Research themes

1. Co-generating knowledge to adapt to environmental change

Two elderly men Our research seeks to understand how engaging effectively with stakeholders to co-generate knowledge about environmental change can enhance the planning and governance of dynamic and multifunctional landscapes. We study how new ideas can be jointly generated between researchers and the people who need to adapt to the effects of environmental change.

Our research considers how these ideas are shared (and often transformed) through peer-to-peer networks, and the factors that lead them to be put into policy and practice (or not). The insights from this work provide powerful lessons for designing participatory processes, facilitating knowledge exchange and delivering beneficial impacts to society from environmental research.

We have worked with the Research Councils and knowledge exchange experts from a range of disciplines to ensure build a training course, based on these lessons, that is relevant across all research disciplines.

Key publications

de Vente J, Reed MS, Stringer LC, Valente S, Newig J (under review) How does the context and design of participatory decision-making processes affect their outcomes? Evidence from sustainable land management in global drylands. Journal of Environmental Management

Heink, U., Heubach, K., Jax, K., Kugel, C., Neßhöver, C., Neumann, R.K., Paulsch, A., Tilch. S., Timaeus, J. and Vandewalle M. (in press). Conceptualizing credibility, relevance and legitimacy for evaluating the effectiveness of science-policy interfaces: challenges and opportunities, Science & Public Policy

Reed MS, Stringer, L.C., Dougill, A.J., Perkins, J.S., Atlhopheng, J.R., Mulale, K., Favretto, N. (in press) Reorienting land degradation towards sustainable land management: linking sustainable livelihoods with ecosystem services in rangeland systems. Journal of Environmental Management

Reed MS, Stringer LC, Fazey I, Evely AC, Kruijsen J (2014). Five principles for the practice of knowledge exchange in environmental management. Journal of Environmental Management 146: 337-345

Pe’er, G., Visconti, P., Dicks, L.V., Arlettaz, R., Báldi, A., Benton, T.G., Collins, S., Dieterich, M., Gregory, R.D., Hartig, F., Henle, K., Hobson, P.R., Kleijn, D., Neumann, R.K., Schmidt, J., Shwartz, A., Sutherland, W.J., Turbe, A., Wulf, F. and Scott, A.V. (2014): EU agricultural reform fails on biodiversity. Science 344: 1090-1092.

Dyer J; Stringer LC; Dougill AJ; Leventon J; Nshimbi M; Chama F; Kafwifwi A; Muledi JI; Kaumbu JM; Falcao M; Muhorro S; Munyemba F; Kalaba GM; Syampungani S (2014) Assessing participatory practices in community-based natural resource management: experiences in community engagement from southern Africa., Journal of Environmental Management 137: 137-145.

Reed MS, Hubacek K, Bonn A, Burt TP, Holden J, Stringer LC, Beharry-Borg N, Buckmaster S, Chapman D, Chapman P, Clay GD, Cornell S, Dougill AJ, Evely A, Fraser EDG, Jin N, Irvine B, Kirkby M, Kunin W, Prell C, Quinn CH, Slee W, Stagl S, Termansen M, Thorp S, Worrall F (2013) Anticipating and managing future trade-offs and complementarities between ecosystem services. Ecology & Society 18(1): 5

Reed MS, Fazey I, Stringer LC, Evely A and 28 others (2013) Knowledge management for land degradation monitoring and assessment: an analysis of contemporary thinking. Land Degradation & Development 24: 307-322.

Reed MS, Bonn A, Broad K, Burgess P, Fazey IR, Fraser EDG, Hubacek K, Nainggolan D, Roberts P, Quinn CH, Stringer LC, Thorpe S, Walton DD, Ravera F, Redpath S (2013) Participatory scenario development for environmental management: a methodological framework. Journal of Environmental Management 128: 345-362

Stringer LC; Dougill AJ (2013) Channelling science into policy: enabling best practices from research on land degradation and sustainable land management in dryland Africa., Journal of Environmental Management 114: 328-335.

Stringer LC and 20 others (2012) Challenges and opportunities in linking carbon sequestration, livelihoods and ecosystem service provision in drylands, Environmental Science and Policy 19-20: 121-135.

Fazey I, Evely AC, Reed MS, Stringer LC, Kruijsen J, White PCL, Newsham A, Jin L, Cortazzi M, Phillopson J, Blackstock K, Entwhistle N, Sheate W, Armstrong F, Blackmore C, Fazey J, Ingram J, Gregson J, Lowe P, Morton S, Trevitt C (2012) Knowledge exchange: a research agenda for environmental management. Environmental Conservation 40: 19-36

Evely AC, Pinard M, Lambin X, Reed MS, Fazey I (2011) High levels of participation in conservation projects enhance learning. Conservation Letters 4: 116-126

Chasek P; Essahli W; Akhtar-Schuster M; Stringer LC; Thomas RJ (2011) Integrated Land degradation monitoring and assessment: Horizontal knowledge management at the national and international levels, Land Degradation and Development 22: 272-284.

