I am a geographer in the nature-society tradition, whose research has examined the relationship between park management approach and conservation effect, particularly the extent to which participatory, ‘bottom-up’ co-management can not only protect biodiversity, but also local people’s livelihoods. Much of my early research employed a political ecology framework and involved field work with English- and Swahili-speaking fishing communities living near marine protected areas in Kenya and the USA. Since 2007, when I began leading an academic service learning program partnering with communities in Ghana, my research has included development studies more broadly. My current interests include the Rockefeller Foundation’s and the Wellcome Trust’s disease control and public health initiatives in early 20th century Africa.