Zach Anderson, Human Geography PhD Student


Home Campus:
U of T St. George

Other Degrees:
BA (Anthropology/Ecology) - University of Georgia (2009)

Honours & Awards:
Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship 2016
Connaught Scholarship 2011

Contact Information:

Office: Room 5068, Sidney Smith Hall, 100 St. George Street, U of T, M5S 3G3
Email: z.anderson [at]

Personal Website:

Research Interests:

  • Political Ecology
  • Cultural Politics of Resource Extraction and Development
  • Neoliberalism and Market-based Conservation
  • The “Green Economy”
  • Indonesia (East Kalimantan)

My research investigates the rollout of ‘green economy’ projects in East Kalimantan, Indonesia. Specifically, I examine the spread of carbon forestry projects and discourse in the district of Berau, against a backdrop of oil palm plantation expansion. I draw on critical political economy and political ecology to examine the role that institutions of global environmental governance, corporations, and state and civil society institutions play in the creation of new ‘green’ commodities for global consumption. I am also interested in how this process underwrites the emergence and modification of local environmental subjectivities and leads to a novel reimagining of an Indonesian forest landscape as a frontier for green investment.

Teaching This Academic Year:

GGR342 – The Changing Geography of Southeast Asia

Selected Publications:

2018 Anderson, Z.R. “Mainstreaming Green – Translating the Green Economy in an Indonesian Frontier.” in Frontier Assemblages: The Emergent Politics of Resource Frontiers in Asia. Eds. J. Cons and M. Eilenberg. Antipode.

2018 Fletcher, R., Dressler, W., Anderson, Z.R., Büscher, B. Natural Capital Must Be Defended: Green Growth as Neoliberal Biopolitics.

2017 Fletcher, R., Dressler, W., Büscher, B., Anderson, Z.R. Debating REDD+ and Its Implications: Response to Angelsen et al. Conservation Biology 31(3) 721-723.

2016 Anderson, Z.R., Kusters, K., McCarthy, J., and K. Obidzinski. Green growth rhetoric versus reality: Insights from Indonesia. Global Environmental Change 38 (2016), 30-40.

2016 Anderson, Z.R. Assembling the ‘Field’: Conducting Research in Indonesia’s Emerging Green Economy. Austrian Journal of South-East Asian Studies 9(1), 173-180.

2016 Fletcher, R., Dressler, W., Büscher, B., Anderson, Z.R. Questioning REDD+ and the future of market-based conservation. Conservation Biology 30(3), 673-675.

Research Clusters:
Nature, Society and Environmental Change, Political Ecology, Political Spaces