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Conservation Research Institute



Judith's current research explores the relationships between the environment and human wellbeing and poverty.

I have broad interests in informing biodiversity conservation practice through research, especially with regards to tropical forests. In particular, my research interests span assessing the impacts of conservation interventions, natural resource governance and the involvement of communities in conservation. For my Master's thesis I looked into the ecological sustainability of bushmeat hunting in Central Gabon by assessing how key socio-economic and ecological characteristics had changed over time in two rural villages. For my PhD research I moved across the Atlantic to investigate some of the ecological and socio-political impacts of Conservation Concessions (CCs) in the Peruvian Amazon. CCs are areas that are given to private entities (individual, communities, NGOs or companies) for conservation purposes. My interdisciplinary thesis explored (1) the politics around the application process for CCs; (2) whether the establishment of these concessions has helped to reduce deforestation and forest degradation rates and how their impacts compare to state-controlled protected areas and other land-use designations; and (3) the institutional and socio-political challenges associated with their implementation. My current postdoc focuses on different conceptual frameworks for intersecting the relationship between the environment and human wellbeing, as well as developing environmental indicators as part of the multidimensional poverty index.


Key publications: 

Schleicher, J., Peres, C.A., Leader-Williams, N., Amano, T. and Llactayo, W. (in press). Conservation performance of different conservation governance regimes in the Peruvian Amazon. Scientific Reports.

Schleicher, J., Schaafsma, M., Burgess, N.D., Sandbrook, C., Danks, F., Cowie, C. and Vira, B. (2017). Poorer without It? The Neglected Role of the Natural Environment in Poverty and Wellbeing. Sustainable Developmentdoi:10.1002/sd.1692.

Ingram, D.J., Coad, L., Abernethy, K.A., Maisels, F., Stokes, E.J., Bobo, K.S., Breuer, T., Gandiwa, E., Ghiurghi, A., Greengrass, E., Holmern, T., Kamgaing, T.O.W., Ndong Obiang, A.M., Poulsen, J.R., Schleicher, J., Nielsen, M.R., Solly, H., Vath, C.L., Waltert, M., Whitham, C.E.L., Wilkie, D.S. & Scharlemann, J.P.W. (2017). Assessing Africa-Wide Pangolin Exploitation by Scaling Local Data. Conservation Lettersdoi:10.1111/conl.12389.

Walters, G., Schleicher, J., Hymas, O. & Coad, L. (2015). Evolving hunting practices in Gabon: lessons for community-based interventions. Ecology and Society 30 (4): 31.

Lundquist, C.J., Baldi, A., Dieterich, M., Gracey, K., Kovacs, E., Schleicher, J., Skorin, T., Sterling, E. & Jonsson, B. Engaging the conservation community in the IPBES process. Conservation Biology 29 (6): 1493-1495.

Ingram, D.J., Coad, L., Collen, B., Kümpel, N.F., Breuer, T., Fa, J.E, Gill, D., Maisels, F., Schleicher, J., Stokes, E.J., Taylor, G. & Scharlemann, J.P.W. (2015). Indicators for wild animal offtake: methods and case study for African mammals and birds. Ecology and Society 20 (3):40.

Laurance, W. F., Peletier-Jellema, A., Geenen, B., Koster, H., Verweij, P., Van Dijck, P., Lovejoy, T.E., Schleicher, J., & Van Kuijk, M. (2015). Reducing the global environmental impacts of rapid infrastructure expansion. Current Biology 25, pR259-R262.

Taylor, G., Scharlemann, J., Rowcliffe, M., Kümpel, N., Harfoot, M., Fa, J., Melisch, R., Milner-Gulland, E.J., Bhagwat, S., Abernethy, K., Albrechtsen, L., Allebone-Webb, S., Brown, E., Brugiere, D., Colell, M., Cowlishaw, G., Crookes, D., De Merode, E., Dupain, J., East, T., Edderai, D., Gill, D., Greengrass, E., Hodgkinson, C., Ilambu, O., Jeanmart, P., Juste, J., Linder, J., MacDonald, D., Noss, N., Okorie, P.U., Okouyi, V. Pailler, S., Poulsen, J., Riddell, M., Schleicher, J., Schulte-Herbruggen, B., Starkey, M., van Vliet, N., Whitham,C., Willcox, A., Wright, J. (2015). Synthesising bushmeat research effort in West and Central Africa: A new regional database. Biological Conservation 181, 199–205.

Coad, L.*Schleicher, J. *, Milner-Gulland, E.J., Marthews, T.R., Starkey, M., Manica, A., Balmford,A., Mbombe,W., Ndop, T. & Abernethy, K.A. (2013). Social and ecological change over a decade in a village hunting system, central Gabon. Conservation Biology 27, 270-280. * Equal contribution

Balmford, A., Manica, A., Airey, L., Birkin, L., Oliver, A. & Schleicher, J. (2004). Hollywood, climate change, and the public. Science305, 1713.

Teaching and Supervisions


Supervisor, Geography Part IB: Remote Sensing and Conservation, Department of Geography (2016-present)

Supervisor, Natural Sciences Tripos: Part II - Conservation Science, Department of Zoology (2013-2014)

Taught Science, Maths and French at high school level in Germany and worked as a teacher of English as a foreign language in China.

Other Professional Activities

Deputy Chair and Executive Committee, Cambridge Conservation Forum (2013-present)

Co-convenor, Nature, Culture, Knowledge Research Group, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge (2017–present)

Co-convenor, Political Ecology Seminars, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge (2013–2014)

IPBES Subcommittee Member, Society for Conservation Biology (2014-present)

Member, Women in Conservation Leadership Network, Cambridge Conservation Forum (2013-present)

Member, Cambridge University Political Ecology Reading Group (2011-present)

Member, University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute (2013-present)

Postgraduate Fellow, Royal Geographical Society (2015-present)

Member, Cambridge Philosophical Society (2011-present)

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Contact Details

Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, Downing Place


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