UCL Anthropology


Claire Bedelian

Claire Bedelian

Email: c.bedelian@ucl.ac.uk

Room: G12

Research Associate

PhD Anthropology, UCL (2014)
'Conservation, tourism and pastoral livelihoods: Wildlife conservation in the Maasai Mara, Kenya' (ESRC-NERC Studentship)
MSc, Resource Management, University of Edinburgh
BSc, Biology, University of Leeds


I am currently the post-doc on the IMPACTS (Issues and Myths in Protected Area Conservation: Tradeoffs and Synergies) project, funded by ESPA (Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation programme). The project aims to enhance understanding of the social impacts of protected areas and the ways they influence ecological outcomes, to inform more socially and environmentally sustainable governance. We have convened an interdisciplinary expert Working Group and are reviewing and synthesising the current evidence on the social and environmental outcomes of protected areas.

Research interests:

  • East African pastoralism
  • Conservation and development
  • Climate change adaptation
  • Land tenure and governance in rangelands
  • Conservation and human well-being

Much of my research is with pastoralists and agro-pastoralists in East Africa, related to conservation interventions, PES, climate change adaptation and land governance. My PhD looked at how newly formed wildlife conservancies contribute to pastoral livelihoods in the Maasai Mara in Kenya. Prior to my PhD, I worked at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Nairobi, investigating ways to enhance livelihoods in wildlife-rich drylands areas. I also work on the PRISE project with the Overseas Development Institute looking into climate change risk and adaption in the livestock and tourism sectors in Kenya's semi-arid areas. I have an interdisciplinary focus to my work and integrate techniques from the social and natural sciences. I am interested in developing and applying mixed methods and approaches to my research.


I have taught undergraduate and postgraduate Anthropology courses at UCL including Resource Use and Impacts, Being Human, Introduction to Biological Anthropology, and Research Methods and Techniques in Biological Anthropology.


Bedelian, C and Ogutu, J.O. (2017). Trade-offs for climate resilient pastoral livelihoods in wildlife conservancies in the Mara, Kenya. Pastoralism.

Herrero, M., Addison, J., Bedelian, C., Carabine, E., Havlík, P., Henderson, B., Van De Steeg, J. and Thornton, P.K. (2016). Climate change and pastoralism: impacts, consequences and adaptation. Revue scientifique et technique (International Office of Epizootics), 35(2), 417.

Bedelian, C. (2013). Saving the Great Migrations: Declining Wildebeest in East Africa? UNEP Global Environmental Alert Service (GEAS).

Bedelian, C. (2012). Wildlife conservancies and land leases on privatised land in the Mara, Kenya. Land Deal Politics Initiative Working Paper 9. 

Silvestri, S., Osano, P., de Leeuw, J., Herrero, M., Ericksen, P., Kariuki, J., Njuki, J., Bedelian, C. and Notenbaert, A. (2012). Greening livestock: Assessing the potential of payment for environmental services in livestock inclusive agricultural production systems in developing countries. Nairobi, Kenya: ILRI.

Reid, R.S., Bedelian, C., Said, M., Kruska, R.L., Mauricio, R., Castel, V., Olson, J.B., and Thornton, P.K. (2010). Global livestock impacts on biodiversity. In: Livestock in a Changing Landscape: Drivers, Consequences, and Responses, (eds) Steinfeld H, Mooney H, Schneider F, Neville L.  Island Press.

Msoffe, F.U., Ogutu, J.O., Kaaya, J., Bedelian, C., Said, M.Y., Kifugo, S.C, Reid, R.S, Neselle, M., van Gardingen, P., and Thirgood, S. (2009). Participatory wildlife surveys in communal lands: a case study from Simanjiro, Tanzania. Journal of African Ecology, 48(3), 727-735.

Bedelian, C., Nkedianye, D., Herrero, M. (2007).  Maasai perception of the impact and incidence of malignant catarrhal fever (MCF) in southern Kenya. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 78, 296-316.