Land-use change has major impacts on biodiversity, climate, and other ecosystem services. But land-use change is also how we feed ourselves and provide for other needs (and wants). Our lab studies this central challenge—: how to manage landscapes to maintain ecosystem function while providing for sustainable livelihoods.
Questions that we ask include:
- How do landscapes change through time? What are the legacies of these changes on biodiversity, carbon, and other ecosystem services?
- How can agricultural landscapes contribute to conservation? What intensification or extensification strategies will feed more people while minimizing environmental impacts?
- What is the relationship between poverty and conservation, and are there win-win solutions that improve both? How can a landscape approach help to reconcile competing goals and multiple stakeholders?
- How can we design forest restoration projects to meet both ecological and social goals? What are the trajectories of recovery in biodiversity and ecosystem services? What social factors are correlated with ecological success?
We take a spatial approach to these problems, seeking to understand how landscape structure affects ecosystem function, and how a landscape approach can help to reconcile competing goals and multiple stakeholders. We collect and combine data from many sources, including historical records, ecological fieldwork, socio-economic surveys, satellite imagery, and maps. We work with academics across disciplinary divides, with local communities, and NGOs, in the tropics and at home.
Forests, Agriculture, and Dietary Diversity
- Dr. Laura Vang Rasmussen, Post-doctoral Fellow
- Gabriela Barra´gan, Ph.D. student
- Lauren Nerfa, M.Sc. student
- Libin Thaikkattil Louis, M.Sc. student
- Hyeone Park, Ph.D. student