Professor EJ Milner-Gulland

Professor EJ Milner-Gulland took up the Tasso Leventis Chair of Biodiversity in October 2015, a post which provides leadership in research and teaching in biodiversity. The generous benefaction from the Tasso Leventis Conservation Foundation has enabled Professor EJ Milner-Gulland to pursue her wide-ranging work and her commitment to bringing together practitioners and academia, addressing the challenges that humanity faces in halting the decline of global biodiversity. The gift is invested in the Oxford Endowment Fund as part of the central University’s shareholding.

‘My research group works at the interface of social and ecological systems, using a range of methodological approaches to address key issues in current conservation, including fieldwork and modelling in the ecological, social and behavioural sciences. Our work has three themes: understanding resource user incentives; planning for effective and socially just conservation; and accounting for social-ecological system dynamics. We work in the terrestrial and marine realms, with practitioners who are implementing interventions to ensure that they are designed, carried out and monitored in a way that leads to the desired outcomes from both conservation and social justice perspectives.

‘Specific projects include: the social impact of biodiversity offsets for dam construction in Uganda; the evaluation of the effect of a public health programme on gorilla conservation, again in Uganda; establishing a large Oxford Martin School programme on the illegal wildlife trade; and a collaboration with colleagues in the Zoology Department, on the effects of the recent El Niño event on farmers in Papua New Guinea and their use of forest resources. Along with a number of other projects, this represents a vibrant research programme which is growing particularly fast. I very much appreciate the positive and supportive interdisciplinary environment provided by Oxford, with a huge range of seminars and potential collaborators.’