Dr. Esther Marijnen is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Conflict Research Group (CRG), Ghent University. Prior to this, she was a Max Batley Postdoctoral Fellow at the Sheffield Institute for International Development (SIID), University of Sheffield. Esther has a doctorate in Political Science from the Free University of Brussels (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) for which she analysed the multi-scalar politics of conservation and conflict in and around the Virunga National Park, East DR Congo. Parts of her PhD dissertation are, or are soon to be, published in Journal of Peasant Studies, Geoforum, Development and Change and Third World Quarterly.
Esther’s research explores the intersection of conflict studies and political ecology, analysing various environmental issues and interventions in conflict areas, with a specific focus on Central Africa. During her post-doctoral fellowship in Sheffield, she is conducted research on how multiple rebel groups operating in or around protected areas in the East DRC govern nature, and how they perceive conservation efforts and interact with multiple stakeholders at different scales. Through her research Esther aims to contribute to debates surrounding decolonising nature conservation, environmental justice, political ecology of conflict and natural resource management in conflict areas.