I am a conservation social scientist leveraging concepts of risk to enhance understanding of human-environment relationships. My scholarship is designed to build evidence for action. The majority of my scientific inquiry can be described as convergence research on conservation issues such as wildlife trafficking, illegal logging, fishing and mining.
For approximately 10 years, I was jointly appointed in the Department of Fisheries & Wildlife in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and School of Criminal Justice in the College of Social Science at Michigan State University; now the former is my home.
I received my PhD in Natural Resource Policy and Management from Cornell University, MA in Environment and Resource Policy from George Washington University, and BA in Anthropology and Environmental Studies from Brandeis University.
I am a MSU Global Research Academy Fellow, National Academies of Sciences Jefferson Science Fellow, US Department of State Embassy Science Fellow and Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leader.
Industry Expertise (5)
Writing and Editing
Areas of Expertise (8)
Conservation Social Science
Environmental Risk Perception
Community Based Natural Resource Management
Cornell University: Ph.D., Natural Resource Policy and Management
George Washington University: M.A., Environment and Resource Policy
Brandeis University: B.A., Anthropology and Environmental Studies
Why I am optimistic about efforts to #endwildlifecrime
Daily Maverick online
Many people say the problem of illegal wildlife trade is impossible to resolve; I say it always seems impossible until it is done.
In October and for the fourth time since 2014, many members of the global community working to combat the illegal wildlife trade met to talk, learn about and help resolve the problem. This time the meeting was in London.
Using Science to Combat Illegal Wildlife Trade
MSU Today online
“The scope and scale of illegal wildlife trafficking today is unprecedented,” said Meredith Gore, an associate professor of fisheries and wildlife at Michigan State University and Jefferson Science Fellow at the U.S. Department of State. “Illegal wildlife trafficking is a crime that can converge with other serious crimes, such as drug trafficking.”
Conservation won't work without locals on board
“Global illegal wildlife trade has increased dramatically in the last decade,” says Meredith Gore, associate professor of fisheries and wildlife at Michigan State University and lead author of the study. “Our research is the first to explore local perceptions of illegal biodiversity exploitation and environmental insecurity. Understanding local perception of policies can help predict buy-in for current and future risk-management strategies.”
Conservation criminology at MSU works to defend the rights of nature and wildlife around the world
Michigan Live online
Examples of the environmental injustices that Gore and her colleagues focus on include wildlife poaching in Michigan and around the world, fish fraud, illegal smuggling and trade, electronic waste, fraudulent carbon credit trading, and more. Although the poaching and smuggling of wildlife are not new concepts, globalization and technology have increased the violence in these acts.
Sharks' Bad Rap Makes Them Hard to Save
Live Science online
"The most important aspect of this research is that risks from — rather than to — sharks continue to dominate news coverage in large international media markets," study researcher Meredith Gore, of Michigan State University, said in a statement. "To the extent that media reflect social opinion, this is problematic for shark conservation."
Journal Articles (3)
Rachel Boratto, Meredith L. Gore
Although the legal system regulates the sale and trade of wildlife and wildlife parts in the Republic of the Congo, bushmeat remains widely available in urban markets in contravention of these laws. Efforts to reduce bushmeat trafficking understandably focuses on why and under what conditions people comply with the laws and are deterred by law enforcement efforts. Requisite to delineating these law enforcement and compliance dimensions in turn requires a baseline understanding about the structure of the illegal bushmeat supply chain. This foundational information may be constructed from answers to questions such as who are the actors involved at various points in the supply chain? Where is bushmeat going? What route is it taking? Answering these questions also can help identify where the supply chain could be interrupted and audience segments that could be targeted with behavior change communication or through law enforcement outreach. Supply chain analytics further provide measurement of metrics that future projects can use to evaluate program implementation, outcomes, and impact
Meredith L. Gore
In recent years, levels of unsustainable and illegal natural resource exploitation have escalated in scope, scale, and severity such that the issue is now firmly in the crosshairs of high‐level policymakers. Exploitation is now the dominant cause of global wildlife decline, surpassing habitat degradation, climate change, and habitat loss (McLellan, 2014). The World Wildlife Fund's 2014 Living Planet Index, which measures trends in thousands of vertebrate species, showed a 52% decline in size of populations between 1970 and 2010. Populations of freshwater species fell by a staggering 76% during this time period; marine populations dropped 39% (McLellan, 2014). Today, a wide array of government, civil society, nongovernmental, and private sector partners are collaborating and coordinating to address this problem at multiple scales.
Meredith L. Gore
The use of wildlife and other natural resources for sustenance, clothing, trophies, and tools has historically been a fundamental part of the human cultural, economic, and ecological experience. Human populations have expanded, migrated, colonized each other, drawn and redrawn political boundaries, and built and destroyed economies. With all this political, cultural, and geographic change, the cultural views of people’s relationship with nature, their societal norms, rules, and regulations surrounding wildlife have evolved. Rules and regulations regarding who can harvest wildlife, how many, and which species can be taken hasn’t always been and in many instances still isn’t, restricted to the biological characteristics of wildlife populations. Today, in many contexts, wildlife rules and regulations have criminalized local subsistence hunting in an effort to reduce the negative effects of violent, organized, and profit driven poaching (Challendar & Cooney, 2016; Duffy, 2010). Whether in reference to the “king’s deer”(Eliason, 2012a) or a modern‐day post‐colonial African nation where big game hunting is reserved for affluent trophy hunters from foreign countries, many local people previously dependent on wildlife for food and economy are now criminalized as poachers because of revisions to local laws, national regulations, or multilateral treaties. The growing human population and exploding global economy combine with other environmental harms (eg, emerging infectious disease) to create legitimate concerns about the ability of plant and animals species to persist in the face of both legal and illegal harvest.