Portrait of Dr Matthew Struebig

Dr Matthew Struebig

Reader in Conservation Science
Leader of the Leverhulme Trust Tropical Defaunation Hub


Dr Matthew Struebig is a conservation scientist interested in the impacts of environmental change on tropical biodiversity and the implications this has for landscape management and conservation. Initially trained as an animal ecologist, much of his work is based in the modified habitats of Southeast Asia and is applied to the conservation of tropical wildlife. More recently he has begun to explore important trade-offs in conservation, working on interdisciplinary projects with colleagues in the social and earth sciences. 

Matt joined DICE in 2010, initially as a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellow. He now leads the Tropical Defaunation Hub, launched in 2020 with a ~£1 million investment from the Leverhulme Trust to study the socio-ecological drivers of wildlife population change in Indonesia. The interdisciplinary team comprises specialists in biodiversity, spatial statistics, remote sensing and poverty assessment. 

Dr Matthew Struebig is a member of the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology

Research interests

The future of tropical biodiversity will depend, to a large extent, on how we manage disturbed habitats. This raises important questions about how we improve prospects for wildlife, while also supporting people living in these areas to address the broader needs of society. 

Dr Struebig's research is therefore applied to the valuation, design and management of modified landscapes in the tropics, particularly Indonesia and Malaysia where he has worked for >20 years. His interests have expanded from mammal ecology to embrace other complicated problems, particularly concerning efforts to reduce human-wildlife conflict or alleviate poverty in tropical countries while fulfilling conservation objectives. 

More information about the Leverhulme Tropical Defaunation Hub, led by Matt, can be found on the project website.

Other work includes:


Dr Struebig usually contributes to the following teaching:


  • WCON5220: Research Project (in Conservation)
  • WCON5010: Climate Change and Conservation 
  • WCON5350: Tropical Ecology and Conservation
  • WCON3111: Principles of Biogeography and Ecology
  • WCON5390: Applied Ecology and Conservation  


Research staff

  • Nick Deere (PDRA): Defaunation modelling in Indonesia (Leverhulme)
  • Courtney Morgans (PDRA): Impacts of conservation interventions on poverty in Indonesia (NERC)
  • Maria Voigt (PDRA): Deforestation modelling and impacts of land-use planning in Indonesia (Leverhulme)
  • David Seaman (PDRA): Connectivity conservation in Indonesia (Leverhulme) 

PhD students

  • Ardiantiono: the patterns and processes of defaunation in Java and Sumatra, Indonesia (Leverhulme/GCDC, University of Kent)
  • Jessica Haysom: Borneo's arboreal mammals: diversity and vulnerability to habitat change (NERC EnvEast; SEARRP)
  • Michaela Lo: Forecasting the impact of land use change on human well-being in central Indonesia (GCDC, University of Kent - co-supervisor with Professor Zoe Davies)
  • Irene (Areth) Pinondang: The patterns and processes of defaunation in Java and Sumatra, Indonesia (Leverhulme/GCDC, University of Kent)  
  • Katie Spencer: Interactions between environmental change and exploitation on Borneo's mammalian megafauna (NERC ARIES DTP; Borneo Nature Foundation)

Research group alumni


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