Ceperley, Natalie

Ceperley, Natalie
University of Lausanne

As part of my PhD work, I studied the hydrologic importance of Sclerocarya birrea trees for the Sudanian agricultural parkland of West Africa (Madjoari, Burkina Faso). This research grew out of my passion for integrating science with traditional ecological knowledge to improve environmental management and thus livelihoods of natural-resource-dependent communities. I took a quantitative approach to understand hydrologic controls that underlie vegetation’s contribution to dryland ecosystem processes and human survival therein.

As a post-doc, I am expanding my geographic  expertise to include the Swiss Alps.   We are using stable isotopes as a tool for hydrologic modelling in the Vallon de Nant, which is free of major hydrologic modification and has a tourist-motivated conservation effort.   I am preparing to examine the hydrologic fuction of vegetation and human land uses.  For the moment, I am focusing the human aspects of my research into incorporating citizen science and dialogue into our data collection but in the long term I hope to bring it full circle and understand the role of human perceptions and beliefs in the vegetation and how that alters the hydrologic processes. 

In my future career, I plan to integrate quantitative ecohydrology into holistic human-environment systems approaches to benefit water-stressed communities and high-impact environments. Previously, I received a Master of Environmental Science with a certificate in African Studies from Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and a Bachelor’s degree in Biology with a concentration in Global Development Studies from Grinnell College.

Research Interests: 
• Ecohydrology • Stable Isotopes • Land Use Change • Research - Development • Traditional Ecological Knowledge • West Africa