I originate from a remote, rural village located towards the distal end of the Okavango Pan Handle, northwest of Botswana. Growing up along the banks of the Okavango River, I experienced first hand the interrelated ecological, economic and social benefits provided by this river system. Yet it was (and still is) most exposed to anthropogenic disturbances. This concern spurred my interest in understanding the complex interactions between people and the environment.
Although this interest strayed into other fields through the years (I did my BSc in Crop Science), I eventually returned to the human-environment scholarship, and in 2014 I enrolled in the MPhil (Natural Resources Management) program at the University of Botswana funded by Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management (SASSCAL) – Task 314. My thesis explored factors influencing smallholder arable farmers in adoption of innovative, low-tech and humane deterrents for elephant crop damage in northern Botswana.
While working on my masters degree, I developed a deep interest in environmental governance, especially of aquatic social-ecological systems. This led me to pursue a Ph.D. at JCU. My Ph.D. research grapples with the question of how politics and policy, collaborative power-sharing and participation could be designed to ensure social, economic, environmental, and institutional sustainability. In particular, it examines the design of the newly introduced Territorial Use Rights for Fisheries (TURFs) and the co-management regime in fisheries governance in Botswana.
Thesis title: Territorial use rights in small-scale fisheries management in Botswana: The role of collective governance for sustainable fisheries
Advisory Team: Dr Amy Diedrich (Primary advisor)
Professor Tiffany Morrison (Secondary advisor)