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Judith Schleicher BA MSc PhD

Judith Schleicher BA MSc PhD

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Judith's current research explores the relationships between the environment and human wellbeing and poverty.



  • 2015-present: Postdoctoral Research Associate, Geography Department, University of Cambridge and UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre, UK.
  • 2007-2009: Biodiversity Specialist, Junior Professional Associate, World Bank, USA and East Asia; developed and supervised biodiversity and environmental projects with global reach and in the East Asia and Pacific region with a particular focus on Indonesia, Mongolia and China.
  • 2007: Assistant Ecosystem Officer, UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Centre, UK; compiled national ecosystem assessments for 15 countries.
  • 2007: Globe International, UK and Germany; organised legislator forums on illegal logging and climate change as a run-up to the G8 Summit 2007.
  • 2007: Research Intern, Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London, UK.
  • 2002-2006: Ecological fieldwork and other work experience at various sites, including in China, Uganda, South Africa (investigating the brood parasitism of the Cape Bulbul Pycnonotus capensis), Ecuador (research into the duetting behaviour of neotropical wrens) and Russia (bird migration study).


  • 2011-2015: PhD, Geography Department and St John's College, University of Cambridge.
  • 2009-2010: MSc in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management (Distinction), University of Oxford.
  • 2003-2006: BA in Ecology/Zoology, Natural Sciences Tripos, St John's College, University of Cambridge.
  • Languages: Fluent in English, German, French and Spanish.

Funding & awards (selection)

  • Economic and Social Research Council, Global Challenges Research Fund, Secondary Data Grant (2017-2018)
  • Cambridge Political Economy Society Trust, supplementary PhD funding (2014-2015)
  • Economic and Social Research Council PhD Studentship (2011-2014)
  • Cambridge Philosophical Society Research Studentship and Travel Grant (2014)
  • Philip Lake Fund and Training Grant, Geography Department, University of Cambridge (2011, 2014)
  • British Ecological Society Conference Grant (2011)
  • Travel Grant, Green Templeton College, University of Oxford (2010)
  • Masters Award, Tropical Agricultural Association (2010)
  • Höldelin Scholarship, German National Academic Foundation (2007)
  • Water Sustainability Scholarship, University of Oxford (2007)
  • Brasher Fund Grant, St John's College, University of Cambridge (2005)
  • 3 Half-Blues, University of Cambridge (2004-2006)
  • Admission into, and funding from, the German National Academic Foundation (2003-2006), including a scholarship to study in Cambridge.


I have broad interests in informing biodiversity conservation practice through research, especially with regards to tropical forests. In particular, my research interests span assessing the impacts of conservation interventions, natural resource governance and the involvement of communities in conservation. For my Master's thesis I looked into the ecological sustainability of bushmeat hunting in Central Gabon by assessing how key socio-economic and ecological characteristics had changed over time in two rural villages. For my PhD research I moved across the Atlantic to investigate some of the ecological and socio-political impacts of Conservation Concessions (CCs) in the Peruvian Amazon. CCs are areas that are given to private entities (individual, communities, NGOs or companies) for conservation purposes. My interdisciplinary thesis explored (1) the politics around the application process for CCs; (2) whether the establishment of these concessions has helped to reduce deforestation and forest degradation rates and how their impacts compare to state-controlled protected areas and other land-use designations; and (3) the institutional and socio-political challenges associated with their implementation. My current postdoc focuses on different conceptual frameworks for intersecting the relationship between the environment and human wellbeing, as well as developing environmental indicators as part of the multidimensional poverty index.