Reed MS, Evely AC, Cundill G, Fazey I, Glass J, Laing A, Newig J, Parrish B, Prell C, Raymond C, Stringer LC (2010) What is social learning? Ecology & Society 15 (4): r1. [online] URL:

Raymond CM, Fazey I, Reed MS, Stringer LC, Robinson GM, Evely AC (2010) Integrating local and scientific knowledge for environmental management: From products to processes. Journal of Environmental Management 91: 1766-1777

Evely, A.C., I Fazey, X. Lambin, E. Lambert, S. Allen, and M. Pinard (2010) Defining and Evaluating the impact of cross-disciplinary conservation research. Environmental Conservation, 37:442-450.

Vella, S, & Borg, M. (2010) Integrate Plurality of Landscapes and Public involvements into Maltese environmental Policy. In: S. Keorner and I. Russel (eds.) Unquiet Pasts – Lived Cultural Heritage, Risk Society and Reflexivity (New York: Springer-Kluwer.)

Fazey, I., Gamarra, J. G., Fischer, J., Reed, M.S., Stringer, L.C., & Christie, M. (2009). Adaptation strategies for reducing vulnerability to future environmental change. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 8: 414-422.

Reed MS, Graves A, Dandy N, Posthumus H, Hubacek K, Morris J, Prell C, Quinn CH, Stringer LC (2009) Who’s in and why? Stakeholder analysis as a prerequisite for sustainable natural resource management. Journal of Environmental Management 90: 1933–1949

Reed MS (2008) Stakeholder participation for environmental management: a literature review. Biological Conservation 141: 2417–2431

Evely, A.C., Fazey, I., Pinard, M. and Lambin, X. (2008) The influence of philosophical perspectives in integrative research: a conservation case study in the Cairngorms National Park. Ecology and Society 13(2): 52. [online] URL:

Fazey, I., Fazey, J. A., Fischer, J., Sherren, K., Warren, J., Noss, R. F., & Dovers, S. R. (2007). Adaptive capacity and learning to learn as leverage for social-ecological resilience. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 5: 375-380.

Reed MS, Fraser EDG & Dougill AJ (2006) An adaptive learning process for developing and applying sustainability indicators with local communities. Ecological Economics 59: 406-418

Fazey, I., Fazey, J. A., Salisbury, J. G., Lindenmayer, D. B., & Dovers, S. (2006). The nature and role of experiential knowledge for environmental conservation. Environmental Conservation 33: 1-10.

Fazey, I., Fazey, J. A., & Fazey, D. M. (2005). Learning more effectively from experience. Ecology and Society.

Fazey, I., Salisbury, J. G., Lindenmayer, D. B., Maindonald, J., & Douglas, R. (2004). Can methods applied in medicine be used to summarize and disseminate conservation research? Environmental Conservation 31: 190-198.

Key projects

BiodivERsA stakeholder engagement handbook
Funding: £12,000 from Joint Nature Conservation Council (2013-2014)
Team: Mark Reed (Co-I), Ana Atlee (Co-I)
Project website

Involved - what makes stakeholder participation work?
Funding: £120,000 from the British Academy (Research Development Award) (2009-2012)
Team: Mark Reed (PI), Lindsay Stringer (Co-I)
Project video

Sustainable Uplands
Funding: £1M from Rural Economy & Land Use (RELU) programme & ESRC (2005-2012)
Team: Mark Reed (PI), Lindsay Stringer (Co-I), Ioan Fazey (Co-I), Ana Atlee (PDRA)
Project Websites: Sustainable Uplands Sustainable Learning

Ecocycles: Interacting impacts of land use and climate changes on ecosystem processes
Funding: €1.5M from NERC and EU Framework 6 (2009-2012)
Team: Mark Reed (Co-I)

Desertification Mitigation & Remediation of Land (DESIRE)
Funding: €9m from EU Framework 6 (2006-2011)
Team: Mark Reed (Workblock leader & University of Leeds PI), Lindsay Stringer (Co-I)
Project website

2. Enabling social change through alternative dispute resolution

group of people at a dig Our research in this area focuses on mediation, alternative dispute resolution and participative approaches to resolving housing, property and other types of dispute. Much of the work is based around a paradigm of ‘horizontal justice’ and bottom-up strategies of involvement, early intervention and management. The work is global in scope with recent contributions involving not only the UK but also China, Brazil, the Netherlands, Germany and other parts of Europe.

Completed studies include work which sits firmly within the legal context to others that are more focused on the pre-legal problem solving of disputes and on creating democratic forms of community engagement that foster social change. Currently, we are exploring further opportunities in Brazil and in southern Europe for large scale research projects on housing, participation and dispute resolution.

