutions Initiative —Nature-based Solutions enhance and work with natural habitats to help people adapt to the effects of change and disasters. This new initiative collates, consolidates and communicates scientific understanding of the effectiveness of Nature-based Solutions for the benefit of decision makers in business, government and civil society. Our aim is to get science into policy and policy into action to increase the implementation of Nature-based Solutions across the globe.
We are a group of natural and social scientists based in in Oxford, London and Bangladesh and partnered with NGOs from the conservation and development sectors.
For more information, please visit: Nature-based Solutions Initiative
Affiliations—I am a Senior Associate of the International Institute for Environment and Development (London) and a Research Associate of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (Panama) and the Centre for Tropical Research (UCLA).
Funding—My funding currently comes from the GCRF, NERC and the John Fell Fund. In the past I have been supported by the Royal Society, British Ecological Society, EPSRC, European Commission, Wetlands Trust, Rhodes Foundation and the Fulbright Programme.