Dr. Cortni Borgerson has worked in Madagascar since 2007 examining the dynamic interactions between ecosystems and human health, and the human incentives that drive the illegal hunting of endangered species. She is fluent in Malagasy and is currently based in Maroantsetra, Madagascar where she is the Community Livelihoods Coordinator for the Makira-Masoala Landscape at WCS Madagascar.
Cortni began working with Madagascar Health and Environmental Research (MAHERY) in 2015, and became a board member in 2017. In conjunction with Dr. Golden, she has helped lead numerous MAHERY conservation and public health efforts that improve human livelihoods, food security, and the future viability of the endemic species of Madagascar. Among these are research projects and applied interventions on: (1) endangered species as food – testing creative interdisciplinary solutions to stemming biodiversity loss and food insecurity on the Masoala Peninsula of Madagascar; (2) sustainable poultry to address the unsustainable hunting of lemurs in the Makira Natural Park and the Masoala National Park, Madagascar; (3) coastal fisheries management and human nutrition in Madagascar that quantifies the nutritional and economic value of seafood in the Antongil Bay population and that analyzes the effects of different resource governance models on such values; and (4) linking bushmeat consumption, ecological sustainability, and human health in the Lac Alaotra Wetland Complex, Kianjavato, Mananara, Ankarafantsika, Masoala and across Madagascar.
Prior to joining MAHERY, Cortni obtained her Ph.D. in Biological Anthropology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2015, and completed her postdoctoral research at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in 2017, where she is still a Visiting Scientist. In addition to her field research and active development interventions, she serves as a commission member for the Madagascar Section of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival Commission (SSC) Primate Specialist Group.
When not working, Cortni enjoys dancing on the beach with her two daughters and husband, exploring new places, eating new foods, and meeting wonderful new friends throughout Madagascar.