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People Professor E.J. Milner-Gulland

Co-Director, Oxford Martin Programme on the Illegal Wildlife Trade


Tasso Leventis Professor of Biodiversity

Before joining the University of Oxford in November 2015, E.J. was Professor of Conservation Science at Imperial College London for 15 years, before which she held positions in Resource Economics and Mathematical Ecology at Oxford, Imperial and Warwick Universities.

Her first degree was in Pure and Applied Biology at Oxford, and her  PhD at Imperial was on the exploitation of elephants, rhinos and saigas.

She has a particular interest in developing and applying methods for understanding and predicting human behaviour in the context of local resource use in developing countries, and improving the effectiveness of incentive-based mechanisms such as payment for ecosystems services and biodiversity offsetting, in the marine and terrestrial realms.

She also works on the illegal wildlife trade and is interested in designing, monitoring and evaluating conservation interventions in order to improve their effectiveness.

She is passionate about the conservation ecology of the saiga antelope in Central Asia, and co-founded the Saiga Conservation Alliance in 2006.

Professor Milner-Gulland's research group is strongly interdisciplinary and has a wide range of research interests within conservation science. Its ethos is to ensure that all the research they do addresses issues identified by practitioners, and is carried out collaboratively with end-users.

The group’s research falls within three broad themes: understanding natural resource users; exploring social-ecological systems; managing human-nature interactions. The first theme addresses the drivers and motivations behind human behaviour towards the environment, the second theme addresses the feedbacks between individual behaviour and the wider social and ecological system within which they are embedded, and the third theme addresses how best to design, implement and evaluate interventions to alter human behaviour and hence slow the rate of biodiversity loss.

You can follow E.J. on Twitter: @EJMilnerGulland