I am an interdisciplinary researcher in sustainable development, conservation and environmental management issues with a specialisation in ecological economics and citizen and stakeholder deliberation. I am a Professorial Research Fellow at the Aberystwyth Business School, Director of Ecologos Research Ltd (an independent research and consultancy social enterprise), and Honorary Fellow at the University of York, Department of Environment and Geography. I am also a Registered One Spirit Interfaith Minister and work as a psychospiritual counsellor.
My main research interest is in people’s values around nature. I enjoy taken a broad view of the notion of value and values, looking through the lenses of economics, ecology, ethics, psychology and spiritual practice, and have a particular interest in how social processes shape values and in ways we can integrate economic and deliberative methodologies to better incorporate shared values of nature into decision-making. I also work more broadly on new economics approaches that focus on holistic wellbeing for people and planet, including as lead for the Global Assessment for a New Economics.
I have previously worked at the University of York, Environment Department as Reader in Deliberative Ecological Economics, where I was programme leader for the MSc in Environmental Economics and Environmental Management. I was also a Principal Investigator at the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) where I lead the Laurence Mee Centre for Society and the Sea, and have lectured at the Universities of Edinburgh, St Andrews, Leicester and Aberdeen.
I have authored over 50 peer reviewed publications with more than 4500 citations (see Google Scholar Profile). My work has received funding from European, UK, Norwegian and Finnish research councils. I was a Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) focusing on the conceptualisation of multiple values, and a principal investigator for the second phase of the UK National Ecosystem Assessment (2012-2014), leading work on shared, plural and cultural values of ecosystems. I have also served as board member of the International Society for Ecological Economics and the European Society for Ecological Economics. I am an Editor of the journal Sustainability Science and was previously Associate Editor of the journal Ecosystem Services. For my cross-disciplinary research in the Solomon Islands (South Pacific) on environmental values, I have received prizes from the European Society for Ecological Economics, the Society for Conservation Biology, and the Geographical Field Group. Before moving to the UK, I worked as an environmental campaigner in the Netherlands, Iceland and elsewhere.