Meet our fellows

Alison Richard

David Gill

Luc Hoffmann Institute & SESYNC fellow

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Why did you join the Luc Hoffmann Institute?

Millions around the world depend on coastal resources for their livelihoods and nutrition however, factors such as climate change, pollution and unsustainable exploitation threaten to undermine the resource base that so many rely on each day. With most of my previous work experience in Barbados and the Caribbean, joining the Luc Hoffmann Fellowship programme provides me with an opportunity to develop my research skills and to be involved in a global initiative that has the potential to lead to the better management of marine resources around the world.

What is your background?

Most of my previous research has been in coral reef ecology and fisheries, focusing on issues related to coastal management and resource economics. For the past few years, I have worked alongside an international team of researchers from the Caribbean, Europe, USA and Australia on the Future of Reefs (FORCE) project (www.force-project.eu). We gathered data on the dependency of coastal communities on coral reef resources and the constraints to effective reef management. This involved interacting with protected area managers and resource users from around the region, who provided a first-hand perspective of the major issues affecting coastal communities and the implications of potential future change on coral ecosystems and the livelihoods of those dependent on them.
As the Fellow at Luc Hoffmann Institute, I am working primarily in the Place-based Conservation Effectiveness workstream on the SESYNC Pursuit: “Solving the Mystery of Marine Protected (MPA) Performance,” based at SESYNC in Annapolis,MD. This Pursuit focuses on unravelling some of the underlying factors that contribute to the success of marine conservation activities. With a better understanding of the factors contributing to successful management, decision makers can be better informed to design policy that promotes the long-term sustainability of marine resources.

Training

2014 Ph.D., Natural Resources Management (Resource Economics), University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados
2007 MSc, Coastal and Marine Resource Management, University of the West Indies , Cave Hill Campus, Barbados
2003 BSc, Marine Biology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Alison Richard

Nyeema Harris

Director's Fellow

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Why did you join the Luc Hoffmann institute?

I take my responsibility to be a global and socially relevant scientist seriously and I am committed to ensuring that the research work I focus on creates impact. The Luc Hoffmann Fellowship programme offers me a massive platform through which I can increase my collaborative international network, expand the scope and scale of my research and disseminate the work I produce more broadly.

What is your background?

I am broadly trained as an ecologist with a background studying predation, co-extinction and biogeography. My research experience with mammals in North America and Africa has relevance to biodiversity, public health, and global change.

As the Director’s Fellow at Luc Hoffmann Institute, I am working primarily in the  Place-based Conservation Effectiveness workstream, leading the Dynamics of the Conservation Estate Project. Overall, my interests include:

  1. Protected area effectiveness at present and in varying future scenarios as well as investigating their influence on human welfare and conflict
  2. Transboundary wildlife conservation at regional and international scales including resource utilization and impacts from “mobile threats”
  3. Consequences of species loss in light of shifting spatial distributions, altering the persistence of biotic interactions and patterns of biodiversity

Training

2011-2013 Postdoctoral Fellow, National Science Foundation and University of California Chancellor’s Program, Environmental Policy, Science and Management, University of California, Berkeley
2010 PhD, Wildlife, Fisheries and Conservation Biology, North Carolina State University
2007 MS, Wildlife Biology, University of Montana
2004 BS, Wildlife Science, Virginia Tech
Alison Richard

Taro Mieno

Luc Hoffmann Institute Fellow

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How can the Luc Hoffmann Institute Fellows program help achieve your career goals ?

My career goal is to be a researcher with a particular focus on understanding the interrelationship between agriculture and the environment that lead to solving real world problems. While economics is my primary research tool, I believe interdisciplinary work joint with biologists and engineers is vital in closing the gap between the academia and real world in the filed of my interest. The Luc Hoffman Institute, with researchers who have extensive experience in interdisciplinary work, provides an ideal environment in pursuing the goal.
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What is your background?

I recently earned Ph.D. in agricultural and applied economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I studied forestry .

As a Luc Hoffmann Institute Fellow, I am working primarily in the Assessing Sustainability standards Project.

Training

I was trained in applied economics. In particular, I have been trained extensively in applied econometrics, where regression analyses are used in disentangling causality of economic phenomenon. Through the course of my econometric work, I have gained proficiency in major programming languages including R, Matlab, and Stata. I also have some experience in interdisciplinary work. A chapter of my dissertation looks at a dynamic intra-seasonal irrigation decision problem using an economic model that integrates a basic soil hydrology.

Alison Richard

William Kolby Smith

Luc Hoffmann Institute Fellow

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How can the Luc Hoffmann Institute Fellows program help achieve your career goals ?

One of the most urgent challenges facing humanity is how to meet future global food, fuel, and fiber demand while minimizing detrimental environmental consequences. Joining the Luc Hoffmann institute provides me the unique opportunity to conduct meaningful scientific exploration with the aim of informing and shaping global food and energy policy.
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What is your background?

