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Geospatial Forum with Dr. Sarah Gergel
April 22 | 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Malnutrition linked to poor quality diets affects at least 2 billion people globally. Forests and trees are key sources of dietary diversity in some rural settings. Here, we develop and explore the conceptual links between diet diversity and forested landscapes in the rural tropics. We summarize the state of knowledge regarding diets obtained from forests, trees, and agroforests and hypothesize how edge habitats and landscape diversity can function in bolstering dietary diversity. Better evaluation of the role of land cover complexity will help avoid overly simplistic views of food security, and instead, uncover nutritional synergies with forest conservation and restoration.
Sarah is a Professor of Landscape Ecology and Conservation at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, Canada, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She is co-editor of the book Learning Landscape Ecology now in its 2nd edition. In 2020, she was awarded the 2020 Distinguished Landscape Practitioner Award by the North American Chapter of the International Association for Landscape Ecology (NA-IALE), an honor bestowed to individuals who have made outstanding contributions over a period of years to the application of the principles of landscape ecology to real-world problems. She recently finished a five-year post serving as the Associate Dean of Diversity and Inclusion for the Faculty of Forestry at UBC. Her research focuses on using remote sensing and spatial analysis to better characterize ecosystem services as well as how to better integrate participatory mapping and LEK (local ecological knowledge) into landscape analysis. Recent collaborations in the realm of international development (with various CGIAR institutions) examine how ecosystem services, nutrition, and livelihoods are impacted by the size and configuration of forest patches within agricultural mosaics.