Professor Nils Bunnefeld


Biological and Environmental Sciences University of Stirling, Stirling, FK9 4LA

Professor Nils Bunnefeld

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About me

About me

I work at the interface between biodiversity and society combining natural and social sciences to improve our understanding of decision making from local to global levels in relation to natural resource use, climate change, people's livelihoods and sustainable development. I also contribute to science policy links on biodiversity through the European Eklipse initiative and the UNEP Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds.

Brief biography:

2017-present Professor, Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Stirling

2016-2017 Reader/Associate Professor, Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Stirling

2015-2016 Senior Lecturer, Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Stirling

2012-2015 Lecturer, Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Stirling

2010-2012 Postdoctoral Research Associate, Imperial College London

2008-2010 Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies, Swedish University of Agricultural Science, Umeå

2008 PhD, Imperial College London

2003 MSc, University of Groningen, Netherlands

1999 Vordiplom, University of Goettingen, Germany

Community Contribution

AEWA - Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds
United Nations Environment Programme
I am a member of the Technical Committee (TC) which is a subsidiary body to the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA). TC's main purpose is to provide scientific and technical advice and information to the Meeting of the Parties and, through the Agreement Secretariat, to Parties. AEWA is an intergovernmental treaty dedicated to the conservation of migratory waterbirds and their habitats across Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia, Greenland and the Canadian Archipelago. Developed under the framework of the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) and administered by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), AEWA brings together countries and the wider international conservation community in an effort to establish coordinated conservation and management of migratory waterbirds throughout their entire migratory range.

Conservation and Sustainability Consortium of Academic Institutions (CASCADE)
Biodiversity conservation is one of the defining issues of our age, and the UK government has made clear its ambition for global leadership in this area; for example by initiation of the Leaders' Pledge for Biodiversity, by commitment to deforestation-free supply chains in the Environment Bill, and in its ambitious 25-year Environment Plan. UK universities have expertise and experience in interdisciplinary conservation science; in research, training and capacity-building. Based in the UK, the Conservation And Sustainability Consortium of AcaDEmic institutions (CASCADE) brings together organisations working on finding solutions to one of the biggest challenges facing humanity, the biodiversity crisis. We believe that only through sharing resources and knowledge and acting in partnership with other research institutions, government agencies, NGOs and industry will we be able to work towards finding solutions to issues of global significance. Our vision: To use CASCADE's expertise in people-orientated conservation science to support the development of principles, policies and practices that meet CBD goals in the UK and partner countries in an equitable, socially-just and inclusive way. Our mission: We will achieve our vision through a network of UK and international partner institutions carrying out innovative inter- and transdisciplinary research and education on conservation policy and practice, allowing us to discover, devise and disseminate the actions required for transformational change in biodiversity conservation whilst helping train and support the next generation of conservation scientists.

Eklipse - Bridging the gap between policy and knowledge on biodiversity in Europe
Eklipse is a European mechanism for science-policy on biodiversity and has a fourfold approach: 1) Answering questions from decision-makers by synthesising the best available knowledge. 2) Facilitating evidence-based decisions through a transparent, proven, and robust request process. 3) Creating a European network of experts