Lauren Coad


While my initial degree was in Marine and Environmental Biology, my PhD focussed on the social and economic uses of wild meat (wildlife used primary for food) by local communities in Gabon, and my experiences in Gabon led my interests to shift quickly from ecology towards people and their governance of natural resources. Following my PhD I worked for UNEP-WCMC, in the Protected Areas (PA) programme, where I investigated the costs and benefits of PAs on local livelihoods, and the impact of different elements of PA management on PA effectiveness. I then completed a 3-year post-doc with the Governance Group of the Environmental Change Institute at Oxford, where I conducted further field studies on wildmeat use by local communities in Gabon, and desk-studies of the effectiveness of different local-level strategies aiming to increase the sustainability of wildmeat use. After my post-doc I moved to Cambodia for a few years, during which time I conducted research on wildmeat use by local communities in the Cardamom mountains, as part of a project with FFI. I currently work as a Research Fellow with ICCS and with the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).

Research Interests

My research interests focus on how wild meat can continue to be sustainably used and managed as an important resource for rural people, who often depend on wildmeat as a key source of protein and micronutrients. This now requires the management of wildmeat use and trade along an increasingly complex commodity chain, as in many regions of Africa and Asia the demand for wildmeat from urban areas (where wildmeat is more often consumed as a luxury item) has increased dramatically over the past decades, threatening the long-term sustainability of the resource. More recently the focus of my work, and my main interest, is how best to support African policy makers and researchers in their work and research on sustainable wildlife management.

Current Research

I am currently working as a co-investigator and a lead researcher on the TRADE Hub project. This UKRI-GCRF -funded project is led by UNEP-WCMC, and involves over 50 different organisations from 15 different countries, including ICCS.  More information here

My role is to coordinate, support and collaborate on wildmeat and wildlife research across the TRADE Hub. We are working with organisations in Gabon, DRC, ROC, Tanzania and Indonesia, to conduct research into current wildmeat and wildlife use and trade in these countries, and to test different policy and management interventions that aim to increase the sustainability of use.

As part of the project, we are working with the Oxford AFOX Initiative, to provide three visiting research fellowships of 3 months to African researchers/policy makers each year, to conduct or write up their research on TRADE Hub related subjects (including on wildmeat, wildlife and agricultural trade.) More information here


2019 – present: Research Fellow, ICCS, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford

2014 – present: Research Scientist, Bushmeat Research Initiative, Centre for International Forestry Research, Indonesia.

2012 – 2014: Associate Senior Research Fellow, Environmental Change Institute (ECI), University of Oxford, UK; Independent Consultant.

Jul – Oct 2012: Visiting Research Fellow, School of Geography, University of Queensland

2009 – 2012: Oxford Martin Research Fellow, ECI, University of Oxford.

2007 – 2008: Programme Officer, United Nations Environmental Programme, World Conservation Monitoring Centre

2001 – 2007: PhD, University of Cambridge Department of Zoology

1996 – 2000: BSc (Honours) 1st class – Environmental and Marine Biology, St. Andrews University, UK