My PhD research focuses on the scope and value of the legal and illegal trade in wild collected orchids from Colombia. This work will focus on assessing the diversity and volume of trade at local markets and online, the propensity for the illegal laundering of wild collected plants through nurseries and the impacts that orchid extraction is having on wild populations. This will culminate in a network analysis of the Colombian trade and identifying strategies to maximise trade disruption.
The wildlife trade is an expanding global threat to diversity. However, few studies have examined the burgeoning horticultural, particularly in orchids. Colombia is a global hotspot for orchids, home to over 4200 species, including 1200 endemic species and as such is an ideal setting to determine the fundamental supply and demand dynamics of this cryptic trade.
In my spare time I am a keen foodie and enjoy cooking and baking with mixed success. When I get the chance, I love exploring either the peaks or further afield time permitting, often with a book as I am a keen reader and enjoy little more than reading in the sun. Being passionate regarding animal welfare I regularly volunteer at a local animal shelter and at home I have 2 rescue cats.