In 2010 I joined my first research expedition to the Peruvian Amazon and the magnificence of this ecosystem ignited my professional ambitions in conservation and set the course for my academic pursuits. The following year, I carried out fieldwork in the tropical peat-swamp forests (PSF) of Borneo. It became evident to me that the needs and experiences of local communities must be critically considered and incorporated into management approaches for conservation to succeed. I therefore pursued an interdisciplinary PhD, eager to become a holistic conservation researcher to make real-life changes for a more sustainable and equitable world.
My PhD evaluated the importance of fish(ing) to communities in Indonesian Borneo using the Interdisciplinary Assemblage Approach (a theoretical framework which I based on Assemblage Theory) as an alternative to the ecosystem service paradigm. My research interests include social-ecological systems, interdisciplinary approaches to conservation, the ecosystem service approach and its critiques, debates surrounding sustainable development and the role of different knowledges in environmental research and management. My thesis and how I approached my PhD showcases the person and the researcher that I am and the type of work I intend to continue: research that is creative, that pushes boundaries and tackles complex challenges. I’m willing to take risks, as I did with my PhD, because I believe and have shown with my thesis that it is through these risks that creative and novel ideas emerge.