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Personal profile


Johan Oldekop is an environmental social scientist and Senior Lecturer in Environment and Development at the Global Development Institute. His work focuses on understanding the kinds of policies, interventions and social processes that lead to better outcomes for people and nature. Johan's research is inherently interdisciplinary and combines a range of different approaches from the natural and social sciences, including environmental sciences, geographical information systems, political science, and economics. He has ongoing research projects in various biodiversity hotspots and is increasingly interested in the use of large-scale publicly available datasets to understand tradeoffs and synergies between conservation and development outcomes.

Johan obtained his PhD at the University of Manchester, and has held research positions in both the UK (Universities of Sheffield and Newcastle) and the US (University of Michigan, and Washington State University). His research has been funded by the European Union, UK's Economics and Social Research Council, and USAID. His research has been published in leading peer-reviewed journals including Nature Sustainability, Nature Ecology and Evolution, Nature Plants and Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences of the USA.

He is part of the Forest and Livelihoods: Assessment, Research, and Engagement (FLARE) network and the International Forestry Resources and Institutions network.

Johan welcomes enquiries from potential PhD students interested in the use natural resource economics, impact evaluation, and data science to understand social and environmental synergies and tradeoffs.

For media enquiries regarding Johan's research please contact Chris Jordan.


PhD Opportunities:

I am actively seeking PhD students interested in combining publically available datasets with causal inference tools to understand social and environmental tradeoffs. If you have skills in data science, statistics and geographical information systems, and wish to discuss a potential idea or proposal, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Global inequalities
  • Sustainable Futures
  • Global Development Institute


  • environment
  • forestry
  • conservation


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