Prof Martin Dallimer

Prof Martin Dallimer


I am interested in applying and integrating research techniques from across different disciplines to better understand the restoration, rehabilitation, conservation and sustainable management of natural environments, biodiversity and ecosystems in a human-dominated world.

My research falls into four broad areas: (i) human-nature relationships, and the role of biodiversity in underpinning human health and wellbeing gains;  (ii) biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services; (iii) land degradation, sustainable agriculture, land-use and development; and (iv) nature-based solutions and urban greenspaces in sustainable cities. In particular, I am interested in applying and developing methods to understand the multiple values (including in monetary and non-monetary terms, as well as metrics of ecological 'quality') of ecosystems and natural environments. I am particularly interested in how these values might be linked both to biodiversity and underlying ecosystem properties, as well as to the multiple benefits and burdens that humans gain from nature.


  • Deputy Director of Research and Innovation - International Excellence and Research Culture

Research interests

Here are brief details of some ongoing and recent research projects:

DRUID: Drivers and Repercussions of UK Insect Declines. This NERC funded project, seeks to understand patterns of insect declines, what is causing them and what the consequences are. I am the work package lead for the assessments of economic impacts for UK agriculture and wider society.

Harnessing benefits for climate change mitigation through irrigation-free indigenous tree establishment: sharing knowledge and building capacity was funded by the UK government’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) as part of their UK PACT programme. It was an international collaboration with Bayero University Kano, in Nigeria and the University of York in the UK. Over the course of the grant we worked with a broad range of stakeholders from smallholder farmers to state and federal ministries to improve knowledge and build capacity on the importance of indigenous trees for landscape restoration in dryland northern Nigeria. You can find a summary of the project outcomes here: Establishing indigenous trees in Nigeria (

Self-repairing Cities: Balancing the impact of city infrastructure engineering on natural systems using robots. My role in this EPSRC Grand Challenge research programme was to explore how changes in pollution (noise, air, light) and increased automation might impact biodiversity and urban ecosystems. 

I sit on The Economics of Land Degradation (ELD) working group: Linking Science to Policy and Practice for Sustainable Land Management. Through ELD I have been involved in many projects that examine the costs and benefits of addressing land degradation, and explore how to mainstream economic valuation of ecosystem services into policy and practice, including the following: 

  • Soil Organic Carbon in Western Kenya. Quantifying and valuing carbon in soils, and the actions that smallholder farmers can undertake to sustainably sequester more carbon while enhancing yields 
  • Regreening Africa - Rwanda and Somalia Case Study Leader. Working with local partners across the University, public and NGO sector we will be assessing the costs and benefits of sustainable land management and agroforestry practices in Rwanda, and sustainable rangeland management in Somalia.
  • Scientific backstopping support for the Economics of Land Degradation in India study. In a follow on to our project in western Kenya (see below), we worked with ICRISAT and GIZ to share knowledge and experiences of implementing the '6+1' methodology in across different global contexts.
  • Advancing knowledge on the costs, benefits, trade-offs of sustainable land management in Western and Northern Kenya. Funded by GIZ, the German government development agency, this project applied the Economics of Land Degradation '6+1' methodology to assessing the costs and benefits of sustainable land management practices for smallholder farmers.

NERC Knowledge Exchange Fellowship: 'Exchanging knowledge on the multiple values of urban green infrastructure in sub-Saharan Africa'. The majority of future urban expansion will occur in low-income regions, with Africa urbanising faster than any other continent. The fellowship explored how to initiate a step-change in the way urban green infrastructure and nature-based solutions could be incorporated into policy and land-use decision making processes in rapidly growing cities in sub-Saharan Africa, working primarily with academics, businesses, NGOs and government ministries in the cities of Malawi.

Peatland Tipping Points. This NERC Valuing Nature Programme (VNP) project was led by Mark Reed at Newcastle University and involved several people at Leeds, as well as multiple other partners. It investigated how climate and land management changes might lead to abrupt ‘tipping points’ in the benefits that peatlands provide to UK society.

ADVENT: Addressing the value of energy and nature together. As part of the UKERC funded consortium we are investigating the public preference barriers to increased uptake of renewable and unconventional energy sources in the UK landscape. Our team, which includes Guy Ziv and Steve Carver in Geography is now fully up and running as we welcome Dr Cheng Wen as our post-doc on the project and Pip Roddis who will be undertaking her PhD as part of ADVENT.

I have ongoing and long-standing research interests in biodiversity, ecosystem services and conservation on the islands of São Tomé and Príncipe, and how to understand the movements of, and manage the hyper-abundant bird, the red-billed quelea. I am lucky enough to have PhD students working on both topics at the moment.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD
  • MSc

Research groups and institutes

  • Sustainability Research Institute
  • Choice Modelling
  • Environment and Development
  • Economics and Policy for Sustainability
  • Sustainable Cities

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>