Prof Martin Dallimer

Prof Martin Dallimer


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

Currently my research falls into three broad areas (i) biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services; (ii) land degradation, sustainable agriculture, land-use and development; and (iii) urbanisation, urban greenspaces and sustainable cities. My work centres on 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 human health, well-being and life chances.

Prior to starting my current lectureship at the Sustainability Research Institute at the University of Leeds I held a Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship (2011-2013) TREUEVALUE - TRans-national EUropean Ecosystem VALUEs of grasslands was based at the Department of Food and Resource Economics (IFRO) and the Center for Macroecology, Climate and Evolution (CMEC) at the University of Copenhagen. Between 2006 and 2011, I was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Sheffield. Initially I worked on the Rural Economy and Land Use (RELU) project “A Landscape-Scale Analysis of the Sustainability of the Hill Farming Economy on Upland Landscapes and Biodiversity”. From 2009, my focus shifted to the EPSRC-funded Sustainable Urban Environments project “UrbanRivers and Sustainable Living Agendas”. Both represented quite a shift from my NERC-CASE funded PhD “Understanding Migration Patterns of the Red-Billed Quelea in Southern Africa”, which centred on using molecular ecology and behavioural techniques and was based at the University of Edinburgh. Recently I have picked up my interest in the red-billed quelea, but now with a focus on their role as crop pests.

Research interests


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

The Economics of Land Degradation (ELD): 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 is exploring the way that NERC science could underpin a step-change in the way urban green infrastructure is incorporated into policy and land-use decision making processes in rapidly growing cities in sub-Saharan Africa. To do this, I am working with partners, academics and local stakeholders in the cities of Malawi.

Peatland Tipping Points. This Valuing Nature Programme project is led by Mark Reed at Newcastle University and involves several of us at Leeds, including Dr Julia Martin-Ortega. Other partners include the Scottish Association for Marine Science, CEH Bangor, Scotland's Rural College and the BTO. We will investigate how changes in climate and how we manage land might lead to abrupt changes, or 'tipping points', in the benefits that peatlands provide to UK society. We will identify early warning signs (such as changes in common insects) and provide evidence about the likely economic and social impacts of reaching tipping points. Our intention is that this information will be used to develop options for policy and practice that can help prevent tipping points being reached and facilitate restoration and sustainable management of peatlands across the UK. I've taken this summary from the project's website, where you can also find out more about the team and follow our progress over the next three years.

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 an ongoing research interest in biodiversity conservation on the islands of São Tomé and Príncipe. Currently I am a supervisor on an FCT-Portugal post-doctoral fellowship to Ricardo Lima who is working on a project aiming to disentangle the impact of multiple forms of anthropogenic disturbance on the islands’ biodiversity. Finally, I have been running a project in Zimbabwe, where we are examining how recent changes in farming practice and land ownership have impacted upon avian communities and natural resources. This work has been supported by a Rufford Foundation Small Grant and local land owners.

<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>