SEARRP’s Assistant director for Knowledge Exchange, Dr Jen Lucey, was Highly Commended in the Early Career category of the Vice-Chancellor’s Innovation Awards at the University of Oxford, UK. The awards took place on 12th July 2018 and seek to recognise and celebrate exceptional research-led innovations and products at all University levels that are having societal or economic impact. The initiative attracted a total of 78 entries, from which four winners were chosen and a further 13 projects highly commended across four categories: team work, building capacity, inspiring leadership and early career success.
Dr Lucey worked with the oil palm industry to use her scientific research to develop no deforestation standards. Her synthesis of forest fragmentation was pivotal in developing forest patch analysis for the High Carbon Stock Approach, ensuring that valuable fragmented forest is conserved in agricultural landscapes. The approach is now operating in over millions of hectares throughout the tropics in the oil palm, pulp and paper, and rubber industries. This research was also used to develop High Conservation Value risk maps for a simplified environmental assessment for smallholders to enable greater participation in RSPO certification. Dr Lucey is currently using forest structure and biodiversity data from her research to develop and test a tool for industry to monitor their forest set-asides, enabling long term effectiveness of no-deforestation policy.