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Assistant Professor of Anthropology; Cooperating Assistant Professor, Climate Change Institute; Affiliated Assistant Professor, Ecology and Environmental Sciences Graduate Program
5773 South Stevens Hall
Orono, ME 04469
Rainforests are considered one of last pristine or untouched ecosystems of the world. However, they have long been the home of indigenous people who have modified and left their cultural "footprint" in the forest. My primary research focuses on uncovering human signatures in the forest through the analysis of indigenous resource management strategies (swidden-fallow agriculture, hunting, gathering, and fishing). More specifically, my work in the Peruvian Amazon shows how the indigenous Ese eja people have influenced their traditional territory (an area of about 1.5 million hectares) by creating a series of anthropogenic habitats that influence vegetation structure and wildlife resources.
In addition to studying the human ecology of the Amazon, I am also interested in the applied dimension of this research such as implications to conservation and indigenous rights. In addition to my work in the Peruvian Amazon I have also carried out extensive research in Belize, Kenya, Australia, Tahiti, Brazil, and most recently in the American West (Montana).
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