Stephen Clare, M.Sc. Candidate

Bachelor of Arts & Science (Honours), McMaster University (2016)


Interests: Ecological economics, sustainability, complex systems, public policy,


Research Summary:

440 000 hectares of Panamanian forest were lost from 2000 to 2010, with many human and environmental effects. Panama’s forests are crucial habitat for thousands of plants, birds, and animals. They also filter water, maintain topsoil, moderate climate, store atmospheric carbon in their wood as they grow, and support sustainable logging and tourism industries. More than half of Panama’s remaining forests are in established or claimed indigenous territories, and many indigenous people rely on them for resources, food, medicine, and spiritual traditions.

An important cause of deforestation is the expansion of pasture for cattle ranching. In my research, I look at the political and regulatory forces supporting this expansion. I investigate deforestation as the result of many interactions between governments, the environment, and communities in a “complex system.” I study groups in this system by looking at characteristics like economic data and cultural traditions. The findings will improve our understanding of the actions of different people in the forest management system. It will especially help us understand how those actions are shaped by cultural, economic, and political forces. By better understanding the system I can recommend policies that will help communities and the environment.


Awards and Scholarships:

Schulich Graduate Fellowship, McGill University (2016)

NSERC CREATE Program in Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services and Sustainability (BESS) Research Stipend.

Delegate, Leading Change Forum for Emerging Environmental Leaders (2016)

Studio [Y] Fellowship, MaRS Discovery District (2015)



Still to come.