Jocelyn Mueller


Jocelyn has always been interested in the intersection of culture, language and science and now seeks to use that interest to promote community based conservation in Africa (Niger). As an undergrad at Hiram College, she was a double major in Biology and German, and completed a year of her studies in Konstanz, Germany. This experience brought her back to Germany to study at the Albert Ludwig University in Freiburg and gave her the first insight into how cultural views of nature shape the life sciences. These observations were reinforced during Jocelyn's three years of service as an environment volunteer in Peace Corps Niger. Like in much of Africa, the Nigerien perceptions of the environment compared to western cultural perceptions, led to very different conclusions regarding methods and objectives of conservation and often conflict. While not mutually exclusive indigenous knowledge is often disregarded in light of western scientific understanding of the environment and conservation. Jocelyn's goal is to seek to understand indigenous knowledge and communicate this understanding to scientific circles, so that both knowledge spheres can be strengthened. As a PhD student at Tufts University, she is a member of the Luce Program for Science and Humanitarianism, and conducts her field work on the role of indigenous knowledge in conservation in Niger very near to where she previously resided. Jocelyn hopes to draw on her interdisciplinary experiences to promote holistic understandings of ecology which recognize the influence of culture and language and thus are able to formulate better models of ecological processes. This research will be the beginning of a long term partnership with the Nigerian people and service to their conservation goals, and an attempt to bring cultural insights to the global conservation initiative.

Fellow Activity

Fellow at a Glance

Fellowship Year:
Academic Background:
Tufts University, Ph.D.
Current Position:
Adjunct Faculty & Researcher
Portland State University
3501 SE 14th Ave
Portland, Oregon 97202

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