Key publications

Sidoli del Ceno, J (2014) The Problem of Compulsory Mediation: Civil Justice, Human Rights and Proportionality. International Journal of Law in the Built Environment 6: 286-299.

Vols, M. (2014) Neighbours from hell: problem-solving and housing laws in the Netherlands, The Arizona Summit Law Review 7, 2014.

Sidoli del Ceno, J and Reed, M.S. (2014) Mediation and conservation conflicts: from top-down to bottom-up: from top-down to bottom-up. In: Conflicts in conservation: strategies for coping with a changing worldedited by Juliette Young and Steve Redpath, Cambridge University Press.

M. Vols and D. Duran (2014) Tackling Anti-Social Behaviour and Homelessness with Exclusion Orders in the Netherlands, Belgium, England and Wales. In G.J. Vonk & A. Tollenaar (eds.), Homelessness and the law. Constitution, criminal law and human rights, Nijmegen: Wolf Legal Publishers.

Sidoli del Ceno, J., Kenna, P & Spencer, G (2014) Selective Licensing - Residents, Landlords and Community Engagement: The Perspectives of Scheme Managers. Journal of Housing Law 17: 72-77.

Sidoli del Ceno, J (2013) Construction Mediation as a developmental process. International Review of Law 2013: 1 also published in Arabic as الوساطة في منازعات البناء كعملیة تنمویة.

Vols, M. (2013) Woonoverlast en het recht op privéleven [Housing Related Anti-Social Behaviour and the Right to Respect for Private Life and Home. Tackling Anti-social Behaviour in the Netherlands, England, Wales and Belgium]. Den Haag: Boom Juridische Uitgevers), 293 pp.

Vols, M. (2013) Woonoverlast en het recht op privéleven [Housing Related Anti-Social Behaviour and the Right to Respect for Private Life and Home. Tackling Anti-social Behaviour in the Netherlands, England, Wales and Belgium] (Den Haag: Boom Juridische Uitgevers), 293 pp.

Redpath, S. Young, J.  Evely, A.C. et al. (2012) Biodiversity conservation conflicts: a roadmap to resolution. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 28: 100-109.

Sidoli del Ceno, J. (2012) Selective licensing and resident satisfaction: a case study. International Journal of Law in the Built Environment 4: 126-139.

Sidoli del ceno, J (2011) An investigation into lawyer attitudes towards the use of mediation in commercial property disputes in England and Wales, International Journal of Law in the Built Environment 3: 182 – 198.

Selected projects

Behaviour for Well-being, Environment & Life
Funding: £249K from ESRC/BBSRC/MRC (2009-2010)
Team: Mark Reed (Co-I & WP leader)
Project website

3. Understanding changing values around the built and natural environment

Our research investigates how people can work together to better understand changing values for the built and natural environment. In the built environment, our research has explores the factors that influence real estate valuation decisions, investigating how the biases of expert valuers influence their judgement.

Our research has considered the value of collaborative, joint valuation techniques, where expert feedback is elicited and integrated from a range of knowledge sources as part of the valuation process. More broadly, we have investigated the shared and cultural values that groups of people in society hold for the natural environment, and how these may be taken into consideration in national policy-making.

As society becomes increasingly aware of the benefits provided by nature to human wellbeing, our research is considering how society can pay for these benefits, giving those who manage our countryside more incentives to manage the land sustainably, for example through Payments for Ecosystem Services schemes.

Key publications

Favretto, N., Stringer, L.C., Dougill, A.J., Reed, M.S., Perkins, J.S, Atlhopheng, J.R., Mulale, K. (under review). Applying a Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis to identify ecosystem service trade-offs under four different land uses in Botswana’s Kalahari Rangelands. Ecological Economics

Kenter JO, Brady E, Bryce R, Christie M, Church A, Irvine KN, Cooper N, Davies A, Evely A, Everard M, Fazey I, Hockley N, Jobstvogt N, Molloy C, O’Brien L, Orchard-Webb J, Ravenscroft N, Ranger S, Reed MS, Ryan M, Watson V (in press). What are shared and social values of ecosystems? Ecological Economics

Evely, A.C., Reed, M.S., Adams, D., Lambert, E. (in press) Sustainability 2.0. New Strategies for achieving behaviour change in a more connected world. Chapter 8. Sustainability: Key Issues (Kopnina H & Ouimet E Eds.) Routledge

Vella, S. (2015) Urban Landscapes in Malta: Contested Values and Perceptions – Reconceptualising Environmental Assessments. In: Pungetti, G. (Ed.) Island Landscape an expression of European culture (Ashgate Publishing).

