Brian Belcher’s research has focused on understanding and improving the role and potential of natural resources to sustainably contribute to rural development and on research effectiveness. Belcher served as director of the Centre for Livelihoods and Ecology at RRU from 2007 to 2013, when he became the university's first Tier 1 Canada Research Chair. As a CRC, he is leading a program in Sustainability Research Effectiveness that aims to develop theory and methodology for evaluating sustainability research in complex transdisciplinary contexts and to conduct comparative analyses and evaluations of a series of sustainability research projects. Belcher teaches in the Doctor of Social Sciences program and supervises master's and doctoral students. He is also a senior associate scientist with the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and the Coordinator of the Monitoring, Evaluation, Learning and Impact Assessment (MELIA) Unit of the Consortium Research Program of Forests, Trees and Agroforestry.
Prior to joining RRU in 2007, Belcher worked at CIFOR, based at the headquarters in Bogor, Indonesia, for a decade. While there, he served as Senior Scientist, Leader of the Forest Products and People Program, and Director of the Livelihoods Program. Belcher led and contributed to a series of research projects including a large international comparative analysis of cases of non-timber forest products commercialization and the Poverty and Environment Network. He worked at Canada's International Development Research Centre in New Delhi, India, from 1994-97, and Ottawa, from 1989-92, and at Fisheries and Oceans Canada, doing research in Northern Manitoba and the Eastern Arctic.
Belcher is a Canadian national with a BSc in biology (ecology) from University of Winnipeg, master of natural resources management from University of Manitoba, and PhD in forestry (economics and policy) from University of Minnesota, and research experience in a variety of natural resource management systems.