Ida Theilade has worked with management and conservation of tropical forests for the past 25 years. Her main research interests are in the areas of indigenous knowledge and natural resource management in relation to agricultural systems and tropical forests. Current research includes ethnobotanical studies on use and importance of plant resources to local people as well as their priorities for conservation. This includes linkages between livelihoods, poverty and conservation as well as the role local knowledge and institutions can play in monitoring, sustainable use and conservation. Current research involves REDD+ and its co-benefits for biodiversity and development, palm oil certification, and environmental activism.
Ida Theilade teaches Applied Ethnobotany which is part of the MSc program on Sustainable Tropical Forestry. She is a regular guest teacher at International Nature Management, Tropical Botany, and Conservation and Management of Forest Genetic Resources.
Ida Theilade is a consultant on conservation planning, REDD+ as well as rainforest rehabilitation.
Ida Theilade is a member of the IUCN Species Survival Commission on threatened trees.