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 ( 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.


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


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