Jonathan Morley

Jonathan’s research aims to examine the success of environmental safeguards in international development projects

Photo credit: Ailsa Hemphill

twitter: @jpamorley

PhD project

Quantifying the effects of development projects on biodiversity conservation in West Africa


My academic career started in the humanities, with an undergraduate in History and Philosophy at the University of Glasgow. I later shifted focus with a MSc. in Ecosystem Services at University of Edinburgh, a course which spanned both the social and environmental sciences to study humans, nature, and how they interact in socioecological systems.


My research examines the trade-offs between economic development and biodiversity conservation. Focused on the region of West Africa, a biodiversity hotspot and home to some of the worlds’ poorest people, my research will attempt to measure what effect international development aid has had on animal and plant communities. Ultimately it aims to understand if the environmental safeguards put in place by funding organisations such as the World Bank have been successfully in minimise environmental impacts, with implications for the global sustainable development agenda.