Jess Delves is a Programme Associate at the Centre for Global Mountain Safeguard Research (GLOMOS), a joint endeavor of UNU-EHS and Eurac Research in South Tyrol, Italy. She gained her Bachelor’s in Modern Foreign Languages from the University of Sussex (UK) and completed an Erasmus Mundus Master’s in Cultural Landscapes and Heritage Management in 2019. This interdisciplinary curriculum provided both theoretical and practical training from university lecturers and practitioners, and was taught across four European universities in three countries (France, Portugal and Italy). Immediately before joining GLOMOS she wrote her Master’s thesis at the Institute for Regional Development at Eurac Research, while also contributing to projects on sustainable tourism and migrant integration in South Tyrol. Her current fields include upland-lowland interactions in water management, mountain pastoralism in common land settings and, socioeconomic vulnerability to natural hazard risk.
Her main research focuses on the drivers and impacts of land degradation in the Maloti-Drakensberg mountains in South Africa and Lesotho. In particular, she is investigating the decision-making processes of grazing management in areas of common land and the institutions that govern these. This research falls within an ongoing scientific collaboration between GLOMOS and the Afromontane Research Unit of the University of the Free State (South Africa) and will directly contribute to the design and establishment of a Long Term Socio-Ecological Research (LTSER) site in the Maloti-Drakensberg.