I have come to study conservation thanks to a love for the natural environment, and a fascination with the way people interact with the world around us. I grew up among open spaces in Victoria, and after working in corporate IT for close to a decade, I needed to get out of the office and learn more about nature and the world. I started this new path in life by undertaking a Bachelor of Environmental Management at The University of Queensland. During my studies my fascination with the environment was reinforced, I fostered an appreciation of the complexity of environmental conundrums, and a discovered a passion for philosophical enquiry into the ethical dimensions of human-nature interactions. I was also very fortunate to work with several Conservation NGOs during my time as an undergraduate which set me along a path of wanting to problem solve ways in which conservation work could achieve better outcomes for both biodiversity and people.
Having commenced my PhD studies in 2015, I am now further exploring these human-nature interactions in conservation decision making. Specifically, my research will look at how perceptions of fairness affect the success of conservation interventions. By better understanding how burdens and benefits of conservation interventions are distributed, conservation planning decisions can be more effective. The overarching goal of my PhD research is to identify opportunities during the project lifecycle of conservation interventions to create win-win outcomes for both biodiversity conservation and the wellbeing of people. To achieve this, I am adopting an interdisciplinary perspective, drawing on insights in particular from the social sciences, ecology, economics, and human development theories.