Degree completed in 2019.

A political ecology of smallholder oil palm production and forest conservation in the Amazon frontier: towards a balanced approach to development in Ucayali, Peru


Member: Ecosystems Governance Group

Academic Profile

Aoife's Dphil research has two overarching questions:

    1. How has the establishment of oil palm for smallholder economic development impacted forests, social welfare and local economics in the Peruvian Amazon department of Ucayali, Peru?

    2. What lessons can be drawn for sustainable development?

Aoife has employed an interdisciplinary and mixed methods approach (qualitative and quantitative). Natural science methods employed include ecological census techniques and remote sensing. Qualitative methods have included over 14 months of participant observation in the Peruvian Amazon, socio-economic surveys and some other social science techniques such as vignettes, participatory mapping and preference ranking. Her DPhil work is being undertaken in collaboration with the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Peru.

Funding and Awards

  • Principal Funding Body: Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)
  • 2016: Royal Geographic Society Frederick Soddy Graduate Award
  • 2016: Caird Award (Mansfield College, Oxford University)
  • 2016: Department of Anthropology Fieldwork Award
  • 2015: International Tropical Timber Organization Fellowship Award
  • 2015: Caird Award (Mansfield College, Oxford University)
  • 2012: Maude Royden Award for Female Scientists

Current Research

Current Teaching


Journal Articles

Book Chapters

  • Menton, M. and Bennett, A. (2018) PES: Payments for Ecosystem Services and Poverty Alleviation? In, Schreckenberg, K., Mace, G. and Poudyal, M. (eds.) Ecosystem services and poverty alleviation: trade-offs and governance. Routledge, Abingdon, UK. pp. 189-203.

Other coverage