People

Interested in joining us as an Honours, Masters or PhD student? Contact Dr. Rebecca Runting at rebecca.runting@unimelb.edu.au. Please provide a description of your research interests, along with your academic transcript (preliminary OK) and CV showing any technical skills, research experience and publications you may have.

Current Students

Carolina Mayen Huerta - PhD Student

Carolina is interested in examining access to and quality of urban green spaces in Mexico City, and their effect on well-being outcomes. Carolina's research starts by evaluating whether there is an unequal distribution of green spaces in the city, according to the socioeconomic status of neighborhoods. The first part of the study uses the network analysis in ArcGIS and is disaggregated by the functional level of the greenspace to provide specific information on the type of greenspace deficit. Once access levels have been established, the research will determine which variables encourage the use of green spaces and are perceived as indicators of quality by users through a survey. After, the relationship between access to and quality of greenspaces with wellbeing indicators will be determined through in-depth interviews. Carolina's research will conclude the analysis by evaluating the negative implications of revitalizing and building these spaces in low-income neighborhoods, more specifically gentrification patterns.

Email: cmayenhuerta@student.unimelb.edu.au

Sofía López-Cubillos - PhD Student

Sofía's PhD uses systematic conservation planning to prioritize the conservation of ecosystem services at different scales (i.e. local – pollination, national – carbon sequestration and water supply) in agricultural landscapes. The main outcome is to provide a framework to support policy makers and spatial planners for conservation in Costa Rica and Colombia, which are her case study models.

Email: d.lopezcubillos@uq.edu.au

@SofiaLop11

Natalie Mason - Research Assistant (former Honours student)

Natalie's project focuses on determining the global potential for transboundary conservation. She is identifying important border regions where many species have transboundary ranges and determining the feasibility of implementing cross-border conservation initiatives along national borders. This seeks to highlight the immediate opportunities for establishing transboundary conservation and identify the key challenges for cross-border collaboration in ecologically important regions.

Email: natalie.mason@uq.net.au

Student Collaborations

Michelle Ward - PhD Student

Michelle’s research broadly focuses on applied conservation research that is linked directly to actions. More specifically, she is interested in effective environmental policy, action mapping and implementation, efficient prioritisation tools, and proactive planning under climatic change.

Email: m.ward@uq.edu.au

@manammichelle

Jaramar Villarreal Rosas - PhD Student

Jaramar’s PhD project is exploring the influence of land use change in the distribution of Ecosystem Services across a range of beneficiaries. The objective is to provide approaches for making spatial decisions for management or conservation able to ensure the different groups of people receive the benefits they expect from Ecosystem Services. Jaramar’s previous research experience involved understanding the effects of environmental degradation in the livelihoods of indigenous people in North Mexico and soil ecology of arid environments. In her research, she integrates spatial analysis, decision science, and theories that explain people’s values and perceptions of nature to explore pathways to achieve on-ground positive outcomes for biodiversity and local communities.

Email: j.villarrealrosas@uq.edu.au

Luana Duarte de Araujo – Visiting Master’s student

Luana’s research spans economics, ecology and spatial planning, focusing on analysing the contributions of incorporating spatial information into Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) design and implementation. More specifically, the project aims at understanding how the integration of spatial planning approaches may influence cost-effectiveness and efficiency of PES schemes and ultimately improve environmental planning and policy making. Luana works as an Environmental Analyst at the Ministry of Environment of Brazil, focused on programs and actions related to economic instruments for environmental conservation, including PES.

Email: luana.duartedearaujo@unimelb.edu.au