Amity Doolittle, PhD

  • Research Scientist in and Senior Lecturer in Forestry and Environmental Studies
  • Director of Undergraduate Studies in Forestry & Environmental Studies
  • Program Director for Tropical Resource Institute

Amity Doolittle’s research focuses on property rights and how control over and access to natural resources is defined, negotiated, and contested by different stakeholders. She is interested in understanding the social and political processes that result in centuries of social inequities and unequal distribution of the benefits and burdens of natural resources. Her research often takes on a historical approach focusing on issues of legal and cultural pluralism. Her research approach is interdisciplinary, combining perspectives from anthropology, political science, environmental history, and political ecology to explore environmental histories, property relations and conflicts over resources use. Her research has been primarily in Southeast Asia, but she has also worked on projects in Costa Rica, Honduras, Panama, and Peru. Current research is focused on history of land use change in New Haven, Connecticut.

  • PhD, Yale University, 1999
  • MSc, Yale University, 1994
  • MA, Harvard University , 1987
  • Doolittle, Amity A.. “The Politics of Indigeneity: Indigenous Strategies for Inclusion in Climate Change Negotiations..” Conservation and Society. 8.4 (2010): 256-261. DOI: 10.4103/0972-4923.78142
  • Dove, M., Sajise, P., Doolittle, A.. “Complicating Conservation: Beyond the Sacred Forest.” Duke University Press (2008).
  • Dove, M., Doolittle, A., Sajise, P.. ““Rubber Kills the Land” and Saves It: Thinking About Sustainability Across Cultures. In Complicating Conservation – Beyond the Sacred Forest..” Duke University Press, 2008.
International activities
  • Environmental Leadership and Training Initiative (ELTI)
    Brazil, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Panama, Peru, Singapore (2011-Present)
    Professor Ashton serves as the Principal Investigator for ELTI, which was created to empower and garner support from key environmental actors in Latin America and Asia to significantly strengthen and advance biodiversity conservation in tropical forest regions. ELTI is a joint program between F&ES and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. The project offers short courses and workshops for policy makers and conservation practitioners in Latin America and South and Southeast Asia, in addition to fostering professional development and offering networking opportunities through its leadership component.

    Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

  • PRORENA - Program in Applied Tropical Forest Ecology
    Ecuador, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru (2008-Present)
    Professor Mark S. Ashton researches the regeneration of natural forests and reforestation of abandoned agricultural lands in Panama, Peru, Sri Lanka, India and Central African. This research occurs in a number of different research sites in these countries and involves training of both Yale students and those from South American and Asian institutions. URL:

    Panamanian Natural Resource Authority, Panamanian Natural Resource Authority

  • Biodiversity and Society in Southeast Asia
    Indonesia, Philippines (2005-2005)
    Professor Dove, in collaboration with Percy E. Sajise and Amity Doolittle, is writing up and publishing collaborative research on biodiversity and society with scholars and institutions in the region, especially UPLB and SEARCA in the Philippines and Padjadjaran University in Indonesia. This research was funded by multiple grants from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

  • Co-PI (Lead PI, Mark Ashton), $4.8 million to develop short courses and workshops on conservation of biodiversity for national in Latin America and Southeast Asia, 2006-2011
  • Travel grant to meet with collaborators in Athens, Georgia
  • Research grant for Livelihood Strategies of Agricultural Communities in the Buffer Zone of Cusuco National Park, Honduras, $5000