Roth, Robin

Dr. Robin Roth
Professor and Chair
Ph.D. Clark University, USA, 2004
519-824-4120 ext. 53525

Political Ecology; Indigenous-led Conservation; Forest Governance; Decolonial theory; Southeast Asia and North America.

Research Interests and Areas of Expertise

I identify as a broadly trained human-environment geographer with expertise in conservation governance and conflict, political ecology, livelihood change and Indigenous approaches to conservation. My work is characterized by empirical, field-based research informed by relevant theory, attentive to both discursive and related material processes, and committed to improving the social and ecological outcomes of environmental governance.  I am also interested in decolonial and reconciliatory research practices that engage multiple knowledge systems.

Conservation Through Reconciliation Partnership (SSHRC Partnership Grant)

A seven-year initiative that aims to critically investigate the state of conservation practice in Canada and support efforts to advance Indigenous-led conservation in the spirit of reconciliation and decolonization. I serve as PI and co-lead of the project whose objectives are to support the establishment of Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas and the transformation of existing protected areas. See the website to see who is involved and the work we are doing collectively. Conservation Through Reconciliation Partnership

Canadian Conservation in Global Context: Intersections with Asia and Africa (SSHRC Insight Grant) PI (Co-PI is Elizabeth Lunstrum at York University)

The objectives of this project are to explore the transformation of conservation practice (inclusive of large-scale governance and day-to-day management) in Canada’s National Parks over the past two decades, particularly as it relates to three central themes: 1) the growth and impact of market-based and private sector interests in and around national parks 2) the increased involvement of international actors in conservation governance, particularly across borders and 3) a shift towards greater collaboration with aboriginal and local communities.

Website: Canadian Conservation in Global Context

Geog 2030 Environment and Development

Geog 3210 Management of the Biophysical Environment

Geog 3600 Geography of a Selected Region

Geog 6100 Geographic Scholarship and Research

For a full list of publications, including the most recent, please look at my google scholar listing.

W Bernauer, R Roth 2021. Protected areas and extractive hegemony: A case study of marine protected areas in the Qikiqtani (Baffin Island) region of Nunavut, Canada. Geoforum 120, 208-217.

A Paul, R Roth, SSB Moo 2021. Relational ontology and more-than-human agency in Indigenous Karen conservation practice. Pacific Conservation Biology.

M Youdelis, R Nakoochee, C O'Neil, E Lunstrum, R Roth 2020. “Wilderness” revisited: Is Canadian park management moving beyond the “wilderness” ethic? The Canadian Geographer/Le Géographe canadien 64 (2), 232-249

F Moola, R Roth 2019. Moving beyond colonial conservation models: Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas offer hope for biodiversity and advancing reconciliation in the Canadian boreal forest. Environmental Reviews 27 (2), 200-201

NJ Bennett, R Roth. 2019. Realizing the transformative potential of conservation through the social sciences, arts and humanities  Biological Conservation 229, A6-A8.

Lamb, V. and Roth. R (2018). Science as friend and foe: the ‘technologies of  humilty’ in the changing relationship to science in community forest debates in Thailand. In Mollett and Kepe (eds) Land Rights, Biodiversity Conservation and Justice: Rethinking parks and people. New York:Routledge.  PP 166-183

Bennett, Nathan, R. Roth , Klain, S., Chan, K., Clark, D., Cullman, G., Epstein, G., Nelson, P., Stedman, R., Teel, T., Thomas, R., Wyborn, C., Currans, D., Greenberg, A., Sandlos, J & Verissimo, D. (2017). Conservation social science: Understanding and integrating human dimensions to improve conservation. Biological Conservation. 205:93-108. 

Bennett, N, Roth, R , Klain, S., Chan, K., Clark, D., Cullman, G., Epstein, G., Nelson, P., Stedman, R., Teel, T., Thomas, R., Wyborn, C., Currans, D., Greenberg, A., Sandlos, J & Verissimo, D. (2017). Mainstreaming the social sciences in conservation. Conservation Biology. 33(1):56-66.

Vandergeest, P and Roth R. (2016). A Southeast Asian Political Ecology. In Hirsch, P (ed) Routledge Handbook of the Environment in Southeast Asia. Routledge. Pp 82-98.

Bennett, N. J. & Roth, R. (eds.) (2015).The Conservation Social Sciences: What?, How? and Why? Vancouver, BC: Canadian Wildlife Federation and Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability, University of British Columbia.

Latt, S. and Roth, R. (2014) Agrarian Change and Ethnic Politics: Restructuring of Hmong and Shan Labour and Agricultural Production in Northern Thailand. Journal of Agrarian Change. doi: 10.1111/joac.12081

Roth, R. and W. Dressler (2012) Market-oriented conservation governance: the particularities of place. Intro to special issue. Geoforum. 43(3):363-366

Dressler, W. and R. Roth (2011) The Good, the Bad and the Contradictory. Neoliberal Conservation Governance in Rural Southeast Asia. World Development 39(5): 851-862

Roth R. (2009) The Challenges of Mapping Complex Indigenous Spatiality: from Abstract Space to Dwelling Space. Cultural Geographies 16:207-227

Roth, R (2008) ‘Fixing’ the Forest: The Spatiality of Conservation Conflict in Thailand. Annals of the Association of American Geographers. 98 (2):373-391.

Rocheleau, D and Roth, R (2007) Rooted Networks, Relational Webs and Powers of Connection: Rethinking Human and Political Ecologies. Geoforum. 38 (2):433-437.

Conservation through Reconciliation

As PI of the Conservation through Reconciliation Partnership, I am interested in speaking with exceptional prospective MA or PhD students interested in advancing Indigenous conservation governance in Canada. I am particularly interested in speaking with students who can work at the community level to help advance the conceptualization and practice of decolonized conservation or those who want to engage with advancing reconciliation within existing protected areas. Visit the website to see what the partnership has been up to and whether your interests are a good fit.

Graduate Students Supervised

Name Research
Ph.D. Duker, Peter Research interests: Fish, food security/sovereignty, and conservation in Indigenous-state environmental governance conflicts in Thailand and Canada.
Ph.D. Fox, Paulette
M.A. + IDS MacLachlan, Lauren TBD
Ph.D. Mortimer, Stacey
Ph.D. + IDS Tamufor, Emmanuel The Pathway to Canada’s Target 1: A Pathway to decolonizing Canada’s conservation practice.
Ph.D. 2017 Vansteenkiste, Jennifer Food insecurity in Haiti: A gendered problem in the making.
M.A. 2018 Keyser, Erich The socio-political and cultural implications, and narratives of bison reintroduction on First Nations traditional territory.
M.A. 2018 Nakoochee, Roberta Reconnection with Asi Kéyi: Healing Broken Connections’ implications for ecological integrity in Canadian national parks
M.A. 2020 Nguyen, Alisa Ocean Plastics: How marine litter shapes the lives of residents of Cu Lao Cham Marine Protected Area, Vietnam.
Ph.D. 2022 Townsend, Justine Indigenous and decolonial futurities: Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas as potential pathways of reconciliation.