Researcher biography

I am originally from Papua New Guinea and completed my undergraduate degree in biochemistry at the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG) in 2005. The following year I joined the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and then PNG Institute of Biological Research (PNGIBR) in 2008 to undertake an honours project on wildlife hunting and sustainability in target communities of the Central Highlands region of Papua New Guinea (PNG). In 2009, I went to Lancaster University in the UK under the British Chevening Scholarship to undertake a Masters degree in conservation science. After completing my post graduate degree in 2010, I came back to PNG, worked for PNGIBR as a conservation biologist conducting studies on New Guinea mammals and wildlife hunting, biological research, community conservation, and participated in several biodiversity surveys with the gas and oil projects in PNG.

My interest in comprehending a myriad of issues surrounding the social and ecological interactions and context between Indigenous people and their environment has been developing over 10 years to understand all aspects of hunting, cultural practices, sustainability and ecosystem services by formulating crucial questions like: Why are communities continually hunting? Where are they hunting? What are they hunting? Who is hunting? These key questions have motivated me to further explore ecology, evolution and community conservation of Melanesian mammals on Bougainville as part of my current PhD project. No one has carried out any thorough studies on the ecology and evolution of mammals on Bougainville since the 1930s, when the first specimens of mammals were collected. Therefore, it is very urgent and crucial to conduct this study on Bougainville, which is also an IUCN Biodiversity Hotspot in the Melanesian region. Both biological and cultural data from this study will add new knowledge to the existing scientific information on the ecology, evolution, bioculture, ecosystem services and conservation of mammals on Bougainville, PNG and the region as a whole.