Sumatran elephant

Associate Professor

I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Fisheries & Wildlife in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Michigan State University (MSU). Until 2017, I was jointly-appointed in the School of Criminal Justice  at MSU. I have a BA in Anthropology and Environmental Studies from Brandies University, a MA in Environment and Resource Policy from George Washington University, and PhD in Natural Resource Policy and Management from Cornell University.

On campus, I am affiliated with the Academy of Global Engagement, Center for Advanced Study in International Development, Center for Gender in a Global Context. I am passionate about policy-relevant science. My current research interests focus on human relationships with the environment, particularly those that are exploitative, unsustainable, and sometimes illegal. Much of my research involves community-based natural resource management and enhancing understanding of risk concepts and their application to conservation.

I also serve as an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park in the Department of Environmental Science & Technology.

Jefferson Science Fellow

I served as a National Academies of Science Jefferson Science Fellow during the 2016-2017 academic year. I currently maintain my affiliation working at the US Department of State in the Office of the Geographer and Global Issues. While in DC, I served as a senior science advisor in the Office of the Geographer and Global Issues, Bureau of Intelligence and Research. This means I provided all-source intelligence support and briefings on conservation issues to high level policy makers in the State Department. I interacted regularly with the Bureau of Oceans, Environment, and International and Scientific Affairs, the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement, and the Office of the Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State.

I assisted the State Department in its leadership on the Presidential Task Force on Wildlife Trafficking and other efforts under the US Strategy to Combat Wildlife Trafficking.  Additionally, I wrote analysis and intelligence assessments for senior Department and US Government officials on environment, science, technology and health issues. Example issues include wildlife trafficking, illegal fishing, illegal logging, climate change, health security, and other scientific and technical issues that influence foreign policy and national security.

I continue to work at applying my scientific background in conservation criminology to help investigate, in particular, the linkages between criminal activity and wildlife trafficking, including  convergence in different types of illegal trafficking networks. Read more about the Jefferson Science Fellowship, including the 2016 cohort at the National Academies of Science website.