Kenter, J.O., Reed, M.S., Irvine, K.N., O'Brien, E., Brady, E., Bryce, R., Christie, M., Church, A., Cooper, N., Davies, A., Evely AC, Hockley, N., Fazey, I., Jobstvogt, N., Molloy, C., Orchard-Webb, J., Ravenscroft, N., Ryan, M., Watson, V. (2014) UK National Ecosystem Assessment follow-on phase, technical report: Shared, Plural and Cultural Values of Ecosystems. UNEP-WCMC, Cambridge. Forthcoming March, 2014.

Reed, M.S., Moxey, A., Prager, K., Hanley, N., Skates, J., Evans, C., Glenk, K., Scarpa, R., Thompson, K. et al. (2014) Improving the link between payments and the provision of ecosystem services in agri-environment schemes in UK peatlands. Ecosystem Services 9: 44-53

Kenter, J.O., Bryce, R., Davies, A., Jobstvogt, N., Watson, V., Ranger, S., Solandt, J.L., Duncan, C., Christie, M., Crump, H., Irvine, K.N., Pinard, M., Reed, M.S. (2013). The value of potential marine protected areas in the UK to divers and sea anglers. UK National Ecosystem Assessment interim report. UNEP-WCMC, Cambridge, UK.

Rowcroft P, Smith S, Clarke L, Thomson K, Reed MS (2011) Barriers and Opportunities to the Use of Payments for Ecosystem Services. DEFRA commissioned report

Smith, S., Rowcroft, P., Everard, M., Couldrick, L., Reed, M.S., Rogers, H., Quick, T., Eves, C. and White, C. (2013). Payments for Ecosystem Services: A Best Practice Guide. Defra, London.

Amidu, A.-R. (2012) Investigating influences on real estate agents' ethical values: the case of real estate agents in Nigeria, International Journal of Strategic Property Management 16: 298-315

Kenter, J. O., Hyde, T., Christie, M., & Fazey, I. (2011). The importance of deliberation in valuing ecosystem services in developing countries—Evidence from the Solomon Islands. Global Environmental Change 21: 505-521.

Amidu, A.-R. (2010) The ethics of real estate agents in emerging economies: a cross-sectional survey of agents and service consumers’ perception in Nigeria, Property Management 28: 339-357 (with Agboola, A.O. and Ojo, O.)

Amidu, A.-R. (2009) Empirical evidence of the influences on first-price bid auction premiums, International Real Estate Review 12: 157-170 (with Agboola, A.O.)

Amidu, A.-R. (2008) Valuation of Yoruba sacred shrines, monuments and groves for compensation. In: Simons, R.A. et al. (eds.) Indigenous Peoples and Real Estate Valuation, American Real Estate Society (with Aluko, B.T. and Omisore, O.E.)

Amidu, A.-R. (2008) Clients feedback pressure and the role of estate surveyors and valuers, Journal of Property Research 25: 89-106 (with Aluko, B.T. and Hansz, J.A.)

Amidu, A.-R. (2008) Price formation in residential property market: evidence from FGLP auction in Nigeria, Property Management 26: 228-240 (with Aluko, B.T. and Oyedele, J.B.)

Amidu, A.-R. (2008) Real estate security and other investment assets: a comparison of investment characteristics in the Nigerian stock markets, Journal of Property Investment and Finance 26: 151-161 (with Aluko, B.T., Nuhu, M.B. and Saibu, M.O.)

Selected projects

Advancing knowledge on the costs, benefits, trade-offs of sustainable land management in southern Africa’s rangelands
Funding: 199,000 Euros from the United Nations (Economics of Land Degradation Initiative)
Team: Lindsay Stringer (PI), Mark Reed (Co-I)
Project website

Shared Values Work Package, National Ecosystem Assessment (follow-on)
Funding: £264,000 from DEFRA, Welsh Government, NERC, ESRC and AHRC (2012-2013)
Team: Mark Reed (joint PI with Jasper Kenter), Ioan Fazey (Co-I), Ana Attlee (Co-I)
Project website

Developing the evidence base on Payments for Ecosystem Service Beneficiaries in England
Funding: £75,000 from Defra
Team: Mark Reed (Co-I)

Visitor Giving - Payments for Ecosystem Services Pilot
Funding: £25,000 from DEFRA
Team: Mark Reed (PI) Ana Attlee (Co-I)

Peatland Code - Payments for Ecosystem Services Pilot
Funding: £25,000 from DEFRA
Team: Mark Reed (PI)

Valuing nature’s services: moving towards payments for ecosystem services and conservation credits in the English Uplands
Funding: £40,000 from DEFRA and Natural England
Team: Mark Reed (Co-I)

Payment for Ecosystem Services Best Practice Guidance
Funding: £100,000 from DEFRA (2011-12)
Team: Mark Reed (Co-I)

Valuing Peatlands: Assessing and valuing peatland ecosystem services for sustainable management
Funding: £43,037 from NERC Valuing Nature Network (2011-12)
Team: Mark Reed (PI)
Project website