Dr Hayley Clements

Postdoctoral Research Fellow


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Field of research

  • Social-ecological systems
  • Resilience
  • Conservation
  • Biodiversity stewardship and private land conservation
  • Protected areas


Hayley is a conservation scientist who is interested in applying social-ecological systems thinking to explore resilient and equitable conservation opportunities in a changing world. Her PhD at the University of Cape Town assessed the social-ecological drivers of private land conservation in South Africa, after which she undertook a postdoctoral fellowship at Monash University in Australia, aimed at identifying more meaningful measures of protected area effectiveness. She now holds a Claude Leon postdoctoral fellowship at the CST, working with Prof Oonsie Biggs.

Hayley’s research at the CST aims to advance approaches for applying principles of resilience to policy and management contexts, through the development of a set of indicators that can be used to measure the capacity of a social-ecological system to cope with change. This is being done by way of a highly relevant case study: the private land conservation industry. Ecotourism and hunting operations on privately conserved land represent a large and growing industry in many parts of the world, including southern Africa, conserving ecosystem services on which society depends. There is limited understanding regarding the resilience of private land conservation, as a livelihood and conservation strategy, to the winds of socioeconomic and ecological change. Hayley’s research integrates existing national datasets, landowner interviews, social-ecological theory and resilience principles to address this knowledge gap.