I spent 5 years as an undergraduate student at the Agronomy School, University of Antananarivo. I started with the common core syllabus on Agronomic Sciences for 3 years, then I specialized in Forestry Sciences and Natural Resources Management for 2 more years. One year before finishing my college degree, I began to get involved in conservation actions, research, and development. I was trained at the Park Management Office of Ranomafana to participate in ecological monitoring and environmental education of the rural community.
Later on, I started to work as the coordinator of the beekeeping project. I belonged to the team that initiated the Rural Beekeeping Project. I took over the management of the project, I coordinated the activities of the project, I edited the course pack, and I gave lectures on beekeeping techniques. I remained involved with the project until late 2004. I switched into more research-focused work when I lead a team of university students to conduct socio-economic surveys within villages in the peripheral zone of Ranomafana National Park. I started the master’s program at Yale University in the fall of 2003; I studied the natural regeneration patterns of the tropical rainforest and human disturbances in Ranomafana National Park, for my masters project.
My interest as a Ph.D. student is focused on land use and conservation issues in Madagascar. It involves talking to rural households about land use issues, going from one field to another to map individual and communal land, searching for the different parameters that may affect land use decision making and agricultural land management. I am very interested in looking at the effectiveness of these conservation policies and how they impact land use behavior. My research site is located around the Makira Protected Area, in the northeastern part of Madagascar.
In addition, I am conducting a fire-modeling project for Madagascar. The goal is to (1) identify the parameters that make landscapes vulnerable to fire, (2) identify fire frequency, (3) determine how climate change affects fire frequency and (4) use fire as one of the threat data to be incorporated into the management plan for conservation sites in Madagascar.