Dr. Brandon Anthony, originally from Canada and a current resident of Hungary, completed both his M.Sc. and Ph.D. at the Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy at Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. Dr. Anthony is now an Associate Professor and part of the in-house faculty in the department, teaching and supervising students of the MESPOM, ESP, and Ph.D. programs. He teaches several core courses for Master’s students in the department including Biodiversity and Conservation, Environmental Monitoring, Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods, and The Non-Human Biosphere. He also teaches Survey Research Methods and contributes to the natural sciences component of the Theoretical Debates on Environmental Problems course in the doctoral program.
Beyond teaching in the classroom, Dr. Anthony has a history of engagement and involvement in various research initiatives and currently is carrying out research in South Africa near Kruger National Park, where he is involved in several projects related to human-wildlife interaction. Kruger National Park is where he conducted his doctoral research as well as took a sabbatical year for research from CEU in 2013-2014. Dr. Anthony summarizes his work in three main research pillars and areas of interest: 1) human-wildlife conflict, 2) protected area management effectiveness and its evaluation, and 3) amphibian monitoring and ecology.
His current projects in Limpopo Province, South Africa include 1) an elephant identification study with Elephants Alive, 2) understanding natural resource use by rural communities with SAEON, and 3) the Kruger National Park Wildlife Damage Compensation Scheme (one focus of his Ph.D. research). In addition to his research on human-wildlife interaction, Dr. Anthony is also engaged in research on monitoring and ecology of amphibians and brings students to work with the Hungarian Biological Research Society to conduct biodiversity monitoring in wetland complexes. His work with Elephants Alive is contributing to understanding mechanisms involved with decreasing average elephant tusk sizes in selected populations, which is attributed to trophy hunting and poaching that often targets elephants with big tusks. The method they are using to research is a photographic questionnaire which asks respondents from various groups including field guides, field rangers, professional hunters, and biologists to identify sex, age, tusk size and musth cycles from various elephant photos. As part of the SAEON project, Dr. Anthony is exploring the relative value of various wild flora and fauna to meeting local resource needs in rural villages adjacent to Kruger National Park, and hopes to develop a long-term partnership between SAEON and the CEU for collaborative research.
He continues to supervise students in various types of research, including a PhD study seeking to understand biophysical and institutional factors influencing human-wolf conflict in the Western Carpathians (Romania), and is co-supervising a Ph.D. student from UNISA looking at spatial and temporal elements of human-elephant conflict type and intensity on a latitudinal band stretching through the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park. In 2014, two MESPOM students conducted their Master’s research in collaboration with Dr. Anthony and SAEON. Another Master’s student will soon join him in South Africa and will utilize a tool he developed to assess mitigation of threats to biodiversity in four adjacent protected areas: two ranger sections of Kruger National Park, Mthimkhulu Nature Reserve, and Letaba Ranch Game Reserve. The research will assess how well the management structures of these different protected areas are performing in mitigating threats to local biodiversity. Until 2015, he supervised a Ph.D. student’s (Diane Matar) research which has resulted in several published articles, focusing on the management effectiveness of biosphere reserves in the Middle East and North Africa. Most recently, in January 2017, Dr. Anthony and Dr. Matar published a paper in the inaugural issue of the International Journal of UNESCO Biosphere Reserves on how Biosphere Reserves are being managed and evaluated for management effectiveness around the world, entitled Biosphere Reserve Management and evaluation: Where do we stand and what’s next?.
One of the most notable things about Dr. Anthony’s work is his enthusiasm in engaging students on issues of biodiversity conservation, helping students find field work and practical learning opportunities, and being available to students who seek guidance and mentorship as they identify where their interests lie in terms of environmental topics and research areas.
A full biography on Dr. Brandon Anthony can be found on the CEU website, including his CV, the theses and dissertations he has supervised, his publications, and list of projects and events he has been involved in.