Michaela Guo Ying Lo

Research Student (PhD),
Conservation Biology
 Michaela Guo Ying Lo


Michaela's project broadly explores the relationship between socio-environmental change, human well-being, and sustainability in Indonesia. The thesis takes an inter- and transdisciplinary appoach to understand 1) the multidimensional impacts of nickel mining on forests and well-being in Sulawesi; and 2) the lived experience of small-scale mangrove fishers in adapting to a changing foodscape in West Borneo. The research aims to elucidate and interpret complex socio-ecological patterns to support action and policies that reconcile biodiversity conservation, sustainable food systems, and human well-being within the Indonesian context.

Through the PhD journey, Michaela has developed an interest in exploring alternative methodologies to generate evidence, with the aim of better accounting for diverse worldviews, values, and knowledge systems in sustainability research. Such exploration includes foregrounding the strengths of qualitative approaches in impact evaluation, and using visual participatory methods to support and enrich lived experience research.

Before starting the PhD, Michaela worked for the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) Headquarters in Bogor, Indonesia, where she primarily focused on the forest-fisheries nexus for food security and nutrition. Previously, Michaela studied a double Masters degree in Sustainable Tropical Forestry (SUTROFOR) at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and AgroParisTech Montpellier, France.

Research interests

Michaela's research interests include: tropical forestry, social science, food systems, foodscapes, impact evaluation, participatory visual methods, and interdisciplinarity.


  • British Ecological Society (BES) member
  • BES Equity and Diversity working group
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