We work on a range of problems that examine how ecology and socioeconomic sciences can be integrated more effectively to inform conservation strategies. This work spans theoretical and empirical techniques and examines both biodiversity conservation and the management of ecosystem services.
Optimal Design of Conservation Investments
We develop theoretical principles to inform conservation investment design. Some are intended to provoke discussion and critical thinking within the conservation community. Others are intended to inform policy and practice more directly. Focal questions for us here concern:
where and when should conservation investments be targeted to have greatest impact?
what types of investment strategy work best in what ecological, social and economic context?
when investing in a particular site, how should population dynamics and ecosystem processes inform your conservation investment strategy?
how effectively do investments made by different conservation organizations complement one another?
how can we configure conservation organizations more effectively to make and manage conservation investments?
Our recent work in this area has examined the relative effectiveness of full or partial (e.g., through easements) acquisition of land for conservation, as well as the design of payment schemes intended to incentivize conservation on private land.
Publications relating to this work are marked with a $ on the Publications page, e.g. Armsworth et al. 2023, Simpson et al. 2023, Liu et al. 2022, Simpson et al. 2022, Yoon & Armsworth 2022, Yoon et al. 2022.
Conservation Investment in Practice
We are also building the evidence base regarding actual conservation investment practices on the ground. This work involves collaborators including local and global conservation NGOs and a range of public agencies. Focal questions this time examine:
how much does conservation cost?
where does financial support for conservation originate and how does that affect what gets protected?
how can we increase support for conservation?
how effectively are existing conservation investments deployed given what we know about the distribution of biodiversity and ecosystem services?
what is the evidence that investing in conservation in a site improves the status of the species and ecosystems found there?
Publications relating to this work are marked with a % on the Publications page, e.g. Zhu et al. 2023, Fovargue et al. 2022, Segovia et al. 2020, Hyman et al. 2022, Le Bouille et al. 2022, Stachowiak et al. 202022, Vijay et al. 2022.
Natural Resource Management
We also examine the design and efficacy of natural resource policies focusing both on industries like fisheries that directly target species as well as others, such as energy development, that impact species as a by-product of operations. Once again our emphasis lies on how integrating ecological and economic concepts and data improve can policy recommendations.
Publications relating to this work are marked with a # on the Publications page, e.g. Sims et al. 2023, Courtney et al. 2022, Hyman et al. 2022, Milt et al. 2017, Hyman et al. 2021.