New Directions in Environmental Governance is a global team of  internationally recognized researchers who expertise lies in the governance of forestry and fisheries in mainland Southeast Asia.


Peter Vandergeest
Department of Geography, York University

Principal Investigator


Peter Vandergeest is Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at York University and has conducted research across Southeast Asia on agrarian change, forestry, aquaculture, and agriculture. As the project's Principal Investigator, he is coordinating the teams’ research strategy, dissemination, publications as well as outreach activities. He will also supervise MA and PhD students doing research on both forestry/plantations and fisheries/aquaculture. His specific research will take up sustainability and social justice in the Thai aquaculture and small-scale fisheries sectors, focusing on changing government, private actors and community group roles in addressing controversies in these sectors. He would like this five-year project to create greater awareness in Canada and elsewhere on market-oriented and non-state government actions in Southeast Asia.

Web site   -   Publications   -   Blog


Melissa Marschke
School of International Development and Global Studies, University of Ottawa

mmarschkMelissa Marschke is Associate Professor in the School of International Development and Global Studies at the University of Ottawa.  Her training is in human-environment relations, with a particular emphasis on livelihoods, common pool resources and environmental governance.  More recently, she's begun exploring transition theory (agrarian transition; resilience, adaptability and transformation).  Her research focuses on livelihoods, resource governance and environmental change in coastal villages throughout Southeast Asia.  She is currently investigating if and how small producers (fishers and fish farmers) transition in and out of the fisheries sector, paying specific attention to such transitions in Cambodia and Vietnam, and the resource governance implications of such transitions. She is the author of Life, Fish and Mangroves: Resource Governance in Coastal Cambodia (University of Ottawa Press, 2012), and has published in various journals including Environmental Science & Policy, Ecology & SocietyInternational Journal of the Commons and Marine Policy.

Web site   -   Publications   -   Blog


Robin Roth
Department of Geography, York University


roth-fpRobin Roth is  Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at York University.  Her research focuses on the social aspects of forestry conservation in both Canada and Southeast Asia. For this project, she will continue her research and investigate market-orientated forest conservation and privatized governance regimes. She also intends to explore eco-tourism, shade coffee production, and payment for ecosystem services primarily in Thailand.

Web site   -   Publications


Keith Barney
Resources, Environment and Development Group, Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University

keith_barneyKeith Barney is Lecturer in the Resources, Environment and Development Group at the Crawford School of Public Policy at Australian National University. He has extensively researched and published articles concerning sustainable forestry, land management, resource tenure, forest markets, and sustainable trading issues in Southeast Asia. He has also conducted numerous cooperative policy-based research studies with organizations such as Forest Trends, Rights and Resources Initiative, and the Centre for International Forestry Research. He will contribute the forestry and plantation components of the project.

 Web site   -   Publications


Simon Bush
Environmental Policy Group, Wageningen University

pictureSimonSimon Bush is Associate Professor in the Environmental Policy Group at Wageningen University.  His research focuses on the political ecology of fishery management, and on aquaculture certification in coastal communities in Southeast Asia.  He will contribute to the fisheries and aquaculture components of the NDEG project.


Web site   -   Publications


Derek Hall
Department of Political Science, Wilfrid Laurier University

dHall_2498 - smallDerek Hall is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at Wilfried Laurier University.  His past research has concerned aquaculture and plantations in Southeast Asia, as well as broader questions around land and agrarian transitions.   For the project, Professor Hall will contribute his expertise on the political and economic affairs of aquaculture certification in the region, and assist with the project's comparative analyses components.

Web site   -   Publications


Chusak Wittayapak 
Faculty of Social Sciences, Chiang Mai University 

ChusakChusak Wittayapak teaches as a university lecturer at Thailand’s Chiang Mai University within the faculty of Social Science. Professor Wittayapak’s scholarly research has focused on forestry conservation, community forestry, agrarian transformation, tourism and development and more recently, Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) schemes in Thailand. His contribution to this research will include work on Payments for Ecosystems Services programs, as well as on forestry policy more broadly.



Xing Lyu 
Greater Mekong Sub-region Study Centre, Yunnan University 

20091216170447753Xing Lyu is Associate Professor and Director of the Great Mekong Sub-region Study Centre at Yunnan University.  His past research focused on developing community-based conservation practices and conceptualizing participatory social and community forestry methods in China. His current research focuses on the linkages between policy and natural resource management in China; specifically concerning water governance issues in the Mekong River region. He will contribute to the forestry/plantation component of the project, with specific attention to Yunnan, and to the activities of China-based actors in Southeast Asia.

Web site   -   Publications


Laura Armenio
Student Knowledge Mobilizer 

261d800Laura Armenio is attending York University and is working towards completing her Honours BA in International Development Studies and Anthropology. In her position as Knowledge Mobilizer, she is responsible for the project's outreach initiatives and aims create greater awareness in Canada and internationally about the project and related happenings in Southeast Asia. At York University, she is Co-President of Amnesty International for the 2014/15 school year, a member of the Dean’s Circle of Student Scholars and an elected member of York’s Tenure and Promotions Committee Council. Outside of York, she interns as a researcher for the Canadian Institute of Diversity and Inclusion and volunteers for FCJ: Refugee Centre and Covenant House Toronto. She is thrilled to be able to be working with the project and hopes to in the future make an important contribution within the realm of major social justice issues on a world stage.

Laura's LinkedIn Profile


Israa el-Alla
Research Assistant 

no-person1Israa el-Alla is a research assistant with the NDEG project and a recent graduate of the Geography programme at York University.



Edward Marchant
Research Assistant 

Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 6.21.34 PM

Edward is a second-year Master’s student in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University. His programme centers on developing toolsets to identify socioeconomic drivers of marine ecosystem degradation, and applied solutions to address the root causes of these problematic situations. His Major Research Project is looking at rearing insects on organic waste streams as an alternative protein source and partial replacement for fishmeal in aquafeed. He conducts background research for the project in both the academic and grey literature on environmental governance schemes being used or considered in Southeast Asia.


Amy Schacherl
Research Assistant 

no-person1Amy Schacherl is studying Cognitive Science at York University, and as a Research Assistant, she is focusing on forestry for the project. She has been looking into the influence of large retailers and aims to determine their role in the harvesting of timber and other forestry products. She is on the Dean's Circle of Student scholars and is active in Environmental Studies courses and their application to this project. She is interested in the environment and the politics of forestry in Southeast Asia.