Lena Strauß

Lena Strauß

Profile

I am interested in the interactions between humans and the environment, which can be described through the concept of social-ecological systems. As a PhD student in the Sustainability Research Institute, my current aim is to disentangle the underlying drivers and mechanisms of deforestation and forest degradation on islands. Due to their geographic constraints, islands provide exceptional model conditions for studying universal processes such as environmental change. Specifically, I focus on the small island state of São Tomé und Príncipe, located in the Gulf of Guinea, Central Africa, where a rapidly growing population is putting pressure on the natural resource base. Yet, the biodiversity in this country urgently needs to be protected, in particular on account of its high level of species uniqueness.

My research is funded by the Panorama NERC Doctoral Training Partnership. Prior to joining the University of Leeds, I gained work experience in the broad fields of international development cooperation, constructive journalism, and congress management. I hold a Master’s Degree from the Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany, in Integrated Natural Resource Management with an emphasis on biodiversity conservation.

Research interests

  • Biodiversity conservation
  • Ecosystem services
  • Sustainable livelihoods
  • Social-ecological systems
  • Natural resource management
  • Tropical forest ecology
  • Small-island developing states

Qualifications

  • MSc Integrated Natural Resource Management, Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany
  • BSc Landscape Planning and Landscape Architecture, Technical University of Berlin, Germany

Research groups and institutes

  • Sustainability Research Institute
  • Environment and Development
  • Ecology and Global Change