A new research interest is the Falkland Islands, which is a British Overseas Territory east of Patagonia. In January, 2015, I was invited to participate in the first Falkland Islands Science Symposium, along with a dozen biophysical scholars from across the Americas. During our week we had scholarly sessions, public lectures, and site visits to see island biodiversity and farming landscapes (see the trailer of the in progress documentary here). I became fascinated by the context and its challenges as well as its charms. I am working to develop research on the farming, biodiversity, tourism and oil and gas interactions, as well as collaborations with our Symposium hosts, the South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute (SAERI). Recently, I won OECD Cooperative Research Programme funding to add a Falklands case study to my work on holistic grazing management for farm resilience and ecosystem restoration (particularly native vegetation), which saw me back in the Falklands for four weeks in Nov-Dec 2016. That analysis is ongoing.

I blogged about my first visit to the Falklands on the SAERI blog, as well as the Partners in Science blog of the British Embassy in the US, and more extensively about the Falklands as a Sustainability Lab on Joern Fischer’s Ideas for Sustainability blog.

I aim to develop a more substantive research programme in the Falklands (e.g. past Masters and undergraduate Globalink ads), but in the meantime, interested students may wish to look into programs such as the Robin Rigby Trust or the Shackleton Fund.

Research trainees

Denise Herrera, recently a Scientific Fisheries Observer with the Falkland Islands Fisheries Department, undertook a pilot project mapping the cultural values of residents in fall 2015 to feed into the Marine Spatial Plan. I am advising her from here, as she works directly with Amelie Auge at SAERI. Our paper on that work is currently in review.