About me

Babuyan River, central Palawan, Philippines


In July, 2014, I started working as an ARC Future Fellow at the new School of Geography, University of Melbourne.  My research interests include the politics of conservation and development, environmental governance, agrarian change, property rights, livelihoods, resource access and use, and ethnic relations in mainland and insular Southeast Asia.  I have examined similar research topics in the Canadian Western Arctic, Eastern Caribbean and Southern Africa.

My education is varied, interdisciplinary:

I hold a PhD (2005, Dean’s Honours) in Geography from McGill University.  The title of my dissertation is:

Dressler, W. 2005. Old Thoughts in New Ideas: State Conservation Measures and Tagbanua Resource Use at Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, Palawan, Philippines, PhD Dissertation, McGill University.

I studied under Thomas Meredith, Sarah Turner, Oliver Coomes, and Christian Kull. Supervised by Professor Fikret Berkes, I obtained my Masters in Natural Resources Management at the University of Manitoba, and a Bachelor Arts, Hons in Geography, Anthropology and Environmental Studies (York).

Before and during this academic spree I worked and volunteered for varied environmental organizations – from Greenpeace to Pollution Probe – I long for the days when incisive opinion mattered more than ordnung and bureaucratie!


  1. Milka

    Wow – you came to mind last night after a conversation… typed in your name and ended up on your site 🙂 So glad to see you’re continuing to do amazing things! Greetings from Milan where I live and work nowadays! Drop me a line if you have a chance 🙂

  2. Melody kemp

    W, you may get some questions from Lao where
    shifting cultivation has been banned with terrible consequences. We have no idea rally how many are now without food. we do know that bankers and contractors are getting fat..


  3. Hello,
    I am a PhD student at UNE, Australia. I am desperately looking for one of your articles: ‘Market-oriented conservation governance: The particularities of place’ for my research as I am concentrating on a place-based conservation project, being implemented in Bangladesh. Is it possible for you to send me the article? Here is my e-mail: mkhan34@une.edu.au. Thank you so much indeed.

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