I am an agroecologist involved in interdisciplinary research and development that promotes sustainable intensification of agriculture and furthers the understanding of rural livelihoods and its relation to the environment. The topics I work on include agroecosystems analysis and re-design, rural livelihoods, agroforestry, farmers interests and landscape restoration.
Currently I am the coordinator of the Project “Our Coffee, Our Birds” from The Cornell Lab of Ornithology and a PhD candidate at the Conservation Ecology group at Groningen University. The goal of my PhD research is to guide conservation and regeneration based on local people’s and other actors’ views. Together with my supervisors Pablo Tittonell, Ruth Howison, Viviana Ruíz-Gutierrez and Frederic Baudron, I try to identify general trends on people-nature trade-offs and synergies by studying three agricultural landscapes of increasing natural complexity and human reliance on nature as case studies. One of such landscapes is the breeding grounds of Black-tailed Godwit in Friesland (NL), where conservation of this species must take place in farmers’ grasslands and were Theunis Piersma, Ruth Howison and others are working with the Grasslands LifeIP project to enhance conservation of Meadow Birds. Within this project, my research seeks to find ways to maximize farmers’ participation and benefits to people and nature through the understanding of farmers’ capacity and interest to participate in conservation.