I am a broadly trained geographer whose research, teaching, and outreach focuses on livelihoods, conservation and development, environmental change, and human health. I am currently an Associate Professor, and Associate Head for the Resident Graduate Program, in the Department of Geography at the Pennsylvania State University. I have affiliations across the university, serving as a Faculty Research Associate with the Population Research Institute, Research Affiliate with the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute, and Faculty Affiliate with the School of International Affairs. I am also an Honorary Research Associate with the African Climate and Development Initiative at the University of Cape Town and was selected as a National Academy of Sciences Kavli Fellow in 2017. My work is centered in Southern Africa where I have conducted research since 1999 and lived in the region for more than two years. Over the past decade, I have been involved in two separate projects examining how environmental variability shapes demographic patterns in the Okavango Delta of Botswana, and how social and ecological systems in South Africa are being transformed by HIV/AIDS. These research projects are externally funded, including support from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Geography and Spatial Sciences (GSS) Program and a NSF CAREER award.

Research Interests

Conservation and Development; Environmental Change; Human Health; Livelihoods


  • Ph.D., Geography, Certificate in Developmental Studies, University of Colorado at Boulder, 2004
  • M.A., Geography, University of Colorado at Boulder, 1999
  • B.A., Environmental Studies, Bucknell University, 1995