About Rebecca

My expertise lies in the politics and practice of environmental governance, from human geography and new institutionalist perspectives. Ocean conservation and governance is a cross-cutting area of focus, serving as the topical context for most of my research.

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  • Rebecca’s expertise lies in the politics and practice of environmental governance, from critical human geography and new institutionalist perspectives. She is particularly interested in the multi-level political and institutional dynamics that are shaping contemporary efforts to manage and protect the oceans. Her research currently focuses on these dynamics in the Pacific Islands, where interlinked governance processes from the global to the local are reconstituting the actors, objectives, and institutions of marine conservation. A major part of her research agenda includes “collaborative event ethnography,” a methodological innovation through which interdisciplinary research teams examine the production of global conservation governance through ethnographic research at policy-making events, such as the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity and the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. Rebecca is currently accepting graduate students. If you are interested in pursuing an M.S. or Ph.D. in her lab, please e-mail a letter of interest and CV.


Ph.D., Environment - Duke University
Durham, NC, 2013

B.S., Natural Resource Conservation - University of Florida
Gainesville, FL, 2006

Awards, Honors, Grants

  • The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Institutional analysis of small-scale fisheries in Palau and California ($250,000), 2014
  • National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant, Geography and Spatial Sciences Program ($11,990), 2011
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship ($122,500), 2008


  • Association of American Geographers
  • IUCN Theme on indigenous peoples, local communities, equity and protected areas

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