Audrey Mayer's Profile


I have a joint appointment with the Department of Social Sciences and the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science. My research fits generally within the framework of multidisciplinary sustainability science. I develop and test sustainability indices for their utility to manage dynamic human-environmental systems from local to global scales. I also look at the impact of economic trade on the sustainability of these systems, the so-called "leakage" effect, and its impact on local ecosystems, the "boomerang" effect. Finally, I am interested in using economic incentive policies and landscape-scale management tools to safeguard forest ecosystem services, commonly referred to as "payment for ecosystem services" (PES).

My training and experience is multidisciplinary, split between ecology and policy, with plenty of natural resource economics thrown into the mix. My work is split between computer simulations and GIS, to data collection in a variety of habitats. I have conducted field work in the coastal sage scrub in southern California, the Florida Everglades, urbanized watersheds in Cincinnati, protected natural areas throughout the Midwest, and the boreal forest in Finland and Russia.

Audrey's research projects

Investigating the Sustainability of the Ship-Recycling Industry in Bangladesh

This project will improve the sustainability of the ship-recycling industry in Bangladesh, where millions of tons of metal are recovered from hundreds of beached container ships, oil tankers, and cruise liners annually. We will investigate how recycled metal flows through the metal smith community in Dhaka, and identify improvements that reduce environmental impacts and maintain social networks.

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