Cecilia Larrosa


Department of Zoology,

University of Oxford. 




Whilst doing my Biology and Ecology undergraduate studies in Argentina, I realised that the answer to preserving the ecosystems I loved so much lay in working with people. Since then I’ve worked in applied conservation, in the science-policy interface and currently doing academic research, all part of my journey into interdisciplinary work.


My overall research interests are socio-ecological systems, landscape ecology and spatial land use planning. I am interested in understanding how conservation interventions such as environmental policy, or payment for ecosystem services modify socio-ecological systems at the landscape level. Specifically, I am interested in the feedbacks of these conservation interventions, which might undermine their effectiveness. These unintended feedbacks of conservation interventions modulated through human decision-making are poorly studied, and are likely to be significant determinants of conservation outcomes.


The relationship between climate change, extreme weather and climate impacts on human and natural systems at the landscape scale is complex, but demand for a more robust and dynamic understanding of climate change impacts is growing.

This project is focussed at the national-ecosystem scale in the Brazilian Amazon, and aims to understand the interactions between climate change mitigation interventions and the wider social and economic landscape. Linking dynamic models of ecosystem change under climate extremes, global models of agricultural commodity prices, and regional-scale models of land prices based on land use change, this project explores robust strategies for fulfilling the Brazilian government's reforestation targets under multiple objectives and in the light of a range of climate-induced and other uncertainties.

This research is part of the Oxford Martin TNC Climate Partnership, and is supervised by Professor E.J. Milner-Gulland.



2017- present Postdoctoral research assistant at University of Oxford, Zoology Department.

2013-2017 Joint Programme PhD student, National University of Singapore and Imperial College London. “Unintended Feedbacks: implications and applications for conservation”, supervised by Prof. Milner-Gulland (University of Oxford) and Dr. Roman Carrasco (National University of Singapore).

2011-13 Assistant Programme Officer with the Science Unit of the United Nations Environmental Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre, UK.

2010-11 MSc Conservation Science, Imperial College London, UK. “The effectiveness of a range of protected area governance and management regimes in reducing deforestation: the Eastern Arc Mountains of Tanzania”, supervised by Dr L Coad, Oxford University.

2010 Michael Wells & Associates consultants, consultancy with Michael Wells, UK.

2007-10 Conservation International, consultancy under Dr. K Brandon & others.

2006-07 Biology and Chemistry secondary school teacher, Argentina.

2000-06 Licenciatura in Biological Sciences- Ecology, University of Buenos Aires. This degree is equivalent to an undergraduate in Biology and masters in Ecology (7yrs).

2001-06 Fieldwork: multiple field assistantships in Argentina, Chile, Mexico and South Africa, in ecology projects including dendrology, forest disturbance, primate census and behaviour, and bat pollination.




Larrosa, C., Carrasco, R.L., Milner-Gulland, E.J. (2016) Unintended Feedbacks: challenges and opportunities for improving conservation effectiveness. Conservation Letters, 9, 316-326.

Carrasco, L.R., Larrosa, C., Milner-Gulland, E.J. & Edwards, D.P. (2014). A double-edged sword for tropical forests. Science 346, 38–40.

Green, J.M.H., Larrosa, C., Burgess, N.D., Balmford, A., Johnston, A., Mbilinyi, B.P., Platts, P.J. & Coad, L. (2013). Deforestation in an African biodiversity hotspot: Extent, variation and the effectiveness of protected areas. Biol. Conserv., 164, 62–72.



UNEP-WCMC (2012) A.P.E.S. Dashboard. UNEP-WCMC, Cambridge, UK. Available here.

Farmer E, Larrosa C & Scharlemann JPW (2012) A.P.E.S. Dashboard: Methodology. UNEP-WCMC, Cambridge, UK. Available here.

Larrosa, C (2011) The effectiveness of a range of protected area governance and management regimes in reducing deforestation: the Eastern Arc Mountains of Tanzania. MSc dissertation, Imperial College London. Available here.

Conservation International (2008) Economic Values of Coral Reefs, Mangroves, and Seagrasses: A Global Compilation. Center for Applied Biodiversity Science, Conservation International, Arlington, VA, USA. Available here.


·       Presentation: 27th International Congress for Conservation Biology & 4th European Congress for Conservation Biology (ICCB-ECCB). Montpellier, August 2015.

·       Workshop: the role of Social-ecological systems frameworks in conservation. Montpellier, August 2015.

·       Poster: Student Conference on Conservation Science. Cambridge, March 2013.

·       Poster: Planet Under Pressure. London, March 2012.

·       Presentation: Student Conference on Conservation Science. Cambridge, March 2012.


Cecilia photo