Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences - Biogeography

Dr. Laura Kehoe






Personal website




PhD (2012-2016) Thesis






Biodiversity impacts of future land use trajectories


Chimp Nest

About me

I have worked with various communities in Canada, Bolivia, Zambia, South Africa, Mexico and the Republic of Guinea with numerous projects which share a common goal of attempting to conserve the earth's remaining biodiversity while meeting the needs of stakeholders. I speak Spanish, French, some German, embarrassingly little Irish and a bit of Pular.


I am particularly interested in conducting scientific research that can inform policy and the public with the overarching goal of finding pathways to live well in the world without destroying it. I am currently a postdoc at UVic, applying conservation decision science to develop ecologically and cost effective management actions for the Fraser River Estuary.


In the name of conservation, I have: chased herds of wildebeest (Wildlife Translocation Services - WTS, South Africa), tripped up tranquilized giraffes - not as cruel as it sounds (WTS, South Africa), shaved cape buffalo (Cape Buffalo Reintroduction Program, South Africa), lived with a puma in the Amazon rainforest (Inti Wara Yassi, Bolivia), stalked leopards (Landmark Leopard and Predator Project, South Africa), given shrews haircuts (Wildcliff Nature Reserve, South Africa), cataloged seashells from the 1800’s (National Museum of Scotland), filmed fascinating chimpanzees from previously unstudied wild communities in the forests of Guinea (Wild Chimpanzee Foundation and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology) and founded a campaign that has planted over 80 thousand trees (400trees.org).


Curriculum Vitae

2012 - 2016


Doctoral Researcher at the Conservation Biogeography Lab, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin

2011 - 2012


Research and Conservation Fellow at the Kino Bay Center for Cultural and Ecological Studies, Sonora, Mexico 


  Researcher for the Wild Chimpanzee Foundation in the Republic of Guinea



Independent Researcher at Wildcliff Nature Reserve, Western Cape, South Africa



Intern with Wildlife Translocation Services, Kimberley, South Africa

2010   Volunteer Cataloger with the National Museum of Scotland

2009 - 2010


Masters in Wildlife Biology and Conservation at Edinburgh Napier University

2008   Volunteer at Inti Wara Yassi (Wildlife Refuge, intiwarayassi.org), Amazon Rainforest, Bolivia
2006 - 2007   ERASMUS / Socrates Fellowship Year, Universidad de Almería, Spain 


Selected Publications


Kehoe, L, Romero-Muñoz, A, Polaina, E, Estes, L, Kreft, H, Kuemmerle ,T (2017) Biodiversity at risk under future cropland expansion and intensification, nature ecology and evolution 1, 1129–1135 (doi:10.1038/s41559-017-0234-3). Read more...

Estes, LD, Searchinger, T, Spiegel, M, Tian, D, Sichinga, S, Mwale, M, Kehoe, L, Kuemmerle, T, Berven, A, Chaney, N, Sheffield, J, Wood, EF, & Caylor, KK (2016) Reconciling agriculture, carbon, and biodiversity in a savanna transformation frontier Phil Trans Biol Sci 371 (1703) (doi: 10.1098/rstb.2015.0316).

Kühl, H, Kalan, A, Arandjelovic, M, Aubert, F, D’auvergne, L, Goedmakers, A, Jones, S, Kehoe, L, et al. (2016) Chimpanzee Accumulative Stone Throwing, Nature Scientific Reports (doi: 10.1038/srep22219).

Kehoe, L, Kuemmerle, T, Meyer, C, Levers, C, Václavík, T, & Kreft, H (2015) Global Patterns of agricultural land-use intensity and vertebrate diversity. Diversity and Distributions 21 (11), 1308-1318.

Dorresteijn, I, Schultner, J, Ritchie, E, Nimmo, D, Hanspach, J, Kuemmerle, T, Kehoe, L & Fischer, J (2015) Incorporating anthropogenic effects into trophic ecology: predator-prey interactions in a human-dominated landscape. Proc. R. Soc. B 282 (1814), 1602.


Selected Media 

Can we feed the world and stop deforestation? Depends what’s for dinnerL. Kehoe (2016) The Conversation

Mysterious new behaviour discovered in our closest living relativesL. Kehoe (2016) The Conversation,

The images thrilled me, but do they show evidence of spirituality in the wild? L. Kehoe (2016) the Guardian (online), the Observer (print)

Meet the World’s Most-Traded, Least-Known MammalL. Kehoe (2015) IFLS

Happy World Pangolin Day, What are we celebrating? L. Kehoe (2015) Mongabay

Could the Pill save the Polar Bear? N. Rust & L. Kehoe (2015) The Conversation 


Selected Talks 

UNEP-WCMC (2015) The relationship between land-use and biodiveristy 

Wilcove Lab Visit, Princeton University (2015) PhD Overview 

Global Land Project Conference (2014) Patterns of endemism richness and land-use intensity 

Leichhardt Symposium & Possingham Lab Visit (2013) Global land-use intensity and biodiversity

World Bank (2011) Safe-guarding a future for the West African Chimpanzee 


Please find an up to date list on googleScholar and ResearchGate.