Chloë Montes Strevens

An ecologist by training, I have spent the past fourteen years working in the multidisciplinary field of biodiversity conservation in the pursuit of innovative, equitable and enduring solutions to the global biodiversity crisis. I have worked across international to local scales, collaborating with partners from the private, public and third sectors. This experience has given me a deep appreciation for the necessity of diverse and inclusive approaches to conservation governance.

In my current role as Director of the MSc in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management (BCM) in the School of Geography and the Environment, I lead the design and delivery of a cross-disciplinary program of graduate study that responds to the challenges and opportunities of modern biodiversity conservation and nature recovery.  LCNR is central to BCM’s aims and I work closely with LCNR colleagues to develop MSc teaching and research on nature recovery.

My research and teaching focus on community-led conservation and community science, exploring the critical role indigenous people and local communities people play in conserving biodiversity.

Merlin Sheldrake

Merlin Sheldrake is a biologist, writer, and speaker with a background in plant sciences, microbiology, ecology, and the history and philosophy of science. He received a Ph.D. in tropical ecology from Cambridge University for his work on underground fungal networks in tropical forests in Panama, where he was a predoctoral research fellow of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. He is a research associate of the Vrije University Amsterdam, works with the Society for the Protection of Underground Networks (SPUN), and sits on the advisory board of the Fungi Foundation.

Nicola Ranger



Nicola works with financial institutions, governments and business to help integrate environmental risks into decision making and align finance and policy with the transition to a resilient, net-zero and nature-positive economy. She is Director, Greening Finance for Nature for the UKRI Integrating Finance and Biodiversity Programme and Director of the Resilience Planet Finance Lab. Nicola’s background combines complex systems modelling, public policy, international development, environmental economics and finance. Her academic work is centred on data, analytics and decision making and she works across the world, from the City of London to Ghana. For the Leverhulme Centre for nature Recovery, Nicola leads work on mobilising finance for nature in Kenya.

Aoife Bennett

Dr Aoife Bennett is Departmental Research Lecturer in the Environmental Social Sciences at ECI, SoGE. She is an interdisciplinary environmental research scientist  with expertise in the social sciences, a strong background in Political Ecology and a focus on the socio-political and environmental challenges and opportunities – particularly in Latin America and the Amazon. Her research involves a large amount of multi-methods field-based research, and always includes the most marginalized members of society as active members of her research. She is particularly interested in decolonizing research techniques and activities and working together on breaking down the North/South divide therein.

Aoife is an active member of the global social and environmental community within and outside of academia. She sits as Fellow to the Biodiversity Council at the World Economic Forum (where Aoife created the World Economic Strategic Intelligence Map for Biodiversity, Trustee for the charity Action for Conservation, as an author on the Science Panel for the Amazon (including in the Amazon Assessment Report), and as Advisor to a small indigenous charity that promotes cultural preservation in the Peruvian Amazon.

Aoife is a passionate researcher that likes to be involved in the lives of the people in the places where she works and as such is something of an activist academic she also engages in philanthropy and meaningful local capacity building and mutual aid.

Mattia Troiano

Mattia aims to broaden the analysis of mainstream conservation initiatives from a socio-ecological perspective by looking at the feasibility of a more ecologically-informed and socio-economic just climate governance. He has always been passionate about social justice and great care for the environment with a particular focus on the Political Economy of the Environment as key exploration area in his undergrad experience.

In his MPhil studies, he’s been looking at the potential of Nature-based Solutions (NbS) in stimulating community-led conservation practices. His MPhil research area focuses on community-grounded aesthetic sensibilities of nature recovery in accessible urban green spaces aiming at creating spaces for local ownership of common green spaces by directly enquiring residents, and supporting a planning of accessible green spaces in Oxford which is more equitable and responsive to the needs and values of communities inhabiting those spaces.

Oscar Hartman Davies

Oscar defended his DPhil thesis at the School of Geography and the Environment in January 2024 and is currently working as a Social Sciences Engagement Fellow between the School and Youngwilders, a youth-led nature recovery organisation based in the UK which he co-founded.

He is an environmental geographer whose work centres around the emerging interdisciplinary field of ‘digital ecologies’, and his DPhil thesis considers the mobilisation of seabirds as sentinels of environmental change, and their entanglement in digital transformations in ocean governance. His current fellowship seeks to integrate social scientific insights on effective participatory approaches to nature’s recovery into the work of Youngwilders and the European Young Rewilders network, and he is also working as a visiting researcher between KTH Royal Institute of Technology and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm.

Olga Isupova

Olga is a senior researcher of machine learning and artificial intelligence at the Leverhulme Centre for Nature Recovery (LCNR). She works on applying machine learning for nature recovery: digitising historic topographic maps for estimating deforestation over time, deriving forest health from remote sensing, measuring biodiversity via acoustics. She is passionate to develop novel machine learning methods that serve nature recovery.

Felipe Martello

Felipe is a community and spatial ecologist focusing on how spatial structure influences biodiversity and related ecological processes. In his research, he studies the effects of anthropogenic landscape structures on different facets of biodiversity, including taxonomic diversity, functional diversity and beta diversity. Currently, he also seeks to use the multidimensionality of biodiversity to gain insights into natural capital biological assets, both in pristine and recovering natural areas. Felipe has also developed computational spatial modelling tools for nature recovery, including the simulation of ecological corridors and the identification of priority areas for restoration and conservation.

He is currently an ecological remote sensing postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oxford, funded by Leverhulme Centre for Nature Recovery, where he is working on the use of Earth Observation data to map aspects of ecosystem functionality and resilience, and to assess the temporal dynamics of land use and land cover change in areas dedicated to nature recovery.

Erle Ellis

Erle Ellis is Professor of Geography and Environmental Systems at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) where he directs the Anthroecology Laboratory.

His research investigates the ecology of human landscapes at local to global scales to inform sustainable stewardship of the biosphere in the Anthropocene. His recent work examines long-term changes in Earth’s ecology produced by human societies through the concept of anthropogenic biomes, or anthromes, a term he introduced in 2008.

He has developed online tools for global synthesis of local knowledge (GLOBE) and inexpensive tools for mapping landscapes in 3D (Ecosynth). He is a Global Highly Cited Researcher, a UMBC Presidential Research Professor, a lead author on the IPBES Transformative Change Assessment, a Fellow of the Global Land Programme, a Senior Fellow of the Breakthrough Institute and a former member of the Anthropocene Working Group of the International Commission on Stratigraphy. He teaches environmental science and landscape ecology at UMBC and has taught ecology at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. His first book, Anthropocene: A Very Short Introduction was published by Oxford University Press in 2018.

Flurina Wartmann

Flurina Wartmann is a social environmental geographer who focuses on human-nature relationships, with a particular interest on cultural landscape values and people-place relations. She uses digital media, public surveys, and participatory research methods, such as participatory mapping and GIS, to explore society-nature relations.

At the Leverhulme Centre for Nature Recovery, Flurina works on exploring the landscape aesthetics of nature recovery in the UK. This research will contribute to understand how perceptions about what the landscape ought to look like enable and constrain nature recovery.