I am broadly trained as an ecologist with background experience in the application of global satellite data and ecosystem process models to large-scale climate, food, and energy issues. As part of my dissertation work as a member of the Numerical Terradynamic Simulation Group (NTSG) at the University of Montana, I developed a modeling framework for evaluating the global capacity for bioenergy production using satellite-derived vegetation productivity data. I also developed a framework for evaluating the impact of agriculture on global terrestrial vegetation productivity and found that roughly 90% of current agricultural lands are under-producing relative to that of the natural vegetation they replaced, despite excessive management inputs in many regions. Further, my post-doctoral work with the U.S. Geological Survey included the modeling of vegetation productivity using a continuous 30-year record of satellite-derived vegetation dynamics data in an effort to identify potential ‘hotspots’ for agricultural development as well as areas that are better left unmanaged (e.g., as potential carbon sinks).
As a Fellow at the Luc Hoffmann Institute, I will be joining a collaborative research team developing and testing sustainability standards for key global commodities that have the greatest impact on ecosystem services such as biodiversity, water, and climate stability. Implemented effectively, global sustainability standards could have immense policy relevance and ultimately help to optimize production to meet a growing global demand while minimizing environmental trade-offs.

As a Luc Hoffmann Institute Fellow, I am working primarily in the Assessing Sustainability standards Project.

Training

2013-2014 Post-Doctoral Fellow, U.S. Geological Survey
2009-2013 PhD, University of Montana, specialization: ecosystem ecology & remote sensing
2006-2008 MS, Colorado State University, specialization: ecology & biogeochemistry
2000-2005 BS, Western Carolina University, Major: applied mathematics and biology
Alison Richard

Kien Van Nguyen

Luc Hoffmann Institute Fellow

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How can the Luc Hoffmann Institute Fellows program help achieve your career goals?

My future career is leading research on water – food – energy nexus in the Mekong Region where dam development in upstream countries and climate change put pressures on sustainable development of the region. Most of my previous research has focused on water, natural resources and agricultural development in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam. Joining to the Luc Hoffmann Fellowship program provides me an important opportunity to reach my future career, a leading researcher on water-food-energy nexus, to contribute to sustainable development of the Mekong region.

What is your background?

Most of my previous research focuses on water governance, agricultural and rural development and social resilience of the communities to flooding and climate change in the Mekong Delta. Since I joined to An Giang University in the Mekong Delta in 2001, I have participated in several research projects with local and international scientists. I received two scholarships from AusAID to study Master of Environmental Management and Development from 2005 to 2006, and PhD in sociology from 2008 to 2012.

Recently, I have received several research grants as the role of PI to study “water governance of minority community in the Mekong Delta under PEERS Science round 3”, “water governance, farming system and adaptation to climate-related to changes in dike compartments: A case study in An Giang province, Mekong Delta, Vietnam, funded by M-POWER fellowship program (Mekong Program on Water, Environment and Resilience), “Enhancing Resilience of the Community through Climate Change Adaptation: Research and Training Activities for Preservation and Development of Floating Rice-Vegetables Farming Systems in Vinh Phuoc Commune, Tri Ton District, An Giang Province, Mekong Delta, Vietnam, funded by SEARCA, and “Recovering and valuing wetland agro-ecological systems and local knowledge for water security and community resilience in the Mekong region funded by SUMERNET.

As the fellow of Luc Hoffamn Institute, I involve in the Mekong Food Water and Energy nexus project under the supervision of Associate Prof Jamie Pittock at the Australian National University. I will study the impacts of dikes on physical and socio-economic changes in food supplies and nutrition in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam, the impacts of alternative irrigated agricultural systems with respect to agricultural production, biodiversity, land, water and livelihoods in Cambodia, and the way in which the food security change of the villagers before and after dams in Laos.

Training

2012 PhD, Sociology, Australian National University.
2006 Master Environmental Management and Development, Australian National University.
2005 Graduate Diploma Environmental Management and Development, Australian National University.
2000 BS, Land Management, Can Tho University, Vietnam.
Alison Richard

Fouad Khan

Luc Hoffmann Institute Fellow

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How can the Luc Hoffmann Institute Fellows program help achieve your career goals?

Luc Hoffman is a very interesting trans-disciplinary institute working at the cusp of science and policy and at the meeting point of all the different disciplines that must come together to pave the way for a transition to a more sustainable future. Working at the institute allows me to indulge in my passion for research while at the same time producing policy ready intellectual products for consumption by the decision makers.

What is your background?

I have a decade of international training and experience in the areas of sustainable development, urban planning, water resources, complex systems, environmental engineering, policy, management and journalism and World Bank accreditation for Environmental Safeguards. I have worked and studied in Pakistan, United States, Korea and Hungary on projects for the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Shell and other entities from the energy, development and public sectors. I have been a recipient of Fulbright scholarship (2005) and am a Future Earth Fellow (2014).

Training

2014 PhD, Environmental Science and Policy, Central European University.
MSc, Environmental Engineering, University of Houston.