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Conservation Research Institute



PhD Candidate, Corpus Christi College

I am interested in understanding the impact that conservation efforts have on socio-ecological systems.

Tackling conservation challenges requires a strong understanding of both the ecological and social context of the problem. Ongoing changes in our world demand that we find, test, and share holistic solutions to these challenges.

Prior to starting my PhD, I spent several years working in conservation organisations. My experiences include coordinating a cross-border conservation initiative; working as an advisor for a Tanzanian based conservation organisation; working with a community land owners association in Kenya; and conducting research with the Wildlife Conservation Society in Gabon.


  • 2016 - present: PhD Candidate, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge
  • 2015 - 2016: Technical Advisor for PAMS Foundation, Tanzania
  • 2013 - 2015: Overall Coordinator of the Kenya-Tanzania Borderland Conservation Initiative
  • 2012 - 2013: Information Coordinator for Lale'enok Resource Centre and the Kenya-Tanzania Borderland Conservation Initiative, for the South Rift Association of Land Owners (SORALO)
  • 2012: Field team leader and researcher for the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) in the Congo Basin Coast Project, Gabon


Current PhD research: "Socio-ecological resilience to drought and the role of conservation in the Kenya-Tanzania borderland."

The Kenya-Tanzania borderland supports some of the richest wildlife populations on earth through a network of community rangelands and protected areas. In the Kenyan context, community conservancies play a role in wildlife conservation and land management. There is a perception among communities in these semi-arid pastoral lands that drought impacts are worsening, due to increasing drought frequency and restrictions on coping mechanisms.

My research will use socio-ecological systems theory and a resilience lens to investigate how resilience to drought is changing in these rangelands, and will investigate the role that conservation plays in this context.

My other research interests include the role of community based monitoring in resource management; large landscape conservation; human-wildlife coexistence (and reducing conflict); the politics of conservation; and food production and society.

I also believe in the importance of building capacity in conservation, particularly with regards to communities who bear the greatest costs in conservation efforts and I'm involved in ongoing efforts to provide these opportunities.


Key publications: 

Peadar Brehony, Jevgeniy Bluwstein, Jens Friis Lund, Peter Tyrrell; Bringing back complex socio-ecological realities to the study of CBNRM impacts: a response to Lee and Bond (2018), Journal of Mammalogy, gyy118,

Alexander Braczkowski, Matthew H Holden, Christopher O'Bryan, Chi-Yeung Choi, Xiaojing Gan, Nicholas Beesley, Yufang Gao, James Allan, Peter Tyrrell, Daniel Stiles, Peadar Brehony, Revocatus Meney, Henry Brink, Nao Takashina, Ming-Ching Lin, Hsien-Yung Lin, Niki Rust, Severino G. Salmo, James EM Watson, Paula Kahumbu, Martine Maron, Hugh P Possingham, Duan Biggs. 2018. Reach and messages of the world's largest ivory burn. Conservation Biology, DOI: 10.1111/cobi.13097

PhD Student
 Peadar   Brehony