University of St Andrews


Valeria M. Toledo-Gallegos

Photo of Valeria M. Toledo-Gallegos


Supervisors:  Professor Nicholas Hanley & Dr Jed Long


Research Title

Unveiling sources of preference heterogeneity for ecosystem services improvements


In a scenario of increasing environmental degradation of coastal ecosystems, it is vital to consider their relevance on providing a range of goods and ES to society. Environmental benefits and costs are not fully captured by markets and environmental valuation studies intend to correct the market failure by quantifying their contribution to consumer’s utility. In order to promote ES optimal management, it is necessary to understand their value magnitude and distribution within landscapes. Spatial analyses reveal ES linkages in ecosystems and allow to explore the relation between land attributes and ES provisioning. By mapping one ES of each category (food provisioning, flood regulation, and recreational service) this research aims to identify spatial ES trade-offs occurring in estuarine catchments under different LUC. The acknowledgement of value changes will allow suggesting alternative strategies for land use that balances between economic and ecological considerations.


Valeria Toledo is currently undertaking a PhD in Sustainable Development based in the Department of Geography and Sustainable Development at the University of St Andrews. Her research interests include ecosystem services, environmental valuation, spatial analysis, environmental planning and development studies. Her current research examines the different factors influencing preference heterogeneity of willingness to pay values, such as socio-economic, psychological, and geographical context. She studied an MSc in Environment & Sustainable Development at the University of Glasgow, UK. In Mexico, she completed a Specialist Degree in Economic Theory and a BSc in Environmental Sciences at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM).