Shuo Gao


I am a postgrowth economist working on exploring broad sustainability issues in the Anthropocene at different scales. I have widely collaborated with researchers from urban planning to machine learning, and published papers in leading journals of my field. Prior to my DPhil, I completed my environmental economics degree from London School of Economics (LSE), working on examining the effect of audio-visual media on donation behaviours with economic experiments, under the supervision of Prof. Susana Mourato, in collaboration with Prof. Ming K. Lim (Adam Smith Business School).

Research Interests

I am an ecological economist broadly focused on themes of ecological compensation, no net loss/net gain, environmental and conservation psychology, social justice, and human well-being. I am particularly interested in (i) improving the effectiveness of incentive-based conservation instruments such as payment for ecosystem services and biodiversity offsetting, (ii) developing conservation strategies that can lead to the desired outcomes from both nature and people perspectives, and (iii) understanding the socio-psychological mechanisms behind human attitude and behaviour towards the environment.

Current Research

My current study aims to understand how people’s well-being is affected by the environmental change caused by economic developments with ecological compensations.

Brief CV

2020-Present: Ph.D. with Interdisciplinary Centre for Conservation Science, University of Oxford, UK;


Published Papers

Gao, S.*, Bull, J. W., Baker, J., zu Ermgassen, S. O., & Milner‐Gulland, E. J. (2023). Analyzing the outcomes of China’s ecological compensation scheme for development‐related biodiversity loss. Conservation Science and Practice5(10), e13010.

Gao, S.*, Bull, J. W., Wu, Z., Qiao, R., Xia, L., & Lim, M. K. (2022). China’s restoration fees require transparency. Science, 377(6604), 379-380.