University of Oxford,
Department of Zoology,
Vian Sharif is a part-time PhD candidate at Imperial College Business School. Her experience in industry encompasses 16 years of communications expertise. Beginning in media relations for a number of the world’s leading global luxury brands, she then specialised in corporate communications, and most recently sustainable investment, in the financial services sector. For almost a decade, at global investment firm Investec Asset Management, she has handled communications incorporating elements from global brand development and media relations to the development of corporate social responsibility programmes and sustainable investment.
Her PhD addresses demand reduction for illegal wildlife products through behaviour change with a particular focus on bringing together existing research and conceptual frameworks employed in brand management and consumer marketing with those in conservation.
By applying existing knowledge of consumer behaviour to better understand consumers of illegal wildlife and their decisions to buy, the research aims to bring new insights to the field of conservation on consumer decision-making to inform the tailoring of effective demand reduction strategies through behaviour change. Outputs will include addressing how successful marketing and communication strategies could be applied to consumers of illegal wildlife with a view to achieving demand reduction in consumer markets.
In 2014, this lead to the compilation and analysis of a comprehensive database of demand side initiatives taking place in Vietnam and China for elephant, rhino, tiger and pangolin a report commissioned by Stop Ivory for the Royal Foundation, ‘Analysis of conservation initiatives aimed at reducing demand for traded wildlife in China and Vietnam’. Following this, she was part of the research team for the Defra commissioned project, ‘Reducing Demand for Illegal Wildlife Products’, which trialled innovative methods to reduce demand for illegal wildlife products as part of a study to determine the most effective interventions for reducing the trade in illegal wildlife products by developing tools and guidance for governments, non-government organisations (NGOs) and others in developing their demand reduction campaigns.