I come from an interdisciplinary background. I have always enjoyed linking ideas between the social and natural sciences. Having moved between academic, practice and policy circles in my career so far, I am constantly thinking about how research can be translated into practice and how practice can be translated into research.
My research is focused on understanding how different groups of people can work together in conservation. My work sits between academia and practice.
I help academics learn more about the messy reality on the ground and I help practitioners learn from academia how to practise conservation that includes different groups of people, especially those who have previously been marginalised.
Working together in conservation
My fieldwork has focused on a conservation intervention in Kenya, where I have helped build links between Fauna and Flora International, local organisation Ol Pejeta Conservancy, farmers, pastoralists, researchers, and practitioners.
My goal is to create realistic and implementable ideas on how conservation can be socially inclusive and ultimately decolonised. Working with different groups of people has broadened my mind and how I think about the world around me.
Conservation is often referred to as bringing conflict between those practising conservation and those living in the local area. What really motivates me is thinking about how we can move beyond conflict to working together in a peaceful and socially just way towards a sustainable change.
Public engagement is an important part of my work. I have published papers, have presented at conferences, have hosted talks in museums, and have shared ideas in local languages in Kenya. I believe that sharing your research with a wide audience is a way of giving back to society the privilege that you have been given to do this work in the first place.
When thinking about my career it is important to me to always be conscious of being white, British and female working in conservation. I want to continue to contribute towards a conservation movement where all voices are heard.
The Theory of Evolution has always interested me from a social point of view. In conservation, it seems to me that the way in which humans have evolved to interact with each other is a crucial factor in the evolutionary path of other species.
More about Fleur’s work:
Fleur Nash is a 2019 CCI Knowledge-Exchange student. The Knowledge-Exchange Studentship Programme aims to produce insights that advance both impactful conservation research and effective applied conservation, utilising Cambridge Conservation Initiative’s network of leading academics and conservation practitioners.