Welcome to NRI

Dr Truly Santika

Senior Fellow in Biostatistics for Food and Agriculture

Agriculture, Health and Environment Department

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Truly joined NRI in June 2020. Prior to joining NRI, she held an adjunct appointment at the University of Queensland (Australia) and University of Kent (UK). Her works centres on the use of geospatial analysis and statistical modelling to assess the sustainability of food, agriculture, and land use, underpinning social, economic and environmental considerations. More specifically, her research interests lie in the understanding of the multidisciplinary relationships between environmental change (land use and climate), ecosystem functioning, livelihood and agriculture, and human well-being and health, across multiple scales (spatial, temporal, and institutional), to inform policy and decision-making process towards sustainability.

Truly has led various interdisciplinary projects and publications on the impact of oil palm agriculture and sustainability certification on livelihoods and poverty, community forestry and land use planning, climate change adaptation, species and biodiversity conservation, and theoretical spatial analysis and macroecology. She is an active reviewer of various scientific journals in sustainability science, development economics and planning, environmental science, and macroecology, as well as funding and award applications. She provides consultancies and trainings for the government, NGOs, and companies, on the utilization of geospatial data analysis and modelling for monitoring aspects of sustainability.

Truly holds a BSc in Mathematics (Bandung Institute of Technology, Indonesia), a MSc in Statistics and Operations Research (RMIT University, Australia), and a PhD in Resource Management and Environmental Science (Australian National University).

  • Santika, Truly , Budiharta, Sugeng, Law, Elizabeth A., Dennis, Rona A., Dohong, Alue, Struebig, Matthew J., Medrilzam, ., Gunawan, Haris, Meijaard, Erik and Wilson, Kerrie A. (2020) Interannual climate variation, land type and village livelihood effects on fires in Kalimantan, Indonesia. Global Environmental Change. ISSN 0959-3780 (In Press).
  • Friedman, Rachel S., Guerrero, Angela M., McAllister, Ryan R.J., Rhodes, Jonathan R., Santika, Truly, Budiharta, Sugeng, Indrawan, Tito, Hutabarat, Joseph A., Kusworo, Ahmad, Yogaswara, Herry, Meijaard, Erik, St. John, Freya A.V., Struebig, Matthew J. and Wilson, Kerrie A. (2020) Beyond the community in participatory forest management: A governance network perspective. Land Use Policy, 97.p. 104738. ISSN 02648377 (doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landusepol.2020.104738
  • Meijaard, Erik , Santika, Truly, Wilson, Kerrie A., Budiharta, Sugeng, Kusworo, Ahmad, Law, Elizabeth A., Friedman, Rachel , Hutabarat, Joseph A., Indrawan, Tito P., Sherman, Julie, St. John, Freya A. V. and Struebig, Matthew J. (2020) Toward improved impact evaluation of community forest management in Indonesia. Conservation Science and Practice:e2189.ISSN 2578-4854 (doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/csp2.189)
  • Santika, Truly , Wilson, Kerrie A., Meijaard, Erik , Budiharta, Sugeng, Law, Elizabeth A. et al. (2019) Changing landscapes, livelihoods and village welfare in the context of oil palm development. Land Use Policy, 87.p. 104073. ISSN 02648377 (doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landusepol.2019.104073)
  • Santika, Truly, Wilson, Kerrie A., Budiharta, Sugeng, Law, Elizabeth A., Poh, Tun Min, et al. (2019) Does oil palm agriculture help alleviate poverty? A multidimensional counterfactual assessment of oil palm development in Indonesia. World Development, 120.pp. 105-117. ISSN 0305750X (doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2019.04.012)
  • Santika, Truly, Wilson, Kerrie A., Budiharta, Sugeng, Kusworo, Ahmad, Meijaard, Erik, et al. (2019) Heterogeneous impacts of community forestry on forest conservation and poverty alleviation: Evidence from Indonesia. People and Nature, 1 (2). pp. 204-219.ISSN 2575-8314 (doi:https://doi.org/10.1002/pan3.25)
  • Morgans, Courtney L. , Santika, Truly , Meijaard, Erik , Ancrenaz, Marc and Wilson, Kerrie A. (2019) Cost-benefit based prioritisation of orangutan conservation actions in Indonesian Borneo. Biological Conservation, 238.p. 108236. ISSN 00063207 (doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2019.108236)
  • Morgans, Courtney L , Meijaard, Erik, Santika, Truly, Law, Elizabeth, Budiharta, Sugeng, Ancrenaz, Marc and Wilson, Kerrie A (2018) Evaluating the effectiveness of palm oil certification in delivering multiple sustainability objectives. Environmental Research Letters, 13 (6).064032. ISSN 1748-9326 (doi:https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/aac6f4)
  • Santika, Truly, Meijaard, Erik, Budiharta, Sugeng, Law, Elizabeth A., Kusworo, Ahmad, et al. (2017) Community forest management in Indonesia: Avoided deforestation in the context of anthropogenic and climate complexities. Global Environmental Change, 46. pp. 60-71. ISSN 09593780 (doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2017.08.002)
  • Santika, Truly, Ancrenaz, Marc, Wilson, Kerrie A., Spehar, Stephanie, Abram, Nicola, et al. (2017) First integrative trend analysis for a great ape species in Borneo. Scientific Reports, 7 (1):4839. ISSN 2045-2322 (doi:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-04435-9)
  • Santika, Truly, McAlpine, Clive A., Lunney, Daniel, Wilson, Kerrie A., Rhodes, Jonathan R. and Fernandez-Juricic, Esteban (2015) Assessing spatio-temporal priorities for species’ recovery in broad-scale dynamic landscapes.Journal of Applied Ecology, 52 (4).pp. 832-840. ISSN 00218901 (doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2664.12441)
  • Santika, Truly, Meijaard, Erik and Wilson, Kerrie A (2015) Designing multifunctional landscapes for forest conservation. Environmental Research Letters, 10 (11). p. 114012. ISSN 1748-9326 (doi:https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/10/11/114012)
  • Santika, Truly, McAlpine, Clive A., Lunney, Daniel, Wilson, Kerrie A., Rhodes, Jonathan R. and Thuiller, Wilfried (2014) Modelling species distributional shifts across broad spatial extents by linking dynamic occupancy models with public-based surveys. Diversity and Distributions, 20 (7).pp. 786-796. ISSN 13669516 (doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/ddi.12189
  • Santika, Truly (2010) Assessing the effect of prevalence on the predictive performance of species distribution models using simulated data.Global Ecology and Biogeography, 20 (1).pp. 181-192.ISSN 1466-8238 (Online)(doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1466-8238.2010.00581.x)
  • Santika, Truly and Hutchinson, Michael F. (2009) The effect of species response form on species distribution model prediction and inference.Ecological Modelling, 220 (19).pp. 2365-2379.ISSN 03043800(doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2009.06.004)