Selected publications

  • Schleicher, J., Peres, C.A., Leader-Williams, N., Amano, T. and Llactayo, W. (in press). Conservation performance of different conservation governance regimes in the Peruvian Amazon. Scientific Reports.
  • Schleicher, J., Schaafsma, M., Burgess, N.D., Sandbrook, C., Danks, F., Cowie, C. and Vira, B. (2017). Poorer without It? The Neglected Role of the Natural Environment in Poverty and Wellbeing. Sustainable Development, doi:10.1002/sd.1692.
  • Ingram, D.J., Coad, L., Abernethy, K.A., Maisels, F., Stokes, E.J., Bobo, K.S., Breuer, T., Gandiwa, E., Ghiurghi, A., Greengrass, E., Holmern, T., Kamgaing, T.O.W., Ndong Obiang, A.M., Poulsen, J.R., Schleicher, J., Nielsen, M.R., Solly, H., Vath, C.L., Waltert, M., Whitham, C.E.L., Wilkie, D.S. & Scharlemann, J.P.W. (2017). Assessing Africa-Wide Pangolin Exploitation by Scaling Local Data. Conservation Letters, doi:10.1111/conl.12389.
  • Walters, G., Schleicher, J., Hymas, O. & Coad, L. (2015). Evolving hunting practices in Gabon: lessons for community-based interventions. Ecology and Society 30 (4): 31.
  • Lundquist, C.J., Baldi, A., Dieterich, M., Gracey, K., Kovacs, E., Schleicher, J., Skorin, T., Sterling, E. & Jonsson, B. Engaging the conservation community in the IPBES process. Conservation Biology 29 (6): 1493-1495.
  • Ingram, D.J., Coad, L., Collen, B., Kümpel, N.F., Breuer, T., Fa, J.E, Gill, D., Maisels, F., Schleicher, J., Stokes, E.J., Taylor, G. & Scharlemann, J.P.W. (2015). Indicators for wild animal offtake: methods and case study for African mammals and birds. Ecology and Society 20 (3):40.
  • Laurance, W. F., Peletier-Jellema, A., Geenen, B., Koster, H., Verweij, P., Van Dijck, P., Lovejoy, T.E., Schleicher, J., & Van Kuijk, M. (2015). Reducing the global environmental impacts of rapid infrastructure expansion. Current Biology 25, pR259-R262.
  • Taylor, G., Scharlemann, J., Rowcliffe, M., Kümpel, N., Harfoot, M., Fa, J., Melisch, R., Milner-Gulland, E.J., Bhagwat, S., Abernethy, K., Albrechtsen, L., Allebone-Webb, S., Brown, E., Brugiere, D., Colell, M., Cowlishaw, G., Crookes, D., De Merode, E., Dupain, J., East, T., Edderai, D., Gill, D., Greengrass, E., Hodgkinson, C., Ilambu, O., Jeanmart, P., Juste, J., Linder, J., MacDonald, D., Noss, N., Okorie, P.U., Okouyi, V. Pailler, S., Poulsen, J., Riddell, M., Schleicher, J., Schulte-Herbruggen, B., Starkey, M., van Vliet, N., Whitham,C., Willcox, A., Wright, J. (2015). Synthesising bushmeat research effort in West and Central Africa: A new regional database. Biological Conservation 181, 199–205.
  • Coad, L.*, Schleicher, J. *, Milner-Gulland, E.J., Marthews, T.R., Starkey, M., Manica, A., Balmford,A., Mbombe,W., Ndop, T. & Abernethy, K.A. (2013). Social and ecological change over a decade in a village hunting system, central Gabon. Conservation Biology 27, 270-280. * Equal contribution
  • Balmford, A., Manica, A., Airey, L., Birkin, L., Oliver, A. & Schleicher, J. (2004). Hollywood, climate change, and the public. Science 305, 1713.

Selected presentations

  • Applying for Conservation Concessions in the Peruvian Amazon: an uneven playing field, Royal Geographical Society Annual International Conference, University of Exeter, UK, September 2015.
  • Evaluating Conservation Impacts on Deforestation and Forest Degradation in the Peruvian Amazon, International Congress of Conservation Biology, Montpellier, France, August 2015.
  • Conservation Concession in the Peruvian Amazon: the Politics of the Application Process and Stakeholder Perceptions, Political Ecology seminar, Geography Department, University of Cambridge, UK, November 2014.
  • The Impacts of Protected Areas and other Land Uses on Deforestation and Degradation in the Peruvian Amazon, BES-TEG Early Career Research meeting on Tropical Ecosystems - from Process to Policy, University of York, UK, August 2014.
  • Deforestation and Forest Degradation Across Land Use Designations in the Peruvian Amazon, Remote Sensing for Conservation symposium, Zoological Society of London, UK, May 2014.
  • Combining Remote Sensing and GIS: Deforestation and Forest Degradation Across Land Use Designations in the Peruvian Amazon, Geographical Information Science Forum, University of Cambridge, UK, May 2014.
  • The effectiveness of state-controlled protected areas in reducing deforestation and forest degradation rates in the Peruvian Amazon, Student Conference on Conservation Science, Cambridge, UK, March 2014. - Selected as one of the highly commended posters.
  • Combining remotely-sensed, national and local level data and GIS: the impacts of land use decisions on deforestation and forest degradation in the Peruvian Amazon, Global Land Project Open Science Meeting - Land Transformations: Between Global Challenges and Local Realities, Berlin, Germany, March 2014.
  • Conservation Concessions in the Peruvian Amazon, Universidad Nacional de Ucayali, Pucallpa, Peru, September 2012.
  • The effectiveness of Conservation Concessions in Peru, Graduate Forum, Geography Department, University of Cambridge, UK, May 2011.
  • Changes in village bushmeat hunting: a case study from rural Gabon, International Congress of Conservation Biology, Auckland, New Zealand, December 2011.
  • Sustainability of bushmeat hunting in central Gabon and the implications for local food security, Tropentag, Zürich, Switzerland, September 2010.


  • Supervisor, Geography Part IB: Remote Sensing and Conservation, Department of Geography (2016-present)
  • Supervisor, Natural Sciences Tripos: Part II - Conservation Science, Department of Zoology (2013-2014)
  • Taught Science, Maths and French at high school level in Germany and worked as a teacher of English as a foreign language in China.

External activities

  • Deputy Chair and Executive Committee, Cambridge Conservation Forum (2013-present)
  • Co-convenor, Nature, Culture, Knowledge Research Group, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge (2017–present)
  • Co-convenor, Political Ecology Seminars, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge (2013–2014)
  • IPBES Subcommittee Member, Society for Conservation Biology (2014-present)
  • Member, Women in Conservation Leadership Network, Cambridge Conservation Forum (2013-present)
  • Member, Cambridge University Political Ecology Reading Group (2011-present)
  • Member, University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute (2013-present)
  • Postgraduate Fellow, Royal Geographical Society (2015-present)
  • Member, Cambridge Philosophical Society (2011-present)