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
Land-use intensification in agrarian landscapes is seen as a key strategy to simultaneously feed humanity and use ecosystems sustainably, but the conditions that support positive social-ecological outcomes remain poorly documented. A new article by several GLP Fellows and Members addresses this knowledge gap by synthesizing research that analyses how agricultural intensification affects both ecosystem services and human well-being in low- and middle-income countries.
Martin Brandt, along with SSC Fellow Ole Mertz and GLP Member Stephanie Herrmann, published an article in Nature Geoscience this month on macroscale assessments of the impact of management and climate on woody cover for drylands. They concluded that agricultural expansion causes a considerable reduction of trees in woodlands, but observations in Sahel indicate that villagers safeguard trees on nearby farmlands which contradicts simplistic ideas of a high negative correlation between population density and woody cover.
There are no accepted guidelines for detecting biases or logical gaps between 'generalized knowledge claims' (GKC’s) and the evidence used to produce them. In this important new article in Global Environmental Change, several GLP Members propose a typology of GKCs based on their evidence base and the process by which they are produced.
GLP Fellow Andreas Heinimann and SSC Member Ole Mertz, along with researchers at CDE and UMD, authored a paper that estimates a possible strong decrease in shifting cultivation over the next decades, raising issues of livelihood security and resilience among people currently depending on shifting cultivation.