Natural Resource Management and Land Use Analysis

  • Community forest management and sustainable livelihoods analysis
  • Analysis and monitoring of forest and agricultural land use
  • Climate change, land-use change, and human impacts on the ecosystem and society
  • Impact evaluation analysis of biodiversity conservation programs
  • Spatiotemporal prioritization of investment in natural capital

Spatial Ecology and Biodiversity Conservation

  • Spatiotemporal analysis of biodiversity and species distributions
  • Conservation of endangered species
  • Theoretical aspect of spatial analysis and modelling

Assessing oil palm and sustainability certification (2017 – 2020)

Research significance

  • Assess the multifaceted drivers of oil palm expansion across Indonesia
  • Develop an analytical framework to assess and monitor impacts of oil palm plantations and sustainability certification
  • Assess the heterogeneity and contextual variations of environmental and social impacts of oil palm plantations and sustainability certification in different communities
  • Provide guidance on land use planning discussion across multi-level and cross-sectoral governance

Main funding sources: Arcus Foundation, Woodspring Trust, Leverhulme Trust

Appraising community forest management (2016 – 2019)

Research significance    

  • Evaluate the impact of community forestry on forest protection and poverty alleviation, and the heterogeneity of impact in different areas
  • Assess trade-offs and synergies in the impact of community forestry on forest and poverty outcomes
  • Develop a framework to monitoring the performance of community forestry in conservation and poverty alleviation
  • Identify the focus of investment required in different areas to enhance community forestry performance

Main funding sources: Woodspring Trust, UK Darwin Initiatives, Arcus Foundation

Linking climate, land use, livelihoods, fire, food security and well-being (2015-2020)

Research significance

  • Assess the multifaceted drivers of transition in community livelihoods towards monoculture crops
  • Assess the sustainability of commodity agriculture in the face of climate change
  • Evaluate the impact of livelihood transition towards monoculture farming on food security
  • Assess the spatiotemporal typology of fire in tropical countries, accounting for climate variability, soil type, forest degradation status, and village primary livelihoods

Main funding sources: Woodspring Trust UK; Arcus Foundation; Australian Research Council Discovery Program

Prioritizing investments and population trend analysis for endangered species (2011 – 2021)

Research significance

  • Assess the spatiotemporal change in species populations
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of existing species conservation strategies
  • Provide guidance on improved strategies for species conservation that are spatially-explicit and evidence-based

Main funding sources: US Fish and Wildlife Service, Australian Research Council Discovery Program, Arcus Foundation,  The Nature Conservancy (TNC)

  • Emily Massingham (PhD student, 2018-Present). University of Queensland, Australia. Thesis topic: Socioecological impacts of orangutan conservation intervention
  • Rachel Friedman (PhD student, 2016-2020). University of Queensland, Australia. Thesis topic: Conservation decision-making in socio-ecological systems
  • Courtney Morgans (PhD student, 2015-2019). University of Queensland, Australia. Thesis topic: Influence of multiple stakeholders on conservation decision-making
  • Steven Cordwell (Honours student, equivalent to Master by Research, 2011-2012). University of Queensland, Australia. Research topic: Modelling the dynamics of invasive species and optimal conservation spending


  • IUCN Oil Palm Task Force (Scientific Committee Member)
  • Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil – RSPO (Scientific Advisor)
  • Orangutan Conservation Planning Specialist Group (CPSG) (Scientific Advisor)


Scientific Journals by Field

Environmental and Development Economics and Planning

  • Forest Policy and Economics; Ecological Economics; Global Environmental Change; Forests; Environmental Development; World Development; Environmental Science and Policy; Land Use Policy; Journal of Cleaner Production; Land; Journal of Sustainable Tourism; Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems

Ecology and Conservation

Ecology Letters; Journal of Vegetation Science; Evolutionary Applications; Scientific Reports; Methods in Ecology and Evolution; Pacific Conservation Biology; Journal of Applied Ecology; Diversity and Distributions; Global Ecology and Biogeography; Journal of Biogeography; Ecography; Biological Conservation          


Award and Funding Applications

  • Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR)
  • Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) Award


  • Journal Scientific Reports Best Paper for Endangered Species and Top 100 in Ecology, 2017 (Paper “First integrative trend analysis for a great ape species in Borneo”)
  • NatureNet Science Fellowship, The Nature Conservancy - TNC (Runner Up), 2017
  • Australian National University (ANU) PhD Student Tuition Waiver Scholarship, 2006 – 2010
  • Australian National University (ANU) PhD Stipend Scholarship, 2006 – 2009
  • Australian National University (ANU) Summer Research Scholarship, 2003 – 2004