John-Michael holds a diverse academic background with degrees in psychology, water management, environmental studies, and geography – which rightly embodies the interdisciplinary approach to research cultivated in the DIGS. His work follows a common theme that values community-driven and action oriented research to address complex development challenges related to sustainable livelihoods, informal economies, waste management, environmental contamination, community representation, and INGO legitimacy. Involving communities and local stakeholders within all phases of the research process is fundamental in his work. This builds momentum to empower communities to achieve greater social and environmental justice during and beyond research projects. Over the past eight years, John-Michael has investigated and improved the economic and environmental conditions of North-to-South e-waste trade and informal e-waste economies across the global South – with extensive fieldwork in the Israeli-Palestinian e-waste system. His award-winning research has been widely published in academic journals, featured in national and international media outlets, and directly influenced policy decisions.