Samantha H. Cheng

Associate Director of Conservation Evidence, Center for Biodiversity Outcomes
Assistant Research Professor, School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University.

While my career in higher education (B.A. from Scripps College and PhD candidate at UCLA) may hint at a southern Californian, I was born and raised in Boston, MA and am a Bostonian at heart. My love of the sea has taken me all over the world in pursuit of research and adventures, you can read about my work in the Research section. In generally, my research focuses on understanding the mechanisms and processes to improve evidence-informed decision making in conservation, measuring and evaluating impacts of conservation. I focus on integrating interdisciplinary fields, drawing from the biological, social, and computer sciences, to devise tools and determine pathways to achieving shared benefits between nature and human well-being in global coastal communities.

Click here for my CV


Willette DA, Cheng SH. (2017). Delivering on seafood traceability under the new U.S. import monitoring program.

Cheng SH, Ahlroth S, Onder S, Shyamsundar P, Garside R, Kristjanson P, McKinnon MC, Miller DC. (2017) What is the evidence for the contribution of forests to poverty alleviation?: A systematic map protocol. Environmental Evidence. (in press)

Miles MC, Cheng SH, Fuxjager MJ. Biogeography predicts macro-evolutionary patterning of gestural display complexity in a passerine family. Evolution. doi:10.1111/evo.13213

Willette DA, Simmonds SE, Cheng SH, Esteves S, Kane TL, Nuetzel H, Pilaud N, Rachmawati R and Barber PH. 2017. Using DNA barcoding to track seafood mislabeling in Los Angeles restaurants. Conservation Biology. Accepted Author Manuscript. doi:10.1111/cobi.12888

Cheng SH, Robinson JE, Cox N, Biggs D, Olsson A, Mascia M, McKinnon M. 2017. Evaluating the effectiveness of international wildlife trade programs and policies on species conservation and livelihoods: a systematic map. Conservation International Working Paper.

Althor G, McKinnon MC, Cheng SH, Klein C, Watson J. 2016. Systematic Review Protocol: Does the social equitability of community and incentive based conservation interventions in non-OECD countries, affect human well-being? Environmental Evidence 5(26). DOI: 10.1186/s13750-016-0078-3

McKinnon MC, Cheng SH, Butterfield R, Dupre S, Edmond J, Garside R, Glew L, Holland MB, Levine E, Masuda YJ, Miller DC, Oliveira I, Revenaz J, Roe D, Shamer S, Wilkie D, Wongbusarakum S, Woodhouse E. (2016) What are the effects of nature conservation on human well-being? A systematic map of empirical evidence from developing countries. Environmental Evidence 5(8): 1-25

McKinnon MC, Cheng SH, Garside R, Masuda YJ, Miller DC. Map the evidence. Nature 528: 185-188

Bottrill M, Cheng S, Garside R, Wongbusarakum S, Roe D, Edmond J, Turner WR. (2014) What are the impacts of nature conservation interventions on human well-being: a systematic map protocol. Environmental Evidence 3(1): 16 pp

Cheng SH, Anderson FE, Bergman A, Mahardika GN, Muchlisin ZA, Thuy DB, Calumpong HP, Mohamed KS, Sasikumar G, Venketesan V, Barber PH. (2014) Molecular evidence for co-occuring cryptic lineages within the    Sepioteuthis cf. lessoniana species complex in the Indian and Indo-West Pacific Oceans. Hydrobiologia 725(1): 165-188

Anderson FE, Bergman A, Cheng SH, Pankey MS, Valinassab Y. (2014) Lights out: the evolution of bacterial      bioluminescence in Loliginidae. Hydrobiologia 725(1): 189-203

Barber PH, Cheng SH, Erdmann MV, Tenggardjaja K, Ambariyanto (2011) Evolution and conservation of marine biodiversity in the Coral Triangle: Insights from stomatopod Crustacea in Phylogeography and Population Genetics of Crustacea in Crustacean Issues: CRC Press


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