Assistant Professor

Research Interests

conflicts and governance issues around resource extraction and intensive land use
transnational land investments
promotion of monoculture plantations at the expense of more biodiverse systems
private sector sustainable governance initiatives

Relevant Thesis-Based Degree Programs

Research Options

I am available and interested in collaborations (e.g. clusters, grants).
I am interested in and conduct interdisciplinary research.


Dr. Juliet Lu is a political ecologist and a scholar of Global China. She is Assistant Professor of Environmental Governance & Business at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. She is jointly appointed in the Department of Forest Resources Management and the School of Public Policy & Global Affairs.

From 2020-2022 she was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Atkinson Center for Sustainability at Cornell University studying the role of Chinese rubber firms in global initiatives to make the natural rubber supply chain more sustainable. She received her PhD from the Department of Environmental Science, Policy & Management at the University of California, Berkeley in August 2020. Her doctoral research explored the political economy and territorial implications of Chinese agribusiness investments and development cooperation initiatives in rubber in Laos.

Her broader research interests include the impacts of China’s growing demand for raw materials on land and resource management in Southeast Asia, the intersection between resource governance and state formation in borderland regions, and discourses of environmental protection and sustainable development in the context of the Belt and Road Initiative. She co-hosts the Belt and Road Podcast (https://www.buzzsprout.com/196316), which features emerging research and nuanced discussions on China’s growing impact on the developing world.

From 2009-2013, Juliet worked as a researcher in the environmental sector in China (World Agroforestry Centre, Yunnan) and Laos (Centre for Development and Environment, Vientiane) where she studied agroforestry, communal forest management, market-based sustainability initiatives, and the spatial analysis of large-scale land concessions.

Research Methodology

Political Ecology
qualitative methods


Postdoctoral Fellows
Any time / year round

I'm especially seeking folks with experience (and language skills) in China, Vietnam, Laos, or Cambodia. I'm also excited to mentor non-native English speakers, non-traditional students broadly defined, and folks committed to fostering diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice. See my website (https://julietlu.com) and the Interdisciplinary Biodiversity Solutions website (https://ibios.ubc.ca) for a sense of the work we might do together.

Currently only considering supporting Postdoctoral fellow applications for the year 2024-25. 

I support public scholarship, e.g. through the Public Scholars Initiative, and am available to supervise students and Postdocs interested in collaborating with external partners as part of their research.
I support experiential learning experiences, such as internships and work placements, for my graduate students and Postdocs.

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