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Cambridge Global Food Security

An Interdisciplinary Research Centre at the University of Cambridge


I am a tropical ecologist, and my research focusses on increasing the sustainability of tropical agricultural systems.

During my PhD, I worked with the Riparian Ecosystem Restoration in Tropical Agriculture (RERTA) Project to study the ecological benefits of restoring riparian buffers in oil palm plantations (Sumatra, Indonesia). In October 2021, I am starting as the Marshall Sherfield Fellow in the Insect Ecology Group (Department of Zoology). In this position, I will be launching a new project, which will compare socioecological conditions between different agricultural systems in Liberia. I am additionally a junior research fellow at St. Edmund’s College. 


The expansion of oil palm is a major threat to tropical biodiversity.

However, existing plantations are key to the economy of many countries and, due to their relatively high complexity, have considerable potential for the development of more sustainable production. My PhD research investigates management strategies to benefit spiders within oil palm plantations and the potential of this group to control pest outbreaks and benefit yield. My research therefore seeks to improve the efficiency of oil palm growth through enhancing the ecosystem services of a natural predator.

PhD student
 Michael  Pashkevich

Contact Details

Email address: 
+44 7340543007
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