Niamh Gray



I have been studying at Oxford for three years now and will be carrying out a master’s project with the ICCS over the 22/23 academic year. After completing an internship with OxPOCH in 2020 on food-related impacts and the conservation hierarchy, I really wanted to come back to ICCS to complete my fourth-year project as I had so much fun the first time around. I’m interested in the food system specifically, and how we can fix it to solve the biodiversity, animal welfare, climate, and health crises. Pursuing this has led me to meet people from all around the world, and I am really excited to delve into the biodiversity quantification aspect of food system impacts with ICCS.




I am fascinated by all things food. I was first attracted to this after reading papers such as Poore & Nemecek 2018, listening to the news and learning about biodiversity and climate change at University. Specifically, I am currently interested in biodiversity quantification and target setting in the realm of agricultural production.


Woman standing with hands on hips on ricks, a valley behind her and a blue sky with some hazy cloudsTo solve the biodiversity crisis, governments, businesses, and organisations are setting measurable targets on biodiversity net gain. This approach requires comprehensive spatial understanding of the drivers of biodiversity decline, and what we can proactively do to mitigate this and further restore nature, largely using models. But there is less evidence around how accurately such models estimate biodiversity decline.

Using oil palm cultivation as a case study system, I will carry out a comprehensive review of on-the-ground ecological studies and also construct more global models of oil palm cultivation impacts and compare how much agreement there is both within and between these two broad methods of impact quantification.

More about Niamh's research here


  • Board member and social media lead of RealFoodSystems (currently non-profit but in the process of changing to formal NGO) (2020-present)
  • Internship with the Marine Conservation society on barriers to plastic-free living (2021)
  • Internship with OxPOCH on environmental impact of food consumption (2020)

Other Experience:

  • Environment and Ethics officer at St Hilda’s College (2020-2021)
  • Co-organised Oceans Dialogue in support of UN Food Systems Summit (2021)



 In review: Taylor et al. Nature Food 2021 as a co-author



Young woman with long brown hair and a fringe in a black top