University of St Andrews

Environmental Economics Research Group News

March 2015

  • Valeria Toledo-Gallegos has joined us as a new PhD student, funded by the University under the 6th century scheme. She is working on the supply of multiple ecosystem services from estuaries, combining GIS, spatial analysis and economic valuation. Her supervisors are Jed Long and Nick Hanley.
  • The group has started a small research contract for Historic Scotland, which has the objective of coming up with a method for prioritising spending on the conservation of historic buildings and other sites under the care of Historic Scotland. Using contingent valuation, we will be estimating public willingness to pay for 6 different sites – including St Andrews Cathedral. Results are expected by the end of April.
  • The group has led an outline bid for a large NERC grant on biodiversity offsets. Other members of the bid are the universities of Stirling, Leeds and UEA, and the Scottish Association for Marine Sciences.
  • The Environmental Economics group now has a “reading session”, held fortnightly, in which members take it in turn to present interesting/important papers from the literature prior to a group discussion. Sessions take place every other Wednesday at 1pm. Contact Michaela Roberts for more information.

October 2014

  • UNEP-Bioecon training workshop, Cambridge:  Nick Hanley organised and then taught on a training workshop run for the United Nations Environment Programme on The economics of biodiversity and ecosystem services at Kings  College, Cambridge on September 20-21. We received applications from over 400 people in 88 countries to attend, and finally selected 25 “students” from 21 countries in the developing world. Most of those attending were government workers with some responsibility for environmental policy. Lectures were provided by leading academics from the London School of Economics, Duke University and ETH Zurich, along with St Andrews. We hope to able to repeat this training workshop next year.
  • Bioecon conference:  The annual Bioecon conference (the economics of biodiversity) was held at Kings College, Cambridge, September 22-23. Papers were presented by several members of the group including Nick Hanley and Laure Kuhfuss; whilst two of our visiting PhDs also presented (Michela Faccioli and Erlend Sandorf).
  • New PhD students:  We welcome Michaela Roberts and Ryan Holmes as new PhD students in the group. Michaela is studying the conflicts between grazing pressures, biodiversity and tourism on small islands in the Caribbean. Ryan is studying the transition away from heavy fuel oils in world maritime transportation. We wish them well.
  • Upcoming events
    • October 14:  lecture by Professor Rob Johnston (Clark University, USA), Scottish Oceans Institute, (11am-1pm).
    • October 16:  choice modelling workshop with Prof Johnston, University of Stirling, Economics Division.
    • November 10-11:  Annual Crieff Interdisciplinary Workshop on Coastal Ecosystem Management and Valuation.

September 2014

  • We welcome Laure Kuhfuss and Eoin McLaughlin to the University. Laure will be working as a Research Fellow with Nick Hanley for two years. She has a PhD from the University of Montpellier. Eoin will be working as a lecturer; his background is in economic history.
  • The Coastal Zone forum within MASTS are running a half-day session of the economic valuation of ecosystem services in the coastal zone at the MASTS Annual Science Meeting in Edinburgh on Wednesday 3rd September. Speakers from Scotland, Finland and Ireland will be presenting their work.
  • Professor Robert Johnston from Clark University, USA will be presenting an inter-disciplinary seminar on Disentangling the Value of Water Quality Improvements Across Different Ecosystem Services, on Tuesday, October 14, 2014 from 11-13.00. Please contact masts@st-andrews.ac.uk if you want to attend, either in person or by weblink.
  • A choice modelling workshop is being organised at the University of Stirling, Division of Economics, jointly with the Environmental Economics Research Group. It will be held in Stirling on 16th October. Please contact Danny Campbell if you want to come along.
  • The Coastal Zone is also planning a two-day workshop on ecosystem management and valuation at the Crieff Hydro in November (10-11). Please contact Nick Hanley if you are interested in coming along.

August 2014

  • MASTS Annual science meeting: we are organising a special session on Wednesday September 3rd at the MASTS ASM (Heriot-Watt University) with researchers from Finland, Scotland and Ireland on valuing coastal ecosystems. See www.masts.ac.uk for details.
  • A new inter-disciplinary grant from BBSRC on modelling tree diseases in forest landscapes has been awarded to a consortium of universities comprising Stirling, St Andrews, Cambridge and Aberystwyth. The project will combine economic and epidemiological modelling to understand how management responses help determine the spread of diseases through a landscape, and will investigate the effects of disease risks on optimal forest management. The project runs for 3 years from July 2014, and will recruit a 2-year post doc to work with Nick Hanley at St Andrews.
  • We welcome two visiting PhD students to the group, Erlend from University of Tromso in Norway and Michaela from the University of the Balearic Islands to work with Nick Hanley. They will be visiting us for most of Autumn 2014, working on issues in choice modelling.
  • We are helping to organise a 2-day training workshop for the United Nations Environment Programme as part of the Bioecon network. The workshop will be coordinated by Nick Hanley, and attracted applications from over 400 people in developing countries. The workshop, on the economics of ecosystem services and biodiversity, will be held at Kings College, Cambridge from September 20-21. See www.bioecon-network.org