Emiel de Lange




Background information

Like many conservationists I started with biology and the desire to understand more about the world’s biodiversity and ecosystems. But after working on a number of projects around the world I began to see that this was only a small part of the puzzle.

The answer to almost every question in conservation involves human society.

Why should we conserve biodiversity? Because it has value to us.

What is threatening biodiversity? Human activity.

How can we protect biodiversity? By transforming society. 




I’m broadly interested in the links between society and the environment. Currently I’m looking at how information on conservation interventions spreads through communities and how this affects the way individuals respond to this information in their behaviour. Information flows have been a critical aspect of all social changes and I’d like to understand how information can be used more effectively in conservation.

I’m also interested in how information affects group behaviours and influences social norms and institutions. In my future work I hope to continue studying these topics by drawing on insights from many fields including economics, psychology, social anthropology and politics.


My PhD research is in collaboration with the Wildlife Conservation Society in Cambodia. I am looking at newly emerging wildlife-poisoning practices and what is driving their development and motivating these behaviours. In the context of these behaviours I’m interested in exploring how ‘network intervention’ techniques can be applied. I will be using interviews to map social networks in Cambodia’s Northern Plains landscape and looking to track the spread of information about WCS’s interventions through these networks. 

Visit my PhD project page here


2016-                     PhD Candidate, University of Edinburgh

2015-2016         MRes Tropical Forest Ecology, Imperial College London

2012-2015         BSc Biology, Imperial College London

2012                      Towers Watson

2011-2012         Pangolin Research Namibia


This PhD is supervised by Aidan Keane (Edinburgh) and E.J. Milner-Gulland (Oxford), and is funded by a NERC studentship.


2016-    PhD project: ‘Information transfer and the effectiveness of behaviour change strategies in conservation’, University of Edinburgh with WCS Cambodia

2016:    Lead researcher on MRes project, Monitoring the impacts of a conservation ecotourism programme’, Imperial College London with WCS Cambodia.


2016: Royal Geographical Society – Henrietta Hutton Research Grant

2016: Royal College of Science Union – Science Challenge (science communication competition)


de Lange, E., Woodhouse, E. and Milner-Gulland, E.J., 2015. Approaches used to evaluate the social impacts of protected areas. Conservation Letters

Woodhouse, E., de Lange, E. & Milner-Gulland, E. J. (2016) Evaluating the impacts of conservation interventions on human well-being: guidance for practitioners. London, UK, IIED.