Amber Butler


I am a conservation social scientist with the AGILE “Operationalising Guidance for the Treasury Green Book” project investigating the impacts of the development and biodiversity offsetting axis on local communities under Biodiversity Net Gain.

My academic and research career thus far has comprised an admixture of various topics across cognitive psychology; addiction behaviours; health psychology; animal behaviour and conservation biology. Growing up in an industrial-urban town in the North West of England but within short driving distance of national parks such as Snowdonia and the Lake District, I have always had a deep personal connection with the beauty and complexity of the natural world and a reliance on its positive effects on my mental, emotional and physical health. However, these experiences also mean I have long been acutely aware of the unequal distribution of these spaces and their benefits both geographically but also within society and between groups. After training as a Health Psychologist, my experiences in practical conservation with local Wildlife Trusts and National Parks nurtured my sense of stewardship for the natural world. This led me to apply my understanding of individual and social models of human behaviour to conservation science and an MSc in Animal Behaviour and Conservation Biology. I have experience of field research in the UK and Namibia spanning community engagement; public health; mammalian social behaviour; population dynamics; and experimental psychology.

I am very proud to be part of the ICCS. This collective of amazing people and projects all focused towards tackling major issues facing conservation and society is a reason to be optimistic about the future of biodiversity and conservation.

Research Interests

I am interested in the different ways that society values biodiversity for its instrumental and non-instrumental contributions and how this can be operationalised to ensure the fairest and most sustainable conservation outcomes for both humans, wildlife and the ecological systems we share.

Current Research

My current research focuses on addressing the social disconnect in the Treasury Green Book’s guidance for best practice under Biodiversity Net Gain. I am engaging with local stakeholders to understand the importance of natural spaces to their place-based wellbeing and the impact of housing developments and offsetting projects on the fair distribution of the cultural services that natural capital and biodiversity provide. Development and offsetting projects can affect local access to these benefits by relocating biodiversity away from the local people and disturbing the cultural, social and emotional experiences therein. It is, therefore, imperative that developers understand full scope of these consequences when implementing offsets under Biodiversity Net Gain.

Brief CV

2022 |Research Assistant at the University of Oxford, UK: Operationalising Guidance for the Treasury Green Book.

2021 | Master of Science in Animal Behaviour and Conservation Biology at the University of Manchester, UK.

2019 | Master of Science in Health Psychology at the University of Bath, UK.

2018 | Bachelor of Science in Psychology at Edge Hill University, UK.