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Sociology and Criminology & Law

Jessica Kahler


Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology and Criminology & Law.



Turlington 3346


Fall 2020 Virtual Hours: Tuesdays 1:00 pm -2:00 pm, Thursdays 1:00 pm-3:00 pm







Jessica Kahler is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminology & Law and affiliate faculty for the Archie Carr Center for Sea Turtle Research, Center for African Studies, and the Tropical Conservation and Development Program. Prior to joining the University of Florida Dr. Kahler consulted on the Wildlife Crime Initiative under World Wildlife Fund-US and served in the US Peace Corps in the Republic of Vanuatu. She received her PhD and MS in the human-dimensions of fisheries and wildlife from the Michigan State University and a BA in anthropology and BS in natural resources management from The Ohio State University. Her research focuses on the application of conservation criminology to human-wildlife conflicts, wildlife poaching, illegal trade and trafficking, community-based responses to environmental crime, and situational wildlife crime prevention primarily within southern Africa and Southeast Asia. Dr. Kahler’s research has been published in Biological Conservation, Conservation Biology, Human Dimensions of Wildlife Management, the International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice and in two peer-edited books to name a few. Her work has been funded by the National Science Foundation among other sources. She is currently working with various centers to expand her applied research into new areas particularly in the Caribbean and Latin America.

Dr. Kahler has previously worked in Cambodia, Cameroon, Indonesia, Madagascar, Namibia, Republic of Congo, and Zambia. She is currently developing projects in the Bahamas, Guyana, and Nicaragua and has an ongoing project in Zambia.




  • CCJ 4934/ SYA 4930 Environmental Change & Environmental Justice
  • CCJ 4934/ SYA 4930 Introduction to Conservation Criminology


  • CCJ5934/ SYA 7933 Crime and the Environment

Global Research Interests

  • Community-based wildlife crime prevention
  • Conservation criminology
  • Environmental Justice
  • Situational Crime Prevention
  • Wildlife Crime
  • Wildlife Guardianship

Selected Publications

Refereed Journal Articles

  • Kahler, J., Liu, R., Newcomb, T., Herbst, S., and Gore, M. (in press). Public risk perceptions associated with Asian carp introduction and corresponding response actions. Management of Biological Invasions, 0, 000-000.
  • Gore, M., Ratsimbazafy, J., Rajaonson, A., Lewis, A. and Kahler, J. (2016). Public perceptions of poaching risks in a biodiversity hotspot. Journal of Trafficking, Organized Crime, and Security 2: 1-20.
  • Kahler, J. and Gore M. (2015). Local perceptions of risk associated with poaching of wildlife implicated in human-wildlife conflicts. Biological Conservation 189: 49-58 (Editor’s Choice Article September 2015)
  • Gore, M. and Kahler, J. (2015). Using visual scales in researching global human dimensions of wildlife. Human Dimensions of Wildlife: An International Journal, DOI: 10.1080/10871209.2014.992501
  • Kahler, J, Roloff, G. and Gore, M. (2013). Poaching risks in a community-based natural resource management system. Conservation Biology 27: 177-186.
  • Kahler, J., and Gore, M. (2012). Beyond the cooking pot and pocket book: Factors influencing noncompliance with wildlife poaching rules. International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice, 36 (2): 103-120.
  • Gore, M. and Kahler, J. (2012). Gendered Risk Perceptions Associated with Human-Wildlife Conflict: Implications for Participatory Conservation. PLoS ONE 7(3): e32901. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0032901.

Peer-Edited Book Chapters and Works

  • Kahler, J., Boratto, R., Vanegas, L., Wieland, M. and Gore, M. (2019). Using conservation criminology to explore the opportunity structures, obstacles, and deterrence of urban bushmeat trafficking in Lékoumou District, Republic of Congo. Chapter 5 in M. Lynch and S. Pires (Eds.) Quantitative Studies in Green and Conservation Criminology. Routledge: New York.
  • Kahler, J. (2018). The situational prevention of wildlife poaching in Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park, Sumatra Indonesia (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. (UMI No.10815833)
  • Kahler, J., and Gore, M. (2017). Chapter 2: Conservation Crime Science. In M. Gore (Ed.) Conservation Criminology. Wiley: Hoboken, NJ.
  • Kahler, J.S. (2010). Local Perceptions of Risk and Vulnerability Associated with Human-Wildlife Conflicts in Namibian Conservancies. Retrieved from Pro-Quest Digital Dissertations, (AAT: 1483617).