Edmond Dounias works for the French public Research Institute for Development (IRD) and is a Senior Research Associate to the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). He is based at the Center for Functional and Evolutionary Ecology (CEFE) at Montpellier (France) and he is currently representative of IRD for Indonesia and Timor Leste.
His research activities focus on the biocultural interactions between forest dwellers and tropical forests in a context of drastic change, with a long fieldwork experience among forest farmers and formerly nomadic hunter-gatherer societies, in Congo Basin, Sumatra and Borneo. He has accumulated expertise in anthropology of food, including quantitative food consumption surveys, biomedical monitoring and nutritional ecology. He also explores the resilience of micro-level socio-ecological systems, the environmental vulnerability and local adaptive strategies of forest dwellers in response to external drivers of change, including climate change. Food systems have paved the way of his scientific career over the past three decades because food is a hybrid research topic that fosters the analysis of the tight interconnections between health, nutritional status, biology and ecology of resources, land use system and cultural choices.
He approaches local diets as key revealers of the adaptive strategies elaborated locally in response to a changing environment. His scientific and ethical postures give prior importance to participatory action research, citizen science and knowledge-based management systems as means to elicit traditional ecological knowledge and social adaptation to global change. His research is driven by the conviction that local perceptions and knowledge can help designing an international research port-folio in order to achieve food security.