Faculty and Staff

Mia Derhé, PhD

Mia Derhé, PhD

Lecturer in Environmental Sustainability and Socioeconomic Values
PhD in Environmental Science
Lancaster University, UK
MSc in Applied Ecology and Conservation
University of East Anglia, UK
BSc in Biological Sciences
University of East Anglia, UK
SFS 3021 Environmental Sustainability and socio-economic values
SFS 4910 Directed Research
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Faculty Profile

Mia is a passionate conservation scientist dedicated to bridging socio-economic needs and environmental preservation, leveraging varied international experience with a focus on rehabilitating landscapes, promoting sustainability and connecting people back to the land. Her enthusiasm for conservation and sustainability has been key to her success in teaching and inspiring young adults to develop their research skills, expand their learning and develop a life-long passion for conservation. Her PhD in habitat restoration honed her expertise in reforestation efforts, specifically their role in recovering biodiversity and ecosystem functions in tropical rainforests and aided in the development of cutting-edge reforestation strategies that balance ecological and economic benefits.

Throughout her career, she has worked for various conservation NGOs, addressing complex environmental challenges with socio-economic dimensions across the globe. In 2017, she spearheaded the biodiversity research program at the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund in Rwanda, addressing issues including forest resource dependency and human-wildlife conflict. She led comprehensive ecological surveys and mentored Rwandan students, equipping them with essential skills for conservation careers.

Following on from this, she worked with the Bumblebee Conservation Trust in the UK, researching effectiveness of conservation management actions for bumblebees, to inform conservation management and policy. Her work supported agricultural policy and contributed to the UK Government’s biodiversity net gain strategy, emphasizing the socio-economic benefits of pollinator services.

Before her doctoral studies, she engaged in conservation efforts in Vietnam, Borneo, and Guyana. In Vietnam, as a Conservation Officer with Fauna & Flora International, she designed and implemented a comprehensive livelihoods study to resolve conflicts between local forest resource dependency and primate conservation efforts in a National Park. This work culminated in actionable conservation management recommendations that balanced ecological needs with local livelihoods, fostering sustainable coexistence.

In Borneo, she studied the impacts of selective logging regimes on faunal populations, and in Guyana, she trained students in biodiversity monitoring during a remote research expedition.

In her role as Rio Tinto-BirdLife Programme Coordinator, she engaged with conservation partners and mining units to explore and develop collaborative opportunities to achieve ‘net positive impact’ biodiversity targets, aligning conservation goals with corporate social responsibility initiatives.

Her enthusiasm for rainforest conservation and restoration, combined with a vibrant teaching style, inspires future conservationists. With strong local and international partnerships, she is committed to delivering impactful, resource-rich learning experiences that integrate socio-economic considerations into biodiversity conservation. She is committed to scientific publishing, communication and outreach and serves as editor for the journal Restoration Ecology, further contributing to the field’s body of knowledge.

Academics & Research

Research Interests

Mia’s research interests lie in the balance of socio-economic needs and conservation with a particular focus on perceptions of land use. This includes investigating local attitudes towards conservation, restoration and stigmatized wildlife; and the integration of Indigenous Australian traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) into sustainable environmental practices and effective conservation management. She is also active in translating this research into on-the-ground action through development of environmental education outreach initiatives, including building a biocultural garden; community BioBlitzes; developing environmental awareness resources for students; and working with landowners to further their understanding of the ecological and economic benefits of restoration.

Professional Affiliations

Coordinating Editor for Restoration Ecology
Ad hoc reviewer for Conservation Biology, Restoration Ecology, Biological Conservation, Frontiers in Environmental Science, Ecosystems, Ecological Entomology, Biodiversity and Conservation, African Journal of Ecology

Research Projects

  • Exploring Landowner Perceptions of Revegetation on the Atherton Tablelands
  • From Canopy to Dung; How Dung Beetles Can Help Assess Recovery of Reforested Plots of Land
  • Assessing Leaf Litter Invertebrate Diversity and Distribution within Established Revegetation Plots of Northeast Queensland’s Wet Tropics


  • Fischer, D., Brazus, H., Saglimbeni, H., & Derhé, M.A. In prep. Barriers to Forest Restoration: Exploring Landowner Perceptions of Revegetation on the Atherton Tablelands. Ecological Management and Restoration
  • Derhé, M.A., Gorby, E., Farley, E., Gamero, M., & Safford, O. In prep. From Canopy to Dung; How Dung Beetles Can Help Assess Recovery of Reforested Plots of Land. North Queensland Naturalist


Thermal imaging outshines spotlighting for detecting cryptic, nocturnal mammals in tropical rainforests. (2022)

Underwood, A.H., Derhé, M.A. and Jacups, S., 2022. Wildlife Research, 49(6), pp.491-499.

Status, diversity and trends of the bird communities in Volcanoes National Park and surrounds, Rwanda. (2019)

Derhé, M.A., Tuyisingize, D., Eckardt, W., Emmanuel, F. and Stoinski, T., 2019. Bird Conservation International, pp.1-20.

Observations on regeneration of the keystone plant species Hagenia abyssinica in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda. (2019)

Kayitete, L., van der Hoek, Y., Nyirambangutse, B. and Derhé, M.A., 2019. African Journal of Ecology, 57(2), pp.274-278.

Effect of mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei) population growth on their key food plant biomass in VNP, Rwanda. (2019)

Samedi, M.J.P., Eckardt, W., Derhé, M.A., Miller, M., Grueter, C.C., Robbins, M.M. and Nsabimana, D., 2019. Rwanda Journal of Engineering, Science, Technology & Environment, 2(1).

Spatial variation in anuran richness, diversity, and abundance across montane wetland habitat in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda. (2019)

van der Hoek, Y., Tuyisingize, D., Eckardt, W., Garriga, N. and Derhé, M.A., 2019a. Ecology and evolution, 9(7), pp.4220-4230.

Recent decline in vegetative regeneration of bamboo (Yushania alpina), a key food plant for primates in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda. (2019)

van der Hoek, Y., Emmanuel, F., Eckardt, W., Kwizera, I., Derhé, M. A., Caillaud, D., Stoinski, T.S. and Tuyisingize, D., 2019b. Scientific reports, 9(1), pp.1-10.

Recovery of mammal diversity in tropical forests:a functional approach to measuring restoration. (2018)

Derhé, M.A., Murphy, H.T., Preece, N.D., Lawes, M.J. and Menéndez, R., 2018. Restoration Ecology, 26(4), pp.778-786.

Measuring the success of reforestation for restoring biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. (2016)

Derhé, M.A., Murphy, H., Monteith, G. & Menéndez, R. 2016. Journal of Applied Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12728

Land-sharing versus land-sparing logging: reconciling timber extraction with biodiversity conservation. (2014)

Edwards, D. P., Gilroy, J. J., Woodcock, P., Edwards, F. A., Larsen, T. H., Andrews, D. J. R., Derhé, M. A., Docherty, T. D. S., Hsu, W. W., Mitchell, S. L., Ota, T., Williams, L. J., Laurance, W. F., Hamer, K. C. & Wilcove, D. S. 2014, Global Change Biology, 20: 183–191. doi: 10.1111/gcb.12353

Developing a population assessment for Scopoli’s and Cory’s shearwaters Calonectris Diomedea calonectris borealis. (2012)

Derhé, M., 2012. In Ecology and Conservation of Mediterranean Seabirds and Other Bird Species under the Barcelona Convention; Yésou, P., Bacetti, N., Sultana, J., Eds (pp. 29-38).


The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International’s Biodiversity Program: Ecological Monitoring in the Volcanoes National Park.

Derhe, M. A., Tuyisingize, D., Emmanuel, F., Stoinksi, T. (2017) In: Rwanda Development Board’s Research in and around National Park Symposium, 2017, Kigala, Rwanda.

How does your rainforest grow? Assessing the response of biodiversity and ecosystem functions to ecological restoration of previously cleared rainforest.

Derhe, M. A., Monteith, G., Murphy, H., Menendez, R. (2015) In: Society for Ecological Restoration World Conference, 2015, Manchester, UK.

Investigating the efficiency of reforestation approaches for restoring rainforest biodiversity and function.

Derhe, M. A., Menendez, R., Murphy, H., Preece, N., Lawes, M., Orwin, K. (2014) In: 51st Annual Meeting of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation, 2014, Cairns, Australia.

Assessing the responses of mammal and dung beetle communities and their associated ecosystem functions to reforestation in the Wet Tropics.

Derhe, M. A. (2015) In: Tree Kangaroo and Mammal Group (TKMG) Annual Meeting, 2015, Malanda, Australia.

How effective are reforestation plantings at restoring native wildlife and important rainforest processes?

Derhe, M. A. (2014) In: Trees for the Evelyn and Atherton Tablelands (TREAT) meeting, 2014, Lake Eacham, Australia.