Society of Women Geographers has awarded Swetha Peteru, one of my doctoral candidates and Applied Biodiversity Science Associates, the prestigious Pruitt Fellowship for her dissertation research. Swetha’s doctoral research examines how tropical agroforestry regimes create divergent biotic landscapes, looking at both plant species and genetic diversity. Her cutting-edge work ties human activity to genetic diversity by her novel integration of mixed methods in social science, biogeography, and landscape genetics. Her study requires interviews, mapping as well as the next generation sequencing (NGS) technology to analyze the relationship between agroforestry practices and biodiversity outcomes. Her work tests the long-claimed but difficulty to verify benefits of agroforestry as a viable conservation with development model.
Swetha investigates how agroforesty reshapes landscapes at the genetic level in the Chanchamayo province of Junin, Peru. She will be spending the fall semester in the field collecting the last data required so that she can begin writing the dissertation.