People and Contacts

Tor A. Benjaminsen (t.a.benjaminsen(at)

Bildet viser Tor A. Benjaminsen , Noragric , NMBU

Tor  is the Project Leader of the Greenmentality project. He is a Professor of Development Studies at the Department of International Environment and Development Studies (Noragric), Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU). As a human geographer, Tor’s research focuses on political ecology, land tenure, land-use conflicts, pastoralism, and environmental conservation and justice. He is also Associate Editor of Political Geography and a Lead Author of the next IPCC report.

Christine Noe (tinanoe(at)


Christine is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Geography, University of Dar es Salaam. She is a human geographer and an expert on conservation and development politics. Her specific research foci in recent years have included Transfrontier Conservation Areas, land tenure, livelihood changes and security dynamics in rural Tanzania. Some of her publications can be found on her own blog page.

Dan Brockington (d.brockington(at)

Dan directs the Sheffield Institute of International Development at the Unimtowisa-hs-iiversity of Sheffield. His research covers the social impacts of conservation, capitalism and conservation, media and celebrity in development and long-term livelihood change in East Africa. He has worked mainly in Tanzania and also South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and India. Dan is happiest conducting long term field research in remote areas but also learns from plush fundraising events. He has books include Celebrity Advocacy and International Development, Celebrity and the Environment, Fortress Conservation and Nature Unbound (with Rosaleen Duffy and Jim Igoe).

Lyla Mehta (l.mehta(at)

Lyla is a Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, UK, and amehta Visiting Professor at Noragric, Norwegian University of Life Sciences. A sociologist working in development studies, she uses the case of water and sanitation to focus on rights and access to resources, resource grabbing, the politics of scarcity, gender , power and policy processes. Her work also concerns gender, displacement and resistance and climate change and uncertainty from ‘below’.

Nitin Rai (nitinrai(at)

Nitin is a Fellow at the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), India. He uses a political ecology approach to understand the implications ofnitin state conservation policy and practice for people and landscapes. Nitin conducts most of his fieldwork in the Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Tiger Reserve where he has explored issues ranging from historical patterns of forest use, cultural relationship to landscape, and rights-based conservation. More recently he has been analyzing market-based interventions such as eco-tourism and corporate investments in biodiversity conservation. Nitin is an editor of the journal Conservation and Society.

Hanne Svarstad (hannes(at)

Hanne is a political ecologist, sociologist and professor in Development Studies at Oslohanne Metropolitan University. Her research is about external interventions in uses of natural resources and land in Eastern Africa, climate change mitigation such as REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation), development aid, power, gender, environmental justice, education and alternative sustainabilities. She applies critical realist approaches and conducts analyses of discourses and narratives.

Paul Robbins (director(at)

Paul is the director of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University ofrobbins-2010 Wisconsin-Madison. His research addresses questions spanning conservation conflicts, urban ecology, and environment and health interactions. His work has included research on the politics of conservation in Rajasthan, India, as well as research examining biodiversity (frogs, birds and mammals) in commercial plantations in Karnataka. Paul has also led studies of consumer chemical risks behaviours, mosquito management and elk management. He holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of Wisconsin, and master’s degree and doctorate in geography, both from Clark University.

Maria G. Njau (mariagn(at)

Maria is a PhD candidate at the Department of International Studies and Interpreting atField picture Maria Oslo Metropolitan University. Her project focuses on the political ecology of education in northern Tanzania, where she aims to examine how environmental discourses taught in schools and in local communities influence ongoing environmental initiatives and conflicts. Her key areas of interest are conservation, deforestation, extractives, natural resources, education and environmental knowledge.

Revati Pandya (revati.pandya(at)

Revati is a Research Associate at Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and theRevati Environment (ATREE), India and a PhD candidate at Wageningen University and Research, Netherlands. Her current research lies at the intersection of tiger reserve management, tourism and local community engagement. Prior to 2017, Revati was involved with different Indian non-profit organisations working on issues of natural resource management and community rights to resources. She holds an MA in Sustainable Natural Resource Management from University for Peace, Costa Rica.

Frances Cleaver (f.cleaver(at)

Frances is Professor of Human Geography at the University of Sheffielfrancesd. Working from an inter-disciplinary base in international development studies she is interested in how applied social science research can inform interventions for progressive social change. Her research connects three interrelated themes: Institutions, water governance and livelihoods. In the ‘Greenmentality’ project – Frances and colleagues are exploring the ways in which access to land and water in Tanzania and Kenya are reshaped through initiatives promoted as part of the ‘green economy’.

Connor J. Cavanagh (connor.cavanagh(at)

Connor  is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Internatiocavanagh-nmbu-portraitnal Environment and Development Studies (Noragric) at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU). His research and publications explore the political ecology of conservation and development interventions, with a focus on resource tenure conflicts and the institutional evolution of laws, regulations, and policies for governing both ecosystems and rural populations. Recent articles have appeared in Environment and Planning D, Antipode, the Journal of Peasant Studies, and Geoforum.

Suhas Bhasme (suhas.bhasme(at)

Suhas is a post-doc fellow at Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the EnvironmentSuhas (ATREE), India. He received his PhD from the University of Sussex. Suhas primary focus areas include politics of natural resource management, community struggles and the role of emerging community-based natural resource management groups in rural parts of Western India. In the Greenmentality project he investigates REDD+ and its impacts in Western Ghats in India. His most recent work includes understanding the political ecology of agricultural development interventions and the role of agrarian organisations on farmers in rural parts of South India, particularly Telangana and Karnataka.

Mikael Bergius (mikael.bergius(at)

Mikael is affiliated with the Department of International Environment and Develomikael-5pment Studies (Noragric) at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) as a PhD Research Fellow in Food and Agricultural Development with the working topic: ‘Turning Towards a Corporate Food Regime in Tanzania? A Multilevel Study of Drivers, Impacts and Responses’. Mikael is also a Fellow at the US-based think tank, The Oakland Institute, where he has conducted research, writing and outreach for the Institute and published reports examining the impact of large-scale land deals in Tanzania.

Jill Tove Buseth (jill.buseth(at)

Jill is a Phd fellow at the Department of International Environment and DevelopmentBildet viser Jill Tove Buseth , Noragric , NMBU Studies (Noragric) at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU). Her research topic is: ‘The global discourses and local realities of the green economy. Implications of transferring the green shift from policy to practice, with a focus on the SAGCOT initiative in Tanzania’. Her research interests cover the green economy, green growth, global environmental discourses, governmentality and political ecology. She is currently affiliated 50% with both Noragric and section for development studies at Oslo Metropolitan University (OsloMet), and is planning to finish her PhD late 2018.

Shai Divon (shai.divon(at)

Shai is  the Chair of the Department of International Environment and Development Studies at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. He currently works on power andShai politics in Africa and teaches several courses in International Relations, International Environmental Studies and Development Studies. Shai is a specialist on development politics, and studies a range of issues in the nexus security/environment/development. His work and research experience spans over four continents, including work in several African and Asian countries, the Middle East and North America. He is the author of several peer-reviewed articles, and the co-author of ‘United States Assistance Policy in Africa: Exceptional Power’ (With Bill Derman).

Brock Bersaglio (b.bersaglio(at)

Brock is a Research Associate in the Department of Geography at the University of Sheffield and an Affiliated Researcher with the East African Institute at Aga Khan University in Nairobi. BrockHis work contributes to debates in rural geography, critical development studies, and political ecology/economy, focusing mainly on eastern and southern Africa. Brock’s research considers political-economic, socio-cultural, and ecological factors that drive land and resource struggles in the context of environmental conservation and natural resource-based development. Most recently, he has written about topics such as: green grabbing and the political ecology of belonging, (re)territorialization for extractive-led development, and rural livelihoods and subjectivity more broadly. Brock completed his PhD at the University of Toronto in March 2017. His dissertation is entitled ‘Green Grabbing and the Contested Nature of Belonging in Laikipia, Kenya: A genealogy’.

Sarah Benabou (sarah.benabou(at)

Sarah is an anthropologist and research fellow at the French National Research Institute forSarah
Sustainable Development (IRD), Paris. Her broad scholarly interest is in the relationships between societies and their environments, and how these are shaped by culture and political economy. More specifically, her work engages with the ‘environmental turn’ taken by neoliberalism since the early 1980s and is grounded in the idea of the irreducibility of environmental problems to technical solutions. She has written on livelihood transitions in the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve in India, on the current momentum around “ecological compensation” as an instrument for biodiversity conservation, as well as on the involvement of the private sector in various COPs (Rio 2012, Paris 2015). For the Greenmentality project, she investigates a community-based Redd+ project in Meghalaya, North-East India.

M. Vikas (mayankvk(at)

M. Vikas is affiliated with the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as a PhD student in the Environment and Resources program. He is working with Paul F. Robbins to assess how landscape level changes induced by government-sponsored plantations in mountainous regions of northern India are impacting rural livelihoods.

Eva Davidsdottir (eva.dogg.davidsdottir(at)

Eva is a PhD fellow at Norwegian University of Life Sciences, currently pursuing apicture eva degree in Environment and development studies at Noragric. Her academic background mainly stems from social anthropology and development studies, and her current work applies a political ecology approach. Her research interests include the politics of forest governance, indigenous rights, environmental policy, conflicts and resistance related to land-use changes and green grabbing. More specifically, her work examines how state-led afforestation projects interplay with Adivasi rights in rural India, and explores the linkages between deforestation and land restoration.

Mathew Bukhi Mabele (mathewbukhi.mabele(at)

Mathew is a PhD Candidate in Human Geography at the Department of Geography, University of Zurich, Switzerland. His current research focuses on politics ofDSC_1767 representations (framings) of environmental concepts such as Anthropocene, deforestation, degradation, green transformations, poaching, REDD+, and sustainability at policy level, and resulting consequences for resource governance, everyday conservation practices and social justice in the Miombo woodlands and related ecosystems in rural Tanzania. He has mainly conducted ethnographic research in rural areas of Kilosa, Lindi, Kilwa, Kongwa, Mbarali, Mbozi, Babati, Hai, Kigoma, Ngorongoro and Serengeti. He is currently writing his PhD dissertation on the political ecology of deforestation discourses and conservation justice under neoliberal forest policy in Tanzania.