My research and teaching responsibilities are focused on global environmental change, land use transitions and food security in the Global South. Specifically, I have worked for two decades on the dynamics of forest-agriculture frontiers looking at how changes in land use affect socio-economic and environmental systems. I also work with climate change adaptation and mitigation and have a general interest in the interface between development, environmental management and land use change. My regional specialization is Southeast Asia and West Africa, but I have also worked in the Pacific, East and Central Africa and Latin America.
Telecoupling of land use systems, Land governance, Land change trade-offs for ecosystem services and biodiversity , Land management systems
A new piece in Environmental Research Letters finds that countries with high forest cover and low deforestation (HFLD) are unlikely to be compensated fairly if REDD+ initiatives fail to conserve existing forests and to incentivize low deforestation rates.
The authors conclude that the narrow focus on specific ES categories strongly limits understanding of SF in shifting cultivation areas and that it is more relevant to compare SFs with other agricultural systems rather than with old-growth forests.
A new article in Geoscientific Model Development, with several GLP Members as co-authors, presents results from the Land-Use Harmonization 2 (LUH2) project, which smoothly connects updated historical reconstructions of land use with eight new future projections in the format required for Earth system models (ESMs).
Laura Vang Rasmussen, Ole Mertz and colleagues have published an article in Nature showing a relatively high density of isolated trees in the region, which challenges prevailing narratives about dryland desertification. Even the desert shows a surprisingly high tree density. Their assessment suggests a way to monitor trees outside of forests globally, and to explore their role in mitigating degradation, climate change and poverty.