Dr Katherine Simpson
- Research Associate (Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health & Comparative Medicine)
My background is in applied environmental economics with a BSc from the University of York (2010), MSc by Research in Marine Conservation from the University of York (2011) and PhD in Economics from the University of Stirling (2015). Previously I have worked as a research assistant in economics at the University of Stirling and as Project Manager for the EU-H2020 ATLAS project in the School of Geosciences at the University of Edinburgh.
I am an environmental economist with an interest in the application of economic techniques to conservation and environmental management. I focus primarily on how biodiversity offset markets can be designed to assist conservation management in the UK, as well as valuation of ecosystem goods and services in the coastal and marine context.
My research draws on a range of disciplines including ecology and economics to:
- Understand the key design principles of biodiversity offset markets to ensure that ecological goals are met at the least cost to society;
- Investigate the impacts of biodiversity offsets on changing land use in the context of the UK 25 Year Environment Plan;
- Provide evidence on the socio-economic value of deep sea ecosystem goods and services in the context of the EU Blue Growth Agenda;
- Advance literature on the appropriateness of stated preference methods to value the environment.
- I very much enjoy working on interdisciplinary projects combing economics and ecology. Previously I have worked with Natural England to research the application of the ecosystem approach to the management of the Tees Estuary; provided evidence to the Natural Capital Committee as part of the National Ecosystem Assessment follow on and worked with marine ecologists to provide evidence to Defra on the valuation of the UK benthic environment.
Current project: Leverhulme Trust funded project “Biodiversity offset markets for wetland conservation.”
- Project aim: Determine what design features of a biodiversity offset market impact performance and cost-effectiveness of the tool to achieve a given level of biodiversity.
- The project is investigating the potential of biodiversity offset markets in the UK coastal zone, using the analytical tools of economic and ecological modelling. Using lessons from the economic and ecological literature, and recent experience in the USA from both biodiversity offsetting and markets for tradeable pollution permits, we are developing an exemplar framework for offsetting in the coastal zone which can then be applied to other ecosystems within the UK and worldwide. This framework will identify key “design parameters” crucial to maximising the ecological and economic performance of a market for biodiversity offsets. The framework will then be used to develop a generalizable simulation model of offset markets, which will then be implemented for two case study areas in the UK.
PI: Nick Hanley (University of Glasgow). Also involved: Frans de Vries (University of Stirling), Martin Dallimer (University of Leeds) and Paul Armsworth (University of Tennessee).