Assistant Professor
Coupled human-natural systems
Phone: 6592 3601
Office Location: N2-01c-43



  • PhD (Environmental Sciences), ETH Zurich, Switzerland (2013)
  • M.Sc. (Biological Sciences), National University of Singapore (2009)
  • B.Sc. Second Class Honours (Upper) in Life Sciences (Concentration in Biology), National University of Singapore (2006)

Research Experience:

  • Sep 2014 – Feb 2016: Postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy, Princeton University, USA with David Wilcove
  • Nov 2013 – Jul 2014: Postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Environmental Systems Science, ETH Zurich, Switzerland with Lian Pin Koh
  • Nov 2013 – Apr 2013: Consultant with the Center for International Forestry Research, Bogor, Indonesia with Terry Sunderland
  • Jan 2010 – Dec 2011: Intern at the Center for International Forestry Research, Bogor, Indonesia with Krystof Obidzinksi


    I am an Assistant Professor at the Asian School of the Environment at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. I work in the areas of Conservation Biology, Land Use Change and Agriculture. Much of my work focuses on the social and ecological consequences of human impacts on the environment, especially within Southeast Asia. After having worked on a range of topics in conservation (wildlife trade, invertebrate ecology, habitat fragmentation), I now focus on the conservation and development challenges faced in the context of commercial and small-scale agricultural expansion in the tropics. I am the Principal Investigator for the Coupled Human and Natural Systems Lab.

    Research Interests:

    I plan to delve more into the issues of conservation and development in the rural tropics, food security, sustainable certification of agro-commodities, as well as taking on the challenge to curb the haze in Southeast Asia. The topic on food and agriculture is cross disciplinary and one that needs urgent attention due to multiple reasons, ranging from a projected increase in global food demand to increased risk of crop failure due to climate change. I believe that impact-oriented research on agriculture in tropical rural landscapes and the linkages between urban and rural landscapes is greatly lacking in the region of Southeast Asia and deserves more research attention.

    Selected Publications:

    • Lee, J. S. H., Wich, S. Widayati, A. & Koh, L. P. 2016. Detecting industrial oil palm plantations on Landsat images with Google Earth Engine. Remote Sensing Applications: Society and Environment, 4, p219-224.
    • Lee, J. S. H., Koh, L. P. & Wilcove, D. 2016. Junking tropical forests for junk food? Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 14(7), p355-356.
    • Lee, J. S. H., Jaafar, Z., Tan, A. K. J., Carrasco, L. R., Ewing, J. J., Bickford, D. P., Webb, E. L. & Koh, L. P. 2016 Towards Clearer Skies: Challenges in Regulating Transboundary Haze in Southeast Asia. Environmental Science and Policy. 55, p87-95.
    • Lee, J. S. H., Garcia-Ulloa, J. A., Ghazoul, J., Obidzinski, K. & Koh, L. P. 2014 Modelling environmental and socioeconomic trade-offs associated with land-sparing and land-sharing approaches to oil palm expansion. Journal of Applied Ecology. 51(5), p1366-1377.



    ES1006 Introductory Field Experience (Undergraduate Year 1 class, Special Semester)
    ES3201 Coupled Human and Natural Systems (Undergraduate Year 3 class, Semester II)
    ES7002 Research Skills in Earth System Science (Graduate class, Semester I)
    ES8006 Environmental Sustainability (Undergraduate, Semester II)