Damehood for Professor E.J. Milner-Gulland in King’s Birthday Honours

19 June 2023

Professor Milner Gulland by John Cairns
The Director of three Oxford Martin School programmes is one of six members of Oxford University recognised in the 2023 King's Birthday Honours list.

Professor E.J. Milner-Gulland, Tasso Leventis Professor of Biodiversity and Director of the Oxford Martin School Programmes on the Wildlife Trade, Biodiversity and Society, and Food Sustainability Analytics, has been appointed a Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (DBE) for services to biodiversity conservation.

The citation for Professor Milner-Gulland's Damehood highlights her sustained high-level contribution over a 32-year career to biodiversity conservation directly and by inspiring and enabling others, many notably from developing countries. She is one of the UK's pre-eminent scientists; her research group, the Interdisciplinary Centre for Conservation Science, works across five continents to understand, predict, and influence human behaviour to reduce biodiversity loss while upholding human rights and wellbeing, advise businesses on improving environmental and social sustainability, and control illegal wildlife trade.

Professor Milner-Gulland said, "I was absolutely thrilled and shocked to receive the letter telling me that I’d been nominated for a Damehood, although the news has still not really sunk in even a couple of weeks later. It’s really a great honour, which means a lot to me and to my family.

"A lot of the credit needs to go to the past and present members of my group, the Interdisciplinary Centre for Conservation Science. They work on a wide range of collaborative projects which aim to support and improve conservation policy and practice around the world, and are a constant source of inspiration to me."

Professor Milner-Gulland has also launched a number of initiatives which aim to change the real-world conversation around conservation, including the Alliance of Nature-Positive Universities and the Conservation Optimism movement. She has chaired the UK Government's Darwin Expert Committee since 2019 and since 2021 has served on HM Treasury's Biodiversity Valuation Working Group.

She has been a Trustee of numerous organisations including WWF-UK, Flora and Flora International, Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, the Saiga Conservation Alliance and Conservation Optimism, and advises numerous national and international bodies such as the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the UN Convention on Migratory Species, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, and UK Research Councils and conservation organisations.