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Valuing Nature Placements have been awarded to Amy Binner, Tim Wilkinson and Cheryl Willis.

Valuing Nature placements for LEEP academics

LEEP is delighted that three of its academics were awarded Valuing Nature placements contributing to the understanding of the complexities of the natural environment they will work with policymakers, businesses and practitioners. 

Valuing Nature Placements have been awarded to Amy Binner, Tim Wilkinson and Cheryl Willis, The placements are of three months’ duration from 15 February – 13 May 2016.

Amy Binner’s placement is entitled “From valuing nature to policies and decision making: Co-developing and implementing a 25 year planning tool for the natural environment” and has been awarded £23,000. The placement proposes to integrate interdisciplinary knowledge from environmental, biological, and economic research within a high profile valuing nature project, working closely with policymakers to improve the uptake and usability of valuation research.  A central focus is to explore trade-offs between ecosystem services, their contribution to engagement with the environment and impacts on human health and wellbeing.  You can read more about Amy’s placement on the Valuing Nature website.

Cheryl Willis’s placement is entitled “Determining the impacts of Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) on cultural ecosystem services and human well-being” and has been awarded £16,484. Cutting edge research is currently underway at Plymouth Marine Laboratory to model HABs and project their occurrence in the future using ecosystem models. This placement will provide Dr Willis with a unique opportunity to work with ecosystem modellers, learning about the natural science research and the level of complexity and uncertainty associated with these models. She will have the opportunity to extend this research to include the social and cultural impacts of HABs, building on both her own and broader previous work in revealing cultural services and well-being benefits of coastal and marine areas. You can read more about Cheryl’s placement on the Valuing Nature website.

Tim Wilkinson’s placement is entitled “Exploring biodiversity values in the Somerset Levels with ecological entrepreneurs” and has been awarded £16,351. This placement with the RSPB will explore the values attributed to biodiversity in the Somerset Levels by ‘ecological entrepreneurs’ from the NGO community (e.g. Somerset Wildlife Trust), active citizen groups (e.g. Flooding on the Levels Action Group) and private enterprise (e.g. Coates English Willow). Through interaction with ‘ecological entrepreneurs’ it will explore if, and with what motivations, there is an appetite to promote nature on the Somerset Levels for visitors, and, how biodiversity could attract people and income. This placement will facilitate the exchange of ideas about biodiversity values among ‘ecological entrepreneurs’. It will aid their articulation of claims about the role of biodiversity in health and wellbeing, and clarify tactics for motivating pro-environmental behaviour. Outcomes will inform future development pathways for the Somerset Levels and shape RSPB engagements with entrepreneurial networks. You can read more about Tim’s placement on the Valuing Nature website.  

Date: 15 March 2016

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