Joe W. Bull

Department of Food and Resource Economics & Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate, University of Copenhagen, Rolighedsvej 23, 1958 Copenhagen, Denmark

e: jwb @
t: +44 7837 172 886

Research Overview

My overall research interest lies in exploring, at the landscape scale, which components of biodiversity are the most crucial to protect and restore – given that ecosystems are dynamic, uncertain and subject to change. To do so, I work with simulation models and algorithms, large secondary (and occasionally primary) data sets, and spatial analysis of data including satellite imagery.

I have a particular interest in investigating the impacts of the private sector upon global biodiversity, and investigating mechanisms through which business can manage impacts and fund conservation and restoration activities.

Current research

Moving ecological targets and dynamic conservation interventions

Biodiversity offsets, and their role in achieving ‘no net loss’ of biodiversity alongside development

Evaluating the effectiveness of conservation interventions under change scenarios, including development of useful baselines or counterfactuals (‘frames of reference’)

Business and corporate biodiversity strategy

Restoration and rewilding

Quantum biology and ecology

Brief CV

2015 – current        Marie Skłodowska-Curie postdoctoral fellow, University of Copenhagen

2015 – current        Visiting Researcher, University of Oxford

2014 – 2015             Visiting Researcher, Imperial College London

2012 – current        Director and co-founder, Wild Business Ltd

2012 – 2014             International Consultant, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

2011 – 2011              Researcher, CEED, RMIT University (Australia)

2010 – 2014             PhD candidate, Imperial College London/FFI

2009 – 2010            Research associate, WildCRU, University of Oxford

2006 – 2010            Environmental consultant, Bureau Veritas

2005 – 2006            MSc Environmental Technology, Imperial College London

2002 – 2005            BSc Physics, Imperial College London



Real, R., Barbosa, A.M. & Bull, J.W. (in press) “Species distributions, quantum theory, and the enhancement of biodiversity measures”. Systematic Biology

Keith, S.A. & Bull, J.W. (in press) “Animal culture impacts species’ capacity to realise climate-driven range shifts”. Ecography

Bull, J.W., Maron, M. (2016) “How humans drive speciation as well as extinction”. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. DOI:10.1098/rspb.2016.0600.

Bull, J.W., Gordon, A., Watson, J.E.M., Maron, M. (2016) “Seeking convergence on key concepts in No Net Loss policy”Journal of Applied Ecology. DOI:10.1111/1365-2664.12726.

Maron, M., Ives, C., Kujala, H., Bull, J.W., et al. (2016) “Taming a wicked problem: resolving controversies in biodiversity offsetting”. BioScience, DOI:10.1093/biosci/biw038.

Bull, J.W., Jobstvogt, N., Böhnke-Henrichs, A., Mascarenhas, A., Sitas, N., Baulcomb, C., et al. (2016) “Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats: a SWOT analysis of the ecosystem services framework”. Ecosystem Services17: 99–111.

Bull, J.W., Brownlie, S. (2015) “The transition from No Net Loss to a Net Gain of biodiversity is far from trivial”. Oryx. DOI:10.1017/S0030605315000861.

Bull, J.W., Hardy, M.J., Moilanen, A., Gordon, A. (2015) “Categories of flexibility in biodiversity offsetting, and the implications of out-of-kind ecological compensation”. Biological Conservation. DOI:10.1016/j.biocon.2015.08.003.

Bull, J.W.,  Singh N.J., Suttle K.B., Bykova E.A., Milner-Gulland E.J. (2015) “Creating a frame of reference for conservation interventions”. Land Use Policy, 49: 273–286. DOI:10.1016/j.landusepol.2015.08.005.

Bull, J.W., Gordon, A. (2015) “Schrödinger’s microbe: implications of coercing a living organism into a coherent quantum mechanical state”. Biology and Philosophy, DOI: 10.1007/s10539-015-9500-4.

Maron, M., Bull, J.W., Evans, M.C., Gordon, A. (2015) “Locking in loss: baselines of decline in Australian biodiversity offset policies”. Biological Conservation, DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2015.05.017

Bull, J.W. (2015) “Quantum conservation biology: a new ecological tool”. Conservation Letters, 8(4): 227–229. DOI: 10.1111/conl.12195

Gordon, A., Bull, J.W., Wilcox, C., Maron, M. (2015) “Perverse incentives risk undermining biodiversity offset policies”. Journal of Applied Ecology52: 532–537. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12398.

Bull, J.W., Milner-Gulland, E.J., Suttle, K.B., Singh N.J. (2014) “Comparing biodiversity offset calculation methods with a case study in Uzbekistan”. Biological Conservation178: 2–10.

Bull, J.W., Gordon, A., Law, E., Suttle, K.B., Milner-Gulland, E.J. (2014) “The importance of baseline specification in evaluating conservation interventions and achieving no net loss of biodiversity”. Conservation Biology, 28(3): 799–809.

Jones, I.L.*, Bull J.W.*, Milner-Gulland, E.J., Esipov A.V., Suttle, K.B. (2014) “Quantifying habitat impacts of natural gas infrastructure to facilitate biodiversity offsetting”. Ecology and Evolution, 4(1): 79-90. (*shared lead authorship).

Bull, J.W., Suttle, K.B., Gordon, A., Singh, N.J., Milner-Gulland, E.J. (2013) “Biodiversity offsets in theory and practice”. Oryx47(3): 369-380.

Bull, J.W., Suttle, K.B., Singh, N.J., Milner-Gulland, E.J. (2013) “Conservation when nothing stands still: moving targets and biodiversity offsets”. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment11(4): 203-210.

Sandom, C., Bull, J.W., Canney, S., Macdonald, D.W. (2012) “Exploring the Value of Wolves (Canis lupus) in Landscape-Scale Fenced Reserves for Ecological Restoration in the Scottish Highlands”. In: M. Hayward & M. Somers (eds) Fencing for Conservation. Springer

Bull, J.W., Nilsen, E., Mysterud, A., Milner-Gulland, E.J., (2009) “Survival on the Border: a population model to evaluate management options for Norway’s wolves Canis lupus”. Wildlife Biology, 15: 412-424.

Notable reports and articles not subject to peer review

Bull, J.W., Bryant, C., Baker, J., Milner-Gulland, E.J. (2015) “Developing, measuring and communicating the outcomes of corporate biodiversity strategies”. London, UK; Wild Business Ltd.

Bull, J.W. (2015) “Comparing biodiversity offset methodologies”. Decision Point, 85:6-7

Bennun, L.A., Ekstrom, J., Bull, J.W. (2014) “Integrating the value of natural capital into private and public investment: the role of information”. The Biodiversity Consultancy; Cambridge, UK

Bull, J.W. (2014) “Biodiversity offsets use in the UK: how, where and when?” ECOS34(3/4): 3-7.

Bull, J.W. (2013) “Here comes the wild world”. Wellcome Trust [available at:].

Bull, J.W. & Esipov, A.V. (2013) “Ancient techniques for hunting saigas in Ustyurt: the remains of arrans”. Saiga News, 16: 18-19.

Bull, J.W. (2013) “Tackling the moving target problem”. Decision Point71:6-7.


Supervision of Postgraduate students

Victoria Griffiths (current), PhD, Imperial College London.

Hannah Hamilton (current), PhD, Trinity College Dublin.

Daisy Blackhurst (2012), MSc, Imperial College London. Thesis: “Biodiversity Offsetting: A Qualitative Exploration of Applicability and Thresholds”.

Isabel Jones (2012), MRes, Imperial College London. Thesis: “Oil and gas development in Uzbekistan: vegetation responses to disturbance on the Ustyurt plateau”.