After studying for 10 years in Cambridge I was a research fellow at the Institute of Zoology in London and then a lecturer at the University of Sheffield. In 1998 I returned to the Zoology Department, where I teach conservation science, and help run the Conservation Science Group.
My research focuses on how to reconcile biodiversity conservation with meeting human food needs and other land-demanding activities; the costs and benefits of retaining intact ecosystems; and identifying what works in conservation. I collaborate closely with conservation practitioners and with colleagues in other disciplines, including economics and psychology. In my book Wild Hope I argue that cautious, evidence-based optimism is vital in tackling environmental challenges. I helped establish the Student Conference on Conservation Science, the Cambridge Conservation Forum, the Cambridge Conservation Initiative, Earth Optimism and the Cambridge Centre for Carbon Credits.