I am fascinated by how conservation as a concept and practice is continually being reconfigured materially and discursively and how this affects social processes in and around conservation spaces. This interest has informed my research in the past 3 years.
I completed a Masters by dissertation from the University of Cape Town in 2015. My dissertation explored the modes of land control and transfer within South Africa’s Greater Mapungubwe transfrontier conservation area and Lesotho’s Maloti Drakensberg transfrontier conservation area.
My PhD project will look into crisis conservation in South Africa. Due to the exponential increase in rhino poaching, state run as well as private conservation spaces in South Africa are becoming increasingly militarized. The consequences of this on social relations in and around these spaces is beginning to unfold. My research therefore aims to explore the booming illegal wildlife trade and its implications on local communities. While the rhino poaching ‘crisis’ has been publicised and warrants critical inquiry, through this project I hope to also explore the less publicised form of ‘illegal’ wildlife trade that is trade for subsistence purposes.