Wood, Sylvia

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My research interests arise from the recognition that the livelihoods of millions of people are intimately dependent on human-managed landscapes and the ecosystem services they provide. Human land-use can result in the creation of highly persistent changes to the structure and ecological function of affected landscapes which can last for decades to millennia.  Although many ecologists are now re-examining modern landscapes in the context of environmental history, few consider how modern land-use practices may be creating new legacies and their implications for type and quality of resources available in the future. 

This understanding of human-environment relationships is in agricultural landscapes is particularly relevant as the world begins designing the next phase of Sustainable Development Goals which will guide the global development agenda for the coming decades. People often assume that there is always a strong trade-off between agriculture and biodiversity conservation agendas. My work focuses on bringing forth ecological understandings of the mutually beneficial relationships that can be had by integrating conservation and agricultural management practices to support healthy, vibrant agroecosystems and landscapes.