JohanOldekopJohan Oldekop (Principal Investigator) is an environmental social scientist. He has worked on decentralization and poverty alleviation policies, and the link between natural resource management and social and environmental outcomes in several countries. He has ongoing research projects in various biodiversity hotspots and is particularly interested in the use of publicly available datasets to understand tradeoffs and synergies between conservation and development outcomes. He is a Senior Lecturer in Environment and Development at the Global Development Institute, at the University of Manchester.

pic4Dhanapal Govindarajulu (PhD student at the Global Development Institute – supervised with Tim Foster and Rose Pritchard) joined the University of Manchester in January 2021. He is working towards his PhD titled ‘Social and ecological impacts of Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR): Lessons from India’ under a project funded by the GCRF (Global Challenges Research Fund). His research focuses on evaluating how recognition of forest rights and community participation in FLR can lead to better livelihood and biodiversity outcomes in India. For this purpose, he will be examining how rights are recognised in FLR India’s FLR policies and programmes and combine spatial data on remotely sensed satellite imageries and publicly available socio-economic datasets to understand the restoration impacts. Prior to starting his PhD, he was associated with the forest governance team at the Indian School of Business and has worked on several ecology and forestry projects funded by international agencies, including WRI and DFID. He holds a master’s degree in Environment Management from Forest Research Institute, India.


Caterina Cosmopolis (PhD Student at the School of Health and Related Research-ScHARR – supervised with Aki Tsuchiya) joined the University of Sheffield in 2018. Her PhD project focuses on understanding the interlinkages between policy and intervention outcomes designed to address four Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs: 1 [Poverty], 2 [Food Security], 3 [Health] and 15 [Terrestrial Environments], using Peru as a case-study country. She obtained a BSc in Biology at the Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina- Peru. After her studies, she was involved in several research projects in the Peruvian Amazon. She has also worked as an environmental consultant and GIS analyst. In 2018, she obtained an MSc in Conservation Biology from the University of Kent.

bvgru4nh_400x400Rachel Palfrey (PhD student the School of Earth and Environment – supervised with George Holmes) joined the University of Leeds in 2017. She is part of the ESRC White Rose DTC program at the University of Sheffield, and the Conservation and Development Evaluation research group at The University of Manchester’s Global Development Institute Her research focuses private conservation efforts and asks: Where are private conservation efforts taking place? What effects do they have for both the environment and communities living nearby? And how does their outcomes compare to state or community based conservation efforts? To answer these questions she combines econometric causal inference methods and spatial analyses. The World Land Trust (WLT) is one of Rachel’s key non-academic research partners. Prior to starting her PhD, she worked at Operation Wallacea where she managed their Madagascar Research Site. Rachel holds two Master degrees; one from the University of Leeds (as part of her PhD programme), and one from the University of Oxford.

amos_photos_4Bitrus Amos (PhD Student in the Department of Geography, University of Sheffield – supervised with Robert Bryant) joined the University of Sheffield in 2016. His PhD project focuses on the protected areas impact on poverty outcomes and management effectiveness in Nigeria. Amos’ project combines Demographic Health Survey (DHS) datasets with stakeholder interviews – including protected areas managers and community leaders – to understand the overall impact of protected areas in Nigeria. He obtained his undergraduate and masters degrees from the University of Jos and Ahmadu Bello University in Nigeria. Amos is part of the teaching staff at Gombe State University in Nigeria. His previous research focused on how local mining industries have influenced landuse/landcover change using remote sensing.


screenshot 2019-01-24 at 12.07.18Lana Whittaker (Postdoctoral Research Associate – now at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine) joined the University of Manchester in October 2018. Lana is a development geographer, interested in poverty alleviation and food security policies, especially in South Asia. Lana obtained her undergraduate and master’s degrees in Geography at the University of Cambridge and received her PhD from the same institution in 2018. Her doctoral work focussed on the right to food in India and specifically examined India’s school feeding programme from a rights-based perspective. She worked with Johan Oldekop on an evaluation of livelihood interventions and forest outcomes in Nepal.

UnknownCecilie Dyngeland (Postdoctoral Research Associate – now at Norwegian University of Life Sciences) obtained her PhD from University of Sheffield in 2019. Her work focused on assessing the impact of food security and poverty alleviation policies in Brazil. She studied European and then International Development at University College Cork and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU). After her studies, Cecilie volunteered in Central America, spending 5 months in El Salvador. She has also worked as a Norwegian Peace Corp Participant in Tanzania, participating in research projects dealing with rural development, innovative agricultural practices and sustainable resource management. Her research interests follow along the same lines of improving rural peoples’ and small-scale farmers’ livelihoods and environmental conditions through sustainable natural resource management. Cecilie co-manages a blog about various project activities in a community in Tanzania.

07f8da3Bowy den Braber (PhD Student in the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences – now University of Copenhagen) joined the University of Sheffield in 2015. His PhD project focuses on the social and environmental outcomes of protected areas in the Tropics and Sub-tropics. He obtained his Undergraduate and Masters degree from the University of Wageningen. Prior to joining the research group, Bowy worked as a consultant for PAX, the European Union’s Joint Research Centre and the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency. He has also worked with Frontier and has spent time doing research in the field in Ecuador, the Philippines and Cambodia.