Oscar Venter, University of Northern British Columbia
Hi, I’m an Associate Professor and FRBC/West Fraser research chair in the Ecosystem Science and Management Progam at UNBC. I consider myself to be a quantitative forest scientist, and I work to understand the trade-offs and synergies among economic production, ecosystem services and conservation in forested ecosystems. I received my PhD in Forest Conservation from the University of Queensland in 2011. I undertook two ARC post-doc fellowships before moving to the University of Northern British Columbia in 2016. I am passionate about using quantitative spatial analyses to inform real-world forest management decisions that balance what are often conflicting values.
Dr Moreno Di Marco, University of Queensland
Moreno is based at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decision at the Univeristy of Queenlsand, where he is co-supervised by Oscar Venter. Moreno is interested in evaluating the effects of human impacts on species extinction and ecology, and how humans modify global macro-ecological patterns. He studies the interaction between global biodiversity targets, as well as the relationship between different approaches to achieve these targets.
Since 2007, Moreno has worked on mammal conservation projects at different spatial scales, including research on the ecology of large carnivores in Abruzzo National Park (Italy) and on several global conservation research projects. He obtained his PhD in Ecology in 2013 from Sapienza University of Rome where he investigated the factors predicting extinction risk in mammals, as well as optimal strategies for reducing their extinction risk globally.
Dr Michelle Venter, University of Northern British Columbia
Michelle is based at the University of North British Columbia’s Ecosystem Science and Management Program, where she is a post-doc in the IFD lab. She completed her PhD in forest ecology and carbon management at James Cook University in 2016, where she was supervised by Professor Michael Bird. Michelle is passionate about community-based resource management issues, and thrives on challenging field work, having spent two years as a biologist aboard Bering Sea trawlers, two years surveying in Australia’s sweltering Outback and three years establishing an elevational transect in the remote and rugged tropical forests of Papua New Guinea.
Rebecca Runting, University of Queensland
Kristen Hirsh-Pearson, MSc Candidate, UNBC
With a Specialization in environmental sciences and a minor in sustainability studies from Concordia University, Kristen is passionate about conservation issues and the well being of ecosystems. Coming to the program with more field work background, Kristen hopes to build a solid foundation in spatial analyses in order to have a more dynamic skill set. She is working on cumulative threat mapping during her master’s at UNBC in the Natural Resource and Environmental Studies program in Forestry.
James Allen, PhD Candidate. University of Queensland
James is currently studying cumulative threat mapping, and how to link human pressure to biodiversity outcomes for his PhD, co-supervised by Oscar Venter. James grew up in Kenya where he was surrounded by wildlife and the outdoors. School holidays were spent on safari, game driving with clients, discussing Africa’s conservation challenges around the campfire, and on walking safaris in some of Kenya’s wildest and most beautiful regions.
This inspired James to study a science degree, the highlight being his Honours year with Hugh Possingham at UQ. After his degree, he returned to Kenya where he worked for the African Conservation Centre, an NGO whose focus is on community conservation in pastoral lands studying carnivore-livestock interactions. His research interests are broad but two examples include the impacts of development on conservation, and incentives for land-use change.
Past lab members
Victoria Graham, PhD candidate James Cook University
Tori undertook a MSc with Oscar Venter assessing the economic viability of REDD+ in Indonesia, which she has now upgraded to a PhD supervised by Bill Laurance at James Cook University. Tori is passionate about conservation biology and has dedicated the last four years studying just this. In 2012, she completed a Grad. Dip. at JCU studying the use of riparian corridors by stream frogs in Australia’s Wet Tropics.