After completing a BA in Geography at the University of Oxford (2004–2007), I joined the School of Biological Sciences, UEA, to study an MSc in Applied Ecology and Conservation (2007–2008) and began researching White-shouldered Ibis conservation ecology. This developed into a PhD study (2008–2012) in the School of Environmental Sciences, focusing on conservation in developing-world farming systems and using the ibis as a case study species. Alongside my PhD research I have been a project consultant to BirdLife International Cambodia Programme and PRCF, furthering ibis conservation in Cambodia.
Room No: ENV 01.06
Tel No: +44 (0)1603 591341
Key Research Interests
I study the role of agriculture in developing-world conservation, identifying landscapes where farming practices support biodiversity following the loss of natural processes and habitats. Species reliant on traditional, low-impact farming practices face an uncertain future in the context of agricultural change. I consider the conservation challenge to design mechanisms that maintain beneficial farming practices while supporting livelihood development and the choices of local people. Broadening our perspectives to realise the value of developing-world agricultural landscapes and accepting the interests of local communities will be important to conservation success.
Other research interests include the role of grazing in maintaining habitats for birds, the role of humans in grassland and savannah landscapes, livelihood change in open-access forests/forest commons, waterbird foraging ecology and the conservation of South-East Asian biodiversity and dry forest ecosystems. Much of my research has focused on Critically Endangered White-shouldered Ibis Pseudibis davisoni and Giant Ibis Thaumatibis gigantea in Cambodia.
My PhD presents the concept of valuable agricultural practises sustaining a distinct subset of developing-world wildlife, arguing for wider application of the European semi-natural habitats paradigm and discussing the challenges in conserving this biodiversity.
I develop this theme through the case study of White-shouldered Ibis, examining:
Publications & Presentations
- the role of livestock grazing and anthropogenic fires in maintaining habitat for ibis
- local livelihood activities, dependence on forest resources and evidence of change
- engagement of local communities in ibis nest protection schemes
- comparative foraging ecology of White-shouldered Ibis and Giant Ibis to inform habitat management
- Wright, H. L., Collar, N. J., Lake, I. R., Bou Vorsak and Dolman, P. M. (in press). Foraging ecology of sympatric White-shouldered Ibis Pseudibis davisoni and Giant Ibis Thaumatibis gigantea in northern Cambodia. Forktail.
- Sok, K., Claassen, A., Wright, H. L. and Ryan, G. E. (in press). Waterbird nest protection on the Mekong River: a preliminary evaluation, with notes on the recovery and release of white-shouldered ibis Pseudibis davisoni chicks. Cambodian Journal of Natural History.
- Wright, H. L., Lake, I. R. and Dolman, P. M. (2012). Low-impact agriculture requires urgent attention not greater caution: response to Phalan and colleagues. Conservation Letters 5: 3
- Wright, H. L., Lake, I. R. and Dolman, P. M. (2012). Agriculture—a key element for conservation in the developing world. Conservation Letters 5: 11-19
- Wright, H. L., Collar, N. J., Lake, I. R., Net N., Rours V., Sok Ko, Sum Phearun and Dolman, P. M. (2012). First census of white-shouldered ibis Pseudibis davisoni reveals roost-site mismatch with Cambodia’s protected areas. Oryx 46: 236-239
- Wright, H. L., Buckingham, D. L. and Dolman, P. M. (2010). Dry season habitat use by critically endangered white-shouldered ibis in northern Cambodia. Animal Conservation 13: 71-79
- Life beyond the forest: recognising the value of agriculture in developing-world conservation. Talk at the Student Conference on Conservation Science. Cambridge University, March 2012
- Conservation ecology of White-shouldered Ibis in Cambodia. Presentation at the Workshop on White-shouldered Ibis Conservation in Cambodia. Phnom Penh, Cambodia, January 2012
- Conserving White-shouldered Ibis in Cambodia. Presentation to Cambodian Minister of Environment, Mok Mareth, and Ministry delegates. Cambridge University, November 2011
Research Group Members
Dr. Paul Dolman, ENV
Dr. Iain Lake, ENV
Prof. Nigel Collar, BirdLife International, Cambridge
BirdLife International in Indochina Cambodia Programme
Wildlife Conservation Society Cambodia Program
WWF Greater Mekong Programme
Supported by: RSPB, People Resources and Conservation Foundation, Forestry Administration and Ministry of Environment of Cambodia.
Funded by: NERC-ESRC, Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, Oriental Bird Club, Mohammed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund, Rufford Small Grants for Conservation, British Ornithologists’ Union, the Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity and BirdLife International.