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University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute


Professor Bhaskar Vira - Director

I am trained as an economist, and work at the Department of Geography, and am a Fellow of Fitzwilliam College. My research interests centre on the changing political economy of development, especially in India; and on political ecology, focusing on forests, wildlife and landuse change and the social and political context for biodiversity conservation. My work on incentives for natural resource use and management deals with trade-offs and discourses relating to the concept of ecosystem services, and how this overlaps with poverty and human well-being, as well as values for biodiversity conservation. Research into the policy process in this sphere has included work as a Coordinating Lead Author with the Responses Working Group of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and the UK National Ecosystem Assessment. More details of my research and teaching are available at my Departmental web page.

In my role as Director, I enjoy the challenge of establishing the Conservation Research Institute as a forum for inter-disciplinary dialogue and debate, and as a focal point for the diverse and intellectually vibrant research and practitioner community associated with biodiversity conservation and its impacts, in and around Cambridge.

Contact details:

Hawa Newell-Sydique - Research and Communications Coordinator

Hawa provides an overarching research and communications framework for the University conservation community, developing and supporting networks of researchers across the Collegiate University and finding ways to foster closer collaboration and promoting cross-disciplinary funding bids and other activities. She also manages overall conservation communication and public engagement.

Hawa has extensive International Development experience in girls’ education and women’s economic empowerment in sub-Saharan Africa. Her interest lies in fighting against poverty with education, strengthening poor communities, unlocking opportunities for women and driving for sustainable change. Hawa holds an MBA from Imperial College Business School, London

Carmyn de Jonge - Administrator

As the UCCRI Institute Administrator, Carmyn provides administrative support to the Institute, as well as assisting with communications and events, represents UCCRI on the David Attenborough Building User Group and the Social Committee so please let them know if you have any issues with the building or any ideas for events.

Carmyn’s experience in administration, customer service and field work has come from a range of roles and diverse environments. Her interest lies in species conservation, biodiversity, wildlife rehabilitation and interdisciplinary fields that bring together different voices from all over the world.