I am a PhD student researching how conservation professionals learn from failure. In particular, I am interested in the dynamics of confronting and managing failure from the perspective of individuals, teams, and organizations. I study how cognitive biases and past experiences affect an individual's ability to discuss failure. I also research how psychological safety and other team learning behaviors influence group response to failure. I am interested in examining how conservation organizations enable or discourage learning from failure both internally and across conservation as a discipline, and what structural barriers exist that impede this learning. I study other disciplines with longer histories of managing failure such as business, aviation, and medicine to identify what, if any, systems and mindsets might be adopted to promote a 'safe-fail' culture in conservation. My work involves both quantitative and qualitative techniques to understand these issues.
Prior to commencing my PhD, I completed my undergraduate degree in Environmental Geology at Bryn Mawr College and a Master's of Business Administration from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. I have also served as a Commander in the United States Navy for the past 19 years, specializing in logistics. Additionally, I worked at Bain & Co. London as a strategic management consultant, and most recently served as the Community Liaison Officer reporting directly to the US Ambassador at the US Embassy in Ankara, Turkey.
et al., 2019, Learning from published project failures in conservation, Biological Conservation, Vol:238, ISSN:0006-3207, Pages:1-10
et al., 2018, Black swans, cognition and the power of learning from failure, Conservation Biology, Vol:32, ISSN:0888-8892, Pages:584-596
Catalano AS, Knight AT, 2016, Does procrastination promote failure in conservation of extremely small populations? A response to Meek, Biological Conservation, Vol:194, ISSN:0006-3207, Pages:217-217