Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Major Professor

Paul R. Armsworth

Committee Members

Louis J. Gross, Jacob Lariviere, Alison G. Boyer


Establishing protection for conservation is a complicated process that involves many critical decisions, from spatial prioritization to garnering the necessary financial support to complete a project. In my research, I address questions that inform various components of this process. First, I ask questions about protected area design using a case study of a large reef system in Australia. I find that simple design rules can facilitate the pursuit of conservation and extractive management goals. Second, I address questions about costs incurred by the financing of new protection. I establish a unique dataset of projects financed by a conservation non-profit through an internal revolving loan. Using this loan data, I examine correlates of loan default which impacts both the long-term success of the defaulted conservation land deal, and the ability of that organization to pursue future land acquisition deals. Last, I partner with a large conservation non-profit to identify predictors of philanthropic giving to the organization. By investigating a finely resolved national dataset, I reveal several correlates of conservation giving, and identify regions where new fundraising techniques could greatly augment available resources for conservation action.

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