I studied Zoology at Oxford University and took a PhD in Anthropology at the University of London. After working at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, I joined UCL where I am now Professor in Anthropology.
I work on the interaction of conservation and development in sub-Saharan Africa, with a special focus on pastoralist peoples in drylands, looking at the implications of natural resource policies and management for local people’s livelihoods and welfare, and the implications of changing land use for environment and biodiversity. The UCL Human Ecology Research Group I convene integrates natural and social sciences perspectives on interactions of conservation and development, using mixed methods approaches. I have supervised 40+ PhDs working in a range of African countries but also in Latin America and the Caribbean; Central, South and South-East Asia; and Southern Europe, on issues ranging from conservation, development and change in pastoralist and other systems, through human-wildlife conflict (with bears, tigers, lions, snow leopards…) and coexistence (small carnivores; echidnas…); to wild meat (Vietnam, Ghana, Gabon) and fisheries (Bijagos Islands; artisanal floodplain fisheries in Tanzania and Brazil; eel fisheries in UK and USA).
I have directed several international research collaborations funded by NERC, ESRC, EU and DfID (recent links below). I am on the Editorial Board of journals including Nature Scientific Data; Pastoralism; and Human Ecology, and a member of the ESRC Research Committee and the ESRC expert advisory group on International development. I am Trustee for the International African Institute and Parkes Foundation, and Honorary Fellow of the Zoological Society of London.