Autobiography — I trained as an ecologist and evolutionary biologist at Cambridge University and have over 20 years of field experience working in tropical forests. I have published widely on animal communication and the origins and conservation of tropical diversity and have received a number of awards for my work, including a L’Oréal for Woman in Science Fellowship and a Royal Society University Research Fellowship. I was made Professor of Biodiversity at Oxford University in 2015 and have since worked at the interface of science and policy. By training the next generation of decision-makers and working closely with NGOs, local governments and the United Nations, my ambition is bring the equitable protection of nature to the centre of the sustainable development agenda.
Research Interests — I combine key pure and applied approaches from the natural and social sciences to tackle the challenge of understanding and conserving biodiversity, and building socio-ecological resilience in a warming world. On the pure science side, we use experimental and comparative approaches to determine the effectiveness of nature-based solutions to climate change and food security. On the applied side, we consolidate and translate ecosystem science for the benefit of decision-makers in government and business. In 2017, I founded the Nature-based Solutions Initiative.
Nature-based Solutions Initiative —Nature-based Solutions enhance and work with nature to address societal challenges. This interdisciplinary programme collates, consolidates and communicates scientific understanding of the effectiveness of Nature-based Solutions for the benefit of decision-makers in business, government and civil society. Our aim is to get science into policy and policy into action to increase the implementation of sustainable Nature-based Solutions across the globe.
For more information, please visit: Nature-based Solutions Initiative
We are hosting a major interdisciplinary international conference in Nature-based Solutions in July 2020. For more information, visit www.naturebasedsolutionsoxford.org
Affiliations—I am a Senior Associate at the International Institute for Environment and Development (London), Research Associate at the Centre for Tropical Research (UCLA), and Senior Fellow at the Oxford Martin School.
Funding—My funding currently comes from the GCRF, NERC and the John Fell Fund. In the past I have been supported by the Royal Society, British Ecological Society, EPSRC, European Commission, Wetlands Trust, Rhodes Foundation and the Fulbright Programme.