My research lies at the intersection of (environmental) critical theory (particularly environmental justice), governance and biodiversity conservation, understood in its broadest sense (including biological conservation, management of ecosystem services, agrobiodiversity governance, land-use change, and access and benefit-sharing of genetic resources). I have conducted comparative, mixed-method research in Belgium, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands, and worked in collaboration with environmental scientists, lawyers, philosophers, geographers, anthropologists and economists.
My research findings have been published in top-tier scientific journals, including Nature Sustainability, BioScience, Biological Conservation, Journal of Rural Studies, Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, and Global Environmental Politics. I have also (co)authored several research reports on environmental policy for the European Commission, the Belgian government, and the UK House of Commons (see publications section)
My latest research project, funded by the French Foundation for Research on Biodiversity, will analyse how concerns for justice and equity are approached by biodiversity conservation practitioners, and how this influences conservation effectiveness.
Recently, I have increasingly been interested in non-Western political theory and decolonial thought, particularly in relation to environmental politics. In 2017, I co-organized a seminar series at the UCLouvain (Belgium) on how decolonial thought and action can inform/transform the meaning of political practices in daily life (see http://decolonisations.wordpress.com/, in French). With Lina Alvarez (UCL), we recently published a paper in Capitalism Nature Socialism on the usefulness of decolonial theory for environmental justice studies (see publications section).
- A Routledge textbook on environmental justice bringing together 25 leading environmental justice scholars and offering an accessible tool-kit for junior researchers, graduate students, upper-level undergraduates, and anyone in need of a comprehensive introductory textbook of environmental justice (under contract).
- A study exploring the drivers and meanings behind the inclusion of justice-related wording in multilateral environmental agreements (UNFCCC and CBD).
Research projects, grants and prizes
- 2019-2021. Just Conservation. Linking theories and practices of justice in biodiversity conservation. Funded by the French Foundation for Research on Biodiversity (FRB/CESAB). Role: Principal Investigator
- 2016-2017. NERC-funded ESPA-FRONTIERS. Land-use intensification in forest-agriculture frontier landscapes: effects on ecosystem services and poverty alleviation. Role: Co-Investigator
- 2013-2015. ERC-funded GENCOMMONS. Institutionalizing global genetic-resource commons. Global Strategies for accessing and using essential public knowledge assets in the life sciences. Role: Researcher
- 2012-2013. Study for the implementation in Belgium of the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing to the Convention on Biological Diversity, funded by the Belgian Federal Ministry of the Environment. Role: Lead researcher.
- 2012. PhD Fellowship, Université catholique de Louvain
- 2011. Henri La Fontaine Award for the best Master thesis in international relations from Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Belgium