My research programme engages with some of the most challenging conservation issues that confront humanity globally, by focusing on human relationships with nature, and how species ecology can inform conservation. My work innovates at the leading edge of biocultural diversity research, using novel approaches to focus on the intertwined connections of biological, cultural, and linguistic diversity. I challenge status quo assumptions, and collaborate with colleagues to create inter- and trans-disciplinary approaches that lead to new perspectives and spaces in ecology and conservation.
I have also helped PhD student Javiera Cisternas explore what strong biocultural community partnerships look like in ecology and conservation.
I use scientific tools such as stable isotope analysis to recover information about past socio-ecological relationships, and open new conversations about knowledge, ethics, and perspectives of biodiversity loss in different communities.
I explore ecological and behavioural theory, developing my work from a strong natural history and empirical base. I work with the sexually dimorphic New Zealand tree wētā genus Hemideina spp., but also other species, including museum specimens. Field work is mainly in the subalpine mountain ranges of central Otago, and I complement this with isotopic and physiological analyses.