Our Science


We work at the interface of social and ecological systems, using a range of methodologies and interdisciplinary approaches to address key issues in current conservation.

Our underlying philosophy is that in order to make progress we need to consider the incentives, pressures and challenges faced by individual decision-makers, and to bring together multidisciplinary teams who are best placed to address these issues.

From black rhinos to blue whales … when we think of conservation, many of us think of it as the science of saving endangered species. 

But that’s only a small part of a far bigger picture. 

After all, species are only a small part of biodiversity, ecosystems and habitats - on land, and in our rivers and seas. 

Watch our animation to find out more about our approach to conservation.



Our research is focussed around better understanding and influencing human behaviour and its impact on nature, and can be categorised under four key themes:

Theme 1. Understanding resource user incentives. This theme addresses the drivers and motivations behind human behaviour towards the environment. 

Search for projects here           

Theme 2. Accounting for social-ecological system dynamics. The final theme addresses the feedbacks between individual behaviour and the wider social and ecological system within which they are embedded. 

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Theme 3. Planning for effective and socially just conservation. Here we address how best to design, implement and evaluate interventions to alter human behaviour and hence slow the rate of biodiversity loss. 

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Theme 4. Enhancing capacity for change. Here we work directly with end-users and fellow conservationists to make a real-world impact from our research.         

Find out more about how we Enhance Capacity for Change here