Interdisciplinary Conservation Network workshop 2018.

The Interdisciplinary Centre for Conservation Science (ICCS) at the University of Oxford, Stirling Conservation Science (STI-CS) at the University of Stirling, and the Centre for Integrative Ecology at Deakin University, are pleased to invite PhD students and early-career researchers (up to five year post-graduation) in the field of conservation science to apply to participate in a three-day workshop to be held on 4-6th July at the University of Oxford, UK.

The aim of this workshop is to provide PhD students and early-career researchers with an opportunity to collaborate with other researchers from around the world, including leading conservation scientists, and to learn key skills for the development of their careers.

The workshop will be structured into three research themes, which will be complemented with plenary presentations by leading researchers in applied conservation biology, and two sessions on key transferable skills.

Research Themes:

The research theme sessions will give delegates the opportunity to collaborate in small groups to produce a paper on one of the three topics listed below:

 – Ethical conflicts in interdisciplinary research  



There is little consensus within the conservation community on what is ethically appropriate when conducting conservation research. A multitude of institutions from different fields are involved, each with different priorities, which influence their stance on what is ethically acceptable. Additionally, a push for interdisciplinary work in conservation means biologists with no formal social science training are increasingly using social science methods to research often illegal and/or sensitive topics.

Aside from the potential harm to participants if ethics are not properly accounted for during fieldwork, a failure to adequately report ethical considerations in peer-reviewed literature means that researchers new to social sciences will not easily find the ethical guidance required for this type of work.

Mentor: Jerome Lewis, Reader in Anthropology, UCL.

Theme leads: Stephanie Brittain, Harriet Ibbett

 – Measuring and predicting conservation conflicts 

Conflicts between wildlife conservation and other human livelihoods are numerous, widespread and detrimental to both biodiversity and human well-being. There is, however, a lack of consistency in how such conflicts are measured, including which aspects are considered, what indicators are used, and how conflict levels are scaled.
The overall aim of this workshop will be to develop a general framework with which to measure and predict conservation conflict levels. In particular, we will draw from current approaches used to measure and predict the level and occurrence of armed conflicts.
Mentor: Håvard Hegre, Professor at the Department of Peace and Conflict Research, University of Uppsala
Theme leads: Tom Bradfer-LawrenceJeremy CusackJohn Wilson

 – Indicators for monitoring and predicting conservation policy interventions 

Measuring the status and trends of ecosystems is critical for effective management and monitoring of our impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services. Various indicators have been adopted to measure the progress of conservation policy interventions towards meeting biodiversity targets under international agreements. Applying mechanistic models to predict biodiversity outcomes is another powerful tool to improve project and policy design. Yet the ability of the mentioned indicators to detect trends of interest remains unclear, and there is a lack of evidence for which indicators are suitable both for monitoring and predicting outcomes of policy interventions.
The aim of this workshop is to propose a standard set of indicators and models suitable for monitoring and predicting policy interventions to ultimately improve the effectiveness of global conservation efforts.

Mentor: Derek Tittensor

Theme leads: Cecilia LarrosaJessica Rowland, Kate Watermeyer

Working in Conservation Sessions:


Transferable Skills Sessions:

  • Communicating science
  • Peer reviewing