Building upon the relative diversity of my past research work, my overall research interests lie at the intersection of environmental management and governance and international development. I am particularly interested in research related to land and forest resources management and governance in Sub-Saharan Africa. My current research focus is on finding ways to balance achievement of vital socio-ecological needs including protecting biodiversity, reducing poverty, and achieving food security in a changing climate environment, as sustainably as possible. I thus look at the socio-economic, institutional arrangements and governance models, and policy processes of environmental mechanisms/paradigms that can reconcile trade-offs among those goals. I approach my research using a trans/interdisciplinary approach that integrates both natural and social sciences perspectives. To capture the different understandings offered by these lenses to the issues of natural resources management and governance and better inform agrarian and environmental policies, I use mixed methods – sourcing from qualitative, statistical, and modeling methods, as well as spatial analytical tools.
Other research areas I work on include rural livelihoods development through sustainable agriculture and the mainstreaming of climate change into development. In regard to the latter, my interests are to contribute to increasing understanding of how local/decentralized governance can serve as an avenue for climate-change adaptation in developing countries, and other ways in which one can approach the mainstreaming of climate change adaptation and mitigation in development planning and implementation.
Another side interest that I would personally like to develop in the future relates to fostering the co-production/creation of knowledge for environmental management with meaningful engagement of stakeholders and participatory approaches to increase the effectiveness and usability of environmental science.
Prior to returning to graduate school, I worked as Associate Professional Officer at the Centre for International Forestry Research under its “Forests and Livelihoods program,” focusing on research that aims to enhance rural communities’ livelihoods resilience to climate change adaptation. I earned a Master’s in Development Practice (MDP) degree with a Natural Resources and Governance track from the University of Arizona, in addition to my Master’s degree in Agricultural Sciences (with Rural Economy and Sociology as Major) from my home country (Benin Republic).