Associate Professor & Associate Chair
Office: DAV 205
Dr. Richard Mbatu is an expert on how forests impact people and the environment, and how people impact forests. As a political ecologist, he explores forest governance, management and policy aspects of sustainable development in relation to climate change. Mbatu has a particular interest in two intersecting topics. First, he studies forest resource management and policy aspects of sustainable development and climate change. Second, he examines structure and function of plans, programs, bilateral and multilateral agreements and conventions dealing with forest resource management and climate change.
Mbatu’s current work seeks to discover solutions for mitigating emissions caused by deforestation. He contributes to the global initiative for emissions mitigation set by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) program in the Congo Basin region in Central Africa. In 2018, Mbatu was selected by the United Nations Environment Program to be one of the lead authors for the Global Environment Outlook, which is the UN Environment’s lead assessment on environmental, social and economic trends that shape the environment, and aid world leaders in making policy decisions that directly address environmental issues and turn plans into action.
- Ph.D. (Environmental Science – Policy Focus) Oklahoma State University, Stillwater OK, 2006
- Graduate Certificate: (International Studies) Oklahoma State University, 2006, Stillwater OK, 2006
- Graduate Diploma: (Environmental Engineering) University of Witwatersrand, South Africa, 2012
- M.S. (Geography) Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, 2003
- B.S. (Hons) (Geography and Environmental Management) University of Witwatersrand, South Africa, 1999
- B.S. (Geography and Environmental Management) University of Dschang, Dschang Cameroon, 1998
- August 2019 – Present: Associate Professor – University of South Florida, St. Petersburg
- May 2018 – December 2019: The United Nations Environment's flagship report - Global Environment Outlook for Youth (GEO for Youth) Lead Author
- August 2013 – July 2019: Assistant Professor – University of South Florida, St. Petersburg
- January 2013 – May 2013: Visiting Assistant Professor – Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- August 2011 – December 2013: Visiting Assistant Professor – Philadelphia University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- August 2007– May 2011: Instructor – Bowling Green State University, Ohio
Mbatu teaches graduate and undergraduate courses such as international environmental politics, policy and negotiations. He has authored and edited numerous papers, book chapters and book reviews. Mbatu also regularly serves as an adviser on graduate and undergraduate student internships and research projects.
Gordon Manu, Technische Universität Dresden, Germany
I am a political ecologist, with particular interest in community, national and international forests governance and management policies. My research focuses on forest governance/management and policy aspects of sustainable development and climate change. I analyze human-environment interactions through the lenses of political ecology, the political economy of natural resources, environmental politics, and sustainable development. In particular, I examine how forest communities and national governments approach forest resource management and climate change in the structure and function of their plans, programs, bilateral and multilateral agreements and conventions. My current work seeks to discover solutions to mitigate the increased release of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from deforestation contributing to the global initiative set by the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) program, which is part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
- Jessica Gruber
- Aleta Kane
Political Ecology, Political Economy of Natural Resources, Global Conservation, Sustainable Development, Climate Change
Mbatu's research and publications