Emiel de Lange




Background information

I’m an interdisciplinary conservation scientist. I started my education as an ecologist, but have gradually shifted towards the social sciences and the humanities. Currently I’m working to complete my PhD which takes a behavioural science approach, but I hope to continue adopting new perspectives in my future career. I enjoy working in the field, building relationships with people living in conservation areas and trying to understand conservation from their perspective. I work closely with conservation practitioners and aim to make my work useful to them. Most of my research experience to date has been in Cambodia, but I’m interested in Southeast Asia more generally.



I’m interested in the lives of people who live in and around areas of conservation concern in the tropics. In global discourse they are often framed as a threat (i.e. poachers), or as poor and marginalised, but in reality they often have a lot of agency and play a large role in conservation outcomes. A challenge for conservation is to find solutions that work for both people and wildlife.

For my PhD I’ve been using behavioural science to analyse the behaviour of hunters in Cambodia, and to develop and evaluate behaviour-change strategies, focussing particularly on how the social networks of hunters mediate these changes.

I am currently in the final year of a PhD programme. My research has examined the problematic misuse of pesticides as a hunting tool in Northern Cambodia. I used qualitative approaches to understand these behaviours in combination with theory from social psychology. Drawing on this understanding and using a social marketing framework, I then developed a campaign aiming to reduce the prevalence of this behaviour together with my collaborators at WCS Cambodia. This campaign involved implementation of reporting hotlines, and production of a short film. I am using a combination of semi-structured surveys, social network analysis, and interviews, to understand how messages from this campaign flow through a village and influence peoples behaviour.

Visit my PhD project page here


2016-                     PhD Candidate, University of Edinburgh

2015-2016         MRes Tropical Forest Ecology, Imperial College London

2012-2015         BSc Biology, Imperial College London

2012                      Towers Watson

2011-2012         Pangolin Research Namibia


This PhD is supervised by Aidan Keane (Edinburgh) and E.J. Milner-Gulland (Oxford), and is funded by a NERC studentship. I have also received an Early Career Grant from the National Geographic Society

2018: National Geographic Society - Early Career Grant

2016: Royal Geographical Society – Henrietta Hutton Research Grant

2016: Royal College of Science Union – Science Challenge (science communication competition)

2016: Royal Geographical Society – Henrietta Hutton Research Grant

2016: Royal College of Science Union – Science Challenge (science communication competition)


de Lange, E., et. al. (2020) Using mixed methods to understand wildlife poisoning in Northern Cambodia. Oryx

de Lange, E., Milner-Gulland, E.J., Keane, A. (2019), Improving conservation interventions by understanding information flows. Trends in Ecology & Evolution. doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2019.06.007

Dobson, A., de Lange, E., et al. (2019), Integrating models of human behaviour between the individual and population levels to inform conservation interventions. Phil. Trans. Royal. Soc. B.

de Lange, E., Woodhouse, E. and Milner-Gulland, E.J., 2015. Approaches used to evaluate the social impacts of protected areas. Conservation Letters

Woodhouse, E., de Lange, E. & Milner-Gulland, E. J. (2016) Evaluating the impacts of conservation interventions on human well-being: guidance for practitioners. London, UK, IIED.