Peter Arcese

Wall Associate




Forest and Conservation Sciences





Geographic Location

Peter Arcese

Peter Arcese is FRBC Chair of Applied Conservation Biology in the Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences and Faculty of Forestry. He works on the ecology and genetics of animals and plants, the persistence of small populations, and the design and management of nature reserves. He graduated in Zoology from the University of Washington and completed MSc and PhD degrees in Zoology at UBC. Prof. Arcese studied as a NATO then NSERC post-doc in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, from 1987-91 with A.R.E. Sinclair, producing the second of five co-edited books on the dynamics and conservation of the Serengeti Ecosystem, and many papers on the natural history, behavior and population dynamics of African ungulates and the economics of community conservation and anti-poaching programs. He was assistant professor in the Department of Wildlife Ecology, University of Wisconsin, from 1992-98, where he won an NSF Young Investigator award. His labs have included 11 post-doctoral fellows and 28 graduate students, most of whom now teach, conduct research or work in conservation or genetics. Prof. Arcese is a Fellow and former Councilor of the American Ornithologists Union and an editor of the Journal of Avian Biology. He has published over 100 research papers and books with more than 100 co-authors and currently focuses on the demography and genetics of plant and animal populations of the Pacific Coast, the efficient design of nature reserves, and the conservation and restoration of native ecosystems.

Primary Recipient Awards

Peter Arcese – International Research Roundtables – 2018

Promise and Peril: Design and Application of Conservation Finance Models to Biodiversity Conservation, Human Well-being and Sustainability
This roundtable will explore current initiatives and strategies needed to successfully scale-up conservation finance. A comprehensive understanding of barriers and benefits to private sector conservation finance requires engaging researchers from multiple disciplines, jurisdictions and perspectives.  Despite much evidence that private investment has the potential to transform biodiversity conservation and support sustainable livelihoods, many aspects of this emerging field remain poorly understood. This roundtable will engage thought-leaders in ecology, finance, policy, law, and social sciences to identify knowledge gaps, overcome existing hurdles and potential pitfalls. For example, it remains unclear how the outcomes of conservation projects should be articulated; i.e., at what point is re-claimed land ‘restored’? A lack of a common framework for monitoring and evaluating such projects points out a critical need to ensure accountability and transparency. It is also unclear at what scale projects must be implemented to deliver sustainable environmental, social and financial outcomes. Likewise, how can accountability frameworks assure investors that projects avoid negative outcomes or externalities sometimes associated with protectionist approaches to land conservation, such as by creating parks that dispossess Indigenous people of land or natural capital. Strategies to minimize costs and overcome hurdles linked to transaction size, market volatility, and risk mitigation are also needed to scale up conservation investment.

Co-Principal Investigator Awards

Mara Goldman – International Visiting Research Scholars – 2020

Dr. Goldman is interested in connecting theories about ‘decolonizing/Indigenizing’ conservation occurring within the academy, with on the ground struggles over resource governance in Indigenous communities globally, and ecological plans in Canada and elsewhere to meet conservation goals. What does it mean to really decolonize and/or Indigenize conservation? How is it being framed in Canada and how does this compare to processes unfolding in other parts of the world, with different and similar ecologies, and histories of colonialism and conservation? And how are decolonization efforts addressing internal differentiation within Indigenous communities (i.e. gender, class, age)? Dr. Goldman will work with UBC scholars to explore these questions and initiate a global conversation and research agenda to link theory-method-practice, across epistemological and ontological worlds, comparing processes and approaches in Canada, East Africa, and India.

Catherine Malecki – French Scholars Lecture Series – 2019
Amanda D. Rodewald – International Visiting Research Scholars – 2016