Emily Sung ’11



Project Title

Africa Grand Challenge–Trade-offs Between Carbon, Water and Biodiversity in the South African Fynbos

Presentation Link

View Emily's Presentation

The purpose of my internship was to assist Ryan with his research on the relative utility of pine plantations compared to fynbos conservation areas. I also worked on an independent project, focused on fire management in the Western Cape. In this region, fire is unquestionably the most important tool for fynbos conservation, but it’s also one of the greatest threats to the forestry industry – and partly because the two camps (conservation and forestry) are largely at odds with one another, fire regulation policy is incredibly complicated and fraught with problems. To date, there does not exist a written history of all the important changes in fire management policy over the last couple of decades, and especially the CAUSES of those changes, and it is my belief that such a record would greatly improve everyone’s understanding of, and ability to solve, the problems in the current set of fire management policies. Such a mutual understanding would be enormously helpful for improving relations with the forestry industry, and as a result for improving fynbos conservation in this region.

Internship Year


Project Category



University of Cape Town, South Africa


Simon Levin, Ryan Chisholm (EEB Graduate Student)