Core Faculty

Michael Maniates (Head of Studies)

Why Environmental Studies?
Ours is an environmentally stressed world where too many of us buy stuff we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like (to quote UK scholar Tim Jackson and American humorist Will Rogers, among others). I am drawn to "environmental studies" for the opportunities it offers to ask tough questions about the global rise of consumerism, how much stuff is enough, and the topography of paths to a high-prosperity, low-consumption future – a future where status, security and happiness flow not from the accumulation of goods, but instead from the vibrancy of loving families, just communities, and the integrity of environmental systems.
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Teaching Subjects

  • Systems of sustainable consumption and production
  • Social innovations for a post-growth world
  • Teaching for turbulence:  Higher education for a changing world

Anthony Medrano

Why Environmental Studies?
I engage with "environmental studies" because it values an historical way of thinking about food webs, human activities, multi-species encounters, and biodiversity changes in Singapore and Southeast Asia. For me, it also centers how these histories, and their after-currents, continue to shape the ecological and economic life of today's Coral Triangle.
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Teaching Subjects

  • Marine Environmental History
  • Blue Humanities
  • Ocean and Society in Southeast Asia
  • Histories of Natural History
  • Asia’s Edible Natures
  • Singapore Biodiversity
  • Plant Humanities

Marvin Montefrio

Why Environmental Studies?
I grew up in the Philippines, in a peri-urban environment on the cusp of rapid urbanization. Over two decades, I've witnessed dramatic changes in my hometown. Forests were cut down to give way to highways, mountains have been consumed by quarries, and rice fields have morphed into gated subdivisions and shopping malls. My experience is perhaps a typical story of the environmental changes in the hinterlands of Southeast Asia. I chose to build a career in environmental studies to make sense of these changes, and to find ways to ease the impact of human development on our remaining hinterlands and ecological frontiers. I am especially drawn to environmental studies because the field constantly reminds me to appreciate the complexities of environmental change, and to acknowledge that solutions are often not as straightforward as we might think.
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Teaching Subjects

  • Critical agrarian and food studies
  • Politics of the green economy and sustainable development
  • Political ecology
  • Ecological economics

Stephen Pointing

Why Environmental Studies?
Our interaction with natural and managed ecosystems can only be understood through a combined science, social science and humanites perspective. This is what makes environmental studies distinct and more societally relevant than approaches based solely in science. I am fascinated by the little things in science – by which I mean microbes such as bacteria and how they affect our understanding, valuation and perception of ourselves and the world around us.
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Teaching Subjects

  • Microbiomes
  • Planetary Health
  • Principles of Environmental Science

Sudatta Ray (beginning January 2022)

Why Environmental Studies?
I am drawn to environmental studies because it provides one of the broadest frameworks for understanding global challenges at different scales, drawing on varied ways of knowing. In my research, I traverse these scales and approaches in search of comprehensive solutions to knotty challenges of food security, unsustainable use of groundwater, and emissions from energy use. There is rarely ever one "right" approach or answer to these challenges. Instead, the story is usually about trade-offs, often among competing groups across time and space. The field of environmental studies understands and embraces this complexity at a pronounced moment of planetary peril, which makes it an especially convivial place for me.
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Teaching Subjects

  • Powering the Planet
  • Energy and Development

Matthew Schneider-Mayerson

Why Environmental Studies?
Without the existence and stability of the vast chemical, biological and geological processes and the entanglements of trillions of living things that we refer to as “the environment,” there is no human laughter, no joy, no happiness; no sports, no Singapore, no Yale-NUS College. At this point in time, I can’t imagine a more urgent, important and rewarding subject to explore than how human thought, culture, and behaviour shapes (and is shaped by) the world around us—and how we can individually and collectively chart a better path forward.
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Teaching Subjects

  • Environmental humanities
  • Environmental literature
  • Environmental movements
  • Ecotopian visions
  • Environmentalism in Singapore

Eunice Tan (on research leave August – December 2021)

Why Environmental Studies?
Every one of us can make an impact. By having diverse disciplines and interests coming together in environmental studies, my hope is that this synergy will ignite changes for the future of our planet. I would like my research in animal behaviour and ecology to inspire students and the broader public to be more interested and invested in the natural world around us.
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Teaching Subjects

  • Scientific Inquiry 2
  • Field Research
  • Singapore Biodiversity: Past Present and Future

Michiel van Breugel

Why Environmental Studies?
The unsustainable use of natural resources has led to the degradation and outright loss of many critical ecosystems. The resulting impact on biodiversity, water availability and regulation, carbon storage, erosion control, and other so-called ecosystem services threatens the livelihood of billions of people around the world -- especially the global poor. One of many important responses to this massive challenge is ecosystem rehabilitation and restoration (ERR). ERR sits naturally within environmental studies: it combines my interests in ecology with real-word environmental problems that straddle disciplines. Doing research and teaching in this field offers exciting research and teaching opportunities to apply ecological-science insights to pressing challenges in the region, in service of improved human well-being.
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Teaching Subjects

  • Ecology and functions of forests and trees in human-modified landscapes
  • Ecology and dynamics of plant communities
  • Forest recovery and restoration ecology
  • Field research and data science

Benjamin Wainwright

Why Environmental Studies?
Coming soon!
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Teaching Subjects

Coming soon!