Researcher Spotlight : Nick Hanley

Published: 1 May 2019

Elle Lindsay catches up with Prof. Nick Hanley for a Spotlight chat on Environment, Econonomics and Ensembles...

This week, Elle Lindsay has put Professor Nick Hanley under the spotlight. Professor Hanley holds a Chair in Environmental and One Health Economics in IBAHCM and alongside his main focus of environmental economics, has an extensive range of research interests, including conservation and measures of sustainability. In amongst all of this, Professor Hanley is not only an Associate Editor of the journal ‘Resource and Energy Economics’, but also part of an acoustic trio… Intrigued? Then let’s begin…

Nick Hanley 02
Tell us about your background.
I have been a professor working in environmental economics at 4 Scottish universities now – Stirling, Edinburgh, St Andrews and Glasgow. I started out in environmental economics a long time ago – the early 1980s in fact. I have also worked in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Most of my career has been spent working within departments of Economics.

Why did you decide to come to IBACHM?
It has a very good reputation for research, excellent scientists and super-friendly people. Also, you did not have any economists when I joined, which seemed an obvious flaw!

What is your main role within the institute?
I head up the Environmental and One Health Economics research group.

What part of your current work have you enjoyed the most/felt most proud of so far?
Probably the work I have done on the illegal wildlife trade, along with our research combining history, ecology and economics on long-term drivers of biodiversity change. I also liked the stuff we did on testing indicators of sustainable development over a very long timescale (again, working with historians).

Have you come up against any unforeseen challenges?
Not that I can think of – there have been many challenges, but most of those we could see coming.

What is your key research interest?
Combining insights and methods from economics with tools and understandings from other disciplines, especially ecology.

Are you where you thought you would be 5 years ago?
No, I thought I would still be in St Andrews. I was heading up a new research group on environmental economics there, within the School of Geography and Sustainable Development.

What are the most important lessons you have learnt from your previous work?
Choose your topics wisely, support younger colleagues and learn to say no.

If you could tell your PhD-self one thing, what would it be?
Keep the faith; and yes, learning linear programming IS a good idea. I would also tell them to come and see our gig (The Riverman Collective) at the Old Hairdresser’s on August 8th.

Tell us about your future plans.
Sign that mega recording deal...! More seriously, we just won 2 new projects: one on marine plastics pollution (from ESRC) and one on re-designing European agri-environmental policies (from the Commission under H2020). Those will soak up most of my time, along with our existing projects on (a) farm animal welfare, (b) schistosomiasis interventions, (c) anti-microbial resistance and (d) biodiversity offsetting.

‌‌Riverman Collective Nick HanleySo now you have been introduced to the scientist, don’t forget to check out Nick’s seminar ‘The Economic Value of Diversity’ on May 3rd at 16:00. It would also be remiss of you not to attend ‌The Riverman Collective (@rivermanbraco) gig on August 8th at the Old Hairdresser’s in Glasgow! You can listen to the band on Soundcloud for free:

First published: 1 May 2019