Lauren Persha

Assistant Professor

Department of Geography, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Saunders Hall, Campus Box #3220, Chapel Hill, NC 27599.


~ My research interests are situated in the study of coupled human and natural systems.  My work focuses on the intersection of natural resource conservation, human welfare and environmental governance in human-dominated forested landscapes in the low-income tropics.  I am interested in developing a better understanding of how these outcomes are related to each other, and how they are shaped over time and across a range of contexts by key ecological, institutional, socio-economic and policy drivers.  I use empirical data from forests and villages across several countries in this work, and have long-standing field research and professional experience in East Africa.

I am currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at UNC, and have an adjunct appointment with the Curriculum for the Environment and Ecology.  Iím also affiliated with the International Forestry Resources and Institutions (IFRI) research program at the University of Michigan. 






~ Selected Publications

Persha, L., A. Agrawal and A. Chhatre. 2011.  Social and Ecological Synergy: Local Rulemaking, Forest Livelihoods and Biodiversity Conservation. Science 331:1606-1608.   Abstract    Reprint    Full Text


Persha, L., H. Fischer, A. Chhatre, A. Agrawal, and C. Benson. 2010.  Biodiversity conservation and livelihoods in human-dominated landscapes: Forest commons in South Asia. Biological Conservation 143(12): 2918-2925.


Hayes, T. and L. Persha. 2010.  Nesting local forestry initiatives: Revisiting community forest management in a REDD+ world. Forest Policy and Economics 12(8): 545-553.


Persha, L. and T. Blomley. 2009. Management decentralization and montane forest conditions in Tanzania. Conservation Biology 23(6): 1485-1496.


Ojha, H., L. Persha, and A. Chhatre. 2009.  Seeing the forest through the trees: Community forestry in Nepal. Pp47-52 in D.J. Spielman and R. Pandya-Lorch (Eds) Millions Fed: Proven Successes in Agricultural Development. International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, D.C.


Tucker, C., J.C. Randolph, T. Evans, K. P. Andersson, L. Persha and G. M. Green. 2008.  An approach to assess relative degradation in dissimilar forests: toward a comparative assessment of institutional outcomes. Ecology and Society 13(1): Article 4.


Rodgers, W.A., R. Nabanyumya, E. Mupada, and L. Persha. 2002.  Community conservation of closed forest biodiversity in East Africa: can it work? Unasylva 209: 41-47.


~ Curriculum Vitae