Dr. Dempsey (University of British Columbia) studies economic and financial approaches to international conservation. This has led her to interview green financiers in fancy New York boardrooms and scientists in paper-stuffed academic offices, study investments in conservation cattle markets in rural Kenya, participate in endless international biodiversity negotiations, and examine the intricacies of ecological-economic models. Dempsey’s book Enterprising Nature (Wiley-Blackwell, 2016) traces the drive to produce a nature that can prove its worth in economic terms – that can compete in the marketplace and the cost-benefit accounting of modern governance. Read more.
Dr. Bigger (Lancaster University) has conducted research and published on a wide variety of environmental-financial entanglements, including cap-and-trade carbon markets and labelled green debt (green bonds), in addition to his ongoing collaboration on for-profit biodiversity conservation. His work draws on a range of heterodox economic thought, especially cultural economy and the sociology of markets, alongside geographical political economy, to examine the mechanisms created by financiers that try to solve varying, but overlapping, environmental crises. He has substantial experience conducting research with financiers and policy makers, and presents research outcomes at industry events as well in academic fora. Read more.
Dr. Sara Nelson (University of British Columbia) completed her PhD in Geography at the University of Minnesota in May 2017. Her research combines historical and ethnographic methods to explore the politics of value in environmental conservation, with particular focus on Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) programs. Her contemporary fieldwork takes a multi-scalar approach to the politics of environmental valuation at international and national levels, with a regional focus on the Americas. She has conducted ethnographic research into the geopolitics of environmental valuation through participant observation in the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and her current research focuses on the political geographies of water, energy, and conservation in freshwater PES programs in Latin America and the United States. Read more.
Dr. Shapiro-Garza (Duke University) is a human geographer who brings expertise in qualitative research design, methods and analysis and in multidisciplinary, collaborative research. Her research primarily builds on theory and insights from political ecology, critical geography and ecological economics, with an empirical focus on market-based environmental initiatives and policies in Latin America, their social and environmental dynamics and outcomes and their intersection with development practice at multiple scales. She has examined these themes in the context of national payments for ecosystem services programs in Mexico, cacao agroforestry systems in biosphere reserve buffer zones in Panama and Costa Rica, and coffee sustainability certification programs in Guatemala, El Salvador, Colombia and Peru. Read more.
Fernanda Rojas Marchini
Fernanda Rojas Marchini is a human geographer and a PhD student at the University of British Columbia. She conducts research on environmental science and politics in the temperate rainforests of southern Chile. Specifically, she focuses on the turn toward market-based biodiversity conservation in conjunction with international NGOs and private protected areas whose managers are pursuing for-profit conservation. Fernanda’s doctoral research focuses on the environmental turn toward market-based conservation in Chile. Read more.
Jens Christiansen is a transdisciplinary social scientist and PhD Student at Lancaster Environment Centre, UK. His PhD research is supervised by Professor Christina Hicks and Dr. Patrick Bigger at Lancaster Environment Centre, UK, who provide expertise on ocean governance, biodiversity conservation and environmental finance. Empirically, Jens’ doctoral research focuses on how conservation and biodiversity finance approaches are being mobilized within the so-called ”Blue Economy” through private financing of marine protected areas, blue bonds, individual transferable quotas and insurance products. Read more.
Audrey Irvine-Broque is an MA student at the University of British Columbia. She studies the political economy of biodiversity loss, particularly the use of markets, for-profit investment and risk management towards stabilizing the impacts of extraction, emissions, and land-use change. Her research focuses on the environmental politics of coastal wetlands, including the production of “blue carbon” and “green infrastructure” benefits in mangrove forests, salt marshes, seagrass beds, and other coastal ecosystems. Read more.
Adriana Maria DiSilvestro is an MA student in Geography at the University of British Columbia studying the political economy of biodiversity loss. Her current research focuses on ecological management practices in environments of state-sponsored extraction.
Yingle Su graduated from George Washington University in Washington DC, major in Political Science. She is a master’s student at Duke University studies Environment Economics and Policy at Nicholas School of Environment. Her Master Thesis is supervised by Dr. Shapiro-Garza from Duke University on “Leveraging Carbon Capital to Finance Biodiversity Conservation in Peru.” Read more.