Matt is a PhD researcher at the University of Stirling, UK where his research focuses on how landscape dynamics, such as land-use change and trends in wildlife density, can be accounted for in spatial conservation planning and landscape-level decision-making. Matt’s doctoral research is focused in Cambodia, and is partnered with the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Cambodia Program. The research aims to harness the power of social-ecological systems modeling in informing conservation management decisions at different scales across the country.
Matt graduated from the University of Leeds (UK) in 2007 with a BSc in Environmental Science, and completed a MSc in Conservation Science from Imperial College London in 2012. His career has taken him to Kenya, Cambodia, and Scotland, working within the conservation NGO sector. In Kenya Matt managed a coastal forest conservation program for an international organisation, where the main focus was primate monitoring. In Cambodia Matt worked for the Wildlife Conservation Society as a Techincal Advisor focusing initially on biodiversity monitoring, after which his focus shifted to supporting government partners in protected area management. After returning from Cambodia and before starting his PhD in 2017, Matt worked as the Project Officer in NE Scotland for the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels project.
Matt is a keen surfer (even in northeast Scotland!), hiker, and general lover of adventures in campervans. Originally from Devon in southwest England, he now lives with his wife in Montrose, Scotland.
Robin Hayward is a tropical plant ecologist and PhD researcher based at the University Of Stirling in Scotland. They study the dynamics of seedling community recovery in selectively logged Malaysian rain forests, working with the South East Asian Rainforest Research Partnership to collect data in the field. As part of their research, Robin has established a set of permanent seedling plots around the Danum Valley Conservation Area in Borneo, providing a long term baseline for the dynamic processes of trees in their youngest age class, which will continue to provide data for years to come.
Robin graduated from the University of York in 2016 with a Masters degree in Environmental Science and a keen interest in tropical ecology. Since discovering this passion, Robin has worked at sites in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Dominica to uncover the ways in which plants are able to shape their environments and support complex and diverse ecosystems. Robin is an enthusiast of professional tree climbing and exploration of the canopy ecosystem, both at home in Scotland and in the dizzying heights of tropical forests. This led to their first publication on the relationship between epiphytes and host trees in Indonesia, and to a life of hanging out in the branches of some of the biggest organisms alive today.
As well as conducting academic research, Robin is heavily involved with science communication activities both online and in person. Having previously worked for a scientific expedition company, catering primarily for 16-18 year olds, Robin has enjoyed guiding young scientists through their first experiences of field work and passing on some ecological expertise to the general public. They now look for opportunities wherever they can to put a little more environmental enthusiasm out in to the world.