Dr. Butt is people-environment geographer with regional specialization in sub-Saharan Africa and technical expertise in geospatial technologies (GPS, GIS & Remote Sensing), ecological monitoring and social-scientific appraisals.
His general research interests lie at the intersection of the natural and social sciences to answer questions of how people and wildlife are coping with, and adapting to changing climates, livelihoods and ecologies in arid regions of sub-Saharan Africa. His current projects investigate:
- the spatiality of livelihood strategies (resource access and utilization) among pastoral peoples under regimes of increasing climatic variability and uncertainty;
- the nature of the relationships between wildlife and livestock in dry land pastoral ecosystems of East Africa;
- violent and non-violent conflicts over natural resources;
- how mobile information technologies such as cell phones influence natural resource management strategies among pastoral peoples in dry lands;
- the genealogy of poaching and anti-poaching narratives on the African continent and how technological objects have come to symbolize the solutions to one of the biggest conservation challenges, and;
- how emerging infectious epizootic diseases continue to proliferate in dryland regions of the world.