Our Faculty

Michael Maniates (Head of Studies)

Why Environmental Studies?

We inhabit an environmentally stressed world where we increasingly buy stuff we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t truly like. (Thank you, UK scholar Tim Jackson, for this formulation!) Clearly, ever increasing levels of consumption, especially among the richest 20% on the planet, is incompatible with resilient and vibrant environmental systems. One of the most important questions that the field of environmental studies tackles is “how much is enough?” And one of the most interesting set of research and policy questions in ES revolves around how we might chart a path to a high-prosperity, low-consumption future – a future where personal status and collective happiness are defined not by the accumulation of goods, but instead by the vibrancy of loving families and just communities and the integrity of environmental systems that support both.

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Special Interests

Systems of sustainable consumption and production

Social innovations for a post-growth world

Teaching for turbulence:  Higher education for a changing world

Angel Hsu

Why Environmental Studies?

The environment affects every aspect of our lives, from the food we eat to the air we breathe. It dictates our happiness, prosperity, and longevity. Despite the environment's importance, we have polluted much of the globe and altered the planet's physical systems, threatening future generations' ability to enjoy life as ours has. My goal in teaching and research is to measure the extent of human environmental impacts, and whether our policy interventions are working.

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Special Interests

Big data’s intersection with the environment

Multi-level climate governance and policy

Geospatial mapping and analysis

Brian G McAdoo

Why Environmental Studies?

As we enter a rather uncertain 21st century, development is proceeding at a rate that is at once lifting communities out of abject poverty, while at the same time making them ever more vulnerable to the unpredictable forces of the earth system. People seeking economic opportunity are moving from the countryside to rapidly growing coastal cities that are exposed to multiple hazards. Environmental studies gives us the tools to analyse the drivers behind these migrations as well as the geo-physical vulnerabilities and resiliencies encountered along the way, providing critical information to reduce the losses from disasters.

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Special Interests

Geophysical disasters, including earthquakes, tsunami and tropical cyclones

Economic development, land-use change and vulnerability

The geophysical record of human history

Marvin Montefrio

Why Environmental Studies?

Any environmental solution can be a double-edged sword. These days, its adverse socio-ecological impacts are couched in the language of 'sustainability' and 'green and inclusive growth'. What many would surmise as 'green' -- a protected forest or an organic farm -- may in fact be spaces of chronic environmental destruction and social inequality and injustice. 'Green' is becoming a buzzword and thus, there is a need for more critical environmental scholars to uncover what is underneath the obvious, expose the wrongs of what is touted as right, and to propose what needs to be changed. At Yale-NUS College, Environmental Studies faculty and students are poised to develop such critical lens.

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Special Interests

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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Special Interests

Deserts and desertification

Microbes as ecosystem engineers

Urban ecological systems

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 Instagram, 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 and behaviour shapes (and is shaped by) the world around us—and how we can individually and collectively chart a different path forward.

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Special Interests

Oil, climate change, energy transitions

Environmental politics

Literature and popular culture

Environmental justice

Animals

Jennifer A Sheridan

Why Environmental Studies?

I have always been interested in biodiversity, which ultimately requires understanding the environment. During my career, understanding the environment has become increasingly important for studies on biodiversity and ecology, given that climate change is altering ecosystems in ways not imagined more than 50 years ago. It is exciting to conduct research in a field that is always evolving, and challenging to find solutions in an era of rapid biodiversity loss.

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Special Interests

Ecological responses to climate change

Ecological impacts of habitat and land use change

Tropical conservation ecology

Michiel van Breugel

Why Environmental Studies?

Unsustainable use of our natural resources has led to the widespread loss and degradation of ecosystems and loss of many of the services they provide. The adverse impacts of this on biodiversity, water availability and regulation, carbon storage, erosion control, and other ecosystem services directly affect the livelihood of many people around the world. In response, there is increasing interest in ways to restore or rehabilitate ecosystems and ecosystem services. Doing research and teaching in this field offers an exciting opportunity to combine my interest in ecology with very relevant and applied questions in a dynamics and interdisciplinary context.

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Special Interests

Ecosystem degradation

Forest ecology in human-modified landscapes

Plant communities and populations dynamics