Although people are most familiar with my work on rural energy, my research interests extend into cognate areas such as indigenous ecological knowledges, with particular reference to vegetation resources; the implications of environmental policy for access and rights to, and utilisation of soil, water and vegetation resources; woody biomass assessment and mapping; and the construction and deployment of landscape imaginaries. Much of this interest manifests itself in a variety of ways in: (1) my current research project Urban growth, domestic fuel and sustainable forestry in Kano, Nigeria (in collaboration with Dr A.I. Tanko, Bayero University, Kano and Dr R. Maconachie, University of Bath), which is funded by DfID under Round 5 (2010-2013) of the DelPHE scheme; (2) allied research on the livelihood impacts of compulsory land acquisition in peri-urban Kano (with Dr I. Yakubu, Bayero University Kano); and in (3) separate but linked research which assesses the implications for woodfuel planning in Sierra Leone and northern Nigeria, of the current global policy interest in biofuels as economically viable, environmentally-benign and renewable energy substitutes for fossil fuels.
My other main and ongoing research interest is forestry history and practice in West Africa, and I am currently researching forestry as transnational environment-development policy and practice, with reference to colonial Northern Nigeria. A third focus of interest revolves around the history of academic geography in Africa and questions of professional ethics in developing areas geographies. This interest has spilled over into the initiation of, and participation in, North-South institutional linkage schemes: with the Department of Geography, Usumanu Dan Fodio University, Sokoto, Nigeria (‘Gender, Environment and Development in the Wetlands of Northwest Nigeria’, 1998-2001); the Department of Geography and Rural Development, Njala University, Sierra Leone (‘Natural Resource Management and Sustainable Development in Sierra Leone’, 2002-2006); and the current DeLPHE project with colleagues in Bath and Kano mentioned above.