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Social and ecological impacts of rewilding projects

School of Life Sciences

About the Project

Research Group:
Applied Ecology Research Group (AERG) -
Global Sustainability Institute (GSI) -

Proposed supervisory team
Dr Helen Wheeler () (AERG)
Dr Nikoleta Jones ) (GSI)

Several other members of staff with interest in this subject area could be part of the team.


Summary of the research project

Rewilding projects create both opportunities and challenges for local communities and other stakeholders. The core goals of rewilding projects often focus on ecological outcomes related to restoring ecological processes. In addition to these core aims, a wide range of further aims have also become aligned with core rewilding objectives. Many conservation projects also have outcomes that are unintended, and these are likely to occur when undertaking rewilding. Aligned objectives and unintended outcomes have the potential to create a much broader range of impacts than core aims alone. Investigating the potential consequences of these core and aligned agendas will facilitate planning to promote positive impacts and mitigate risks of undesirable impacts.

This PhD will identify and explore the relationships between ecological and social core and aligned aims in rewilding and intended and unintended outcomes. The PhD will include analysis of the outcomes of rewilding perceived by different stakeholders in different socio-ecological contexts. The PhD will draw on the experience from conservation initiatives globally to assess potential impacts of core and aligned aims that we have identified. We seek a student interested in interdisciplinary research using both natural and social science methodologies.

Where you’ll study

Cambridge (

Next steps

If you wish to be considered for this project, you will need to apply for our Biology PhD ( In the section of the application form entitled ’Outline research proposal’, please quote the above title and include a research proposal.

Funding Notes

This project is self-funded.
Details of studentships for which funding is available are selected by a competitive process and are advertised on our jobs website (View Website) as they become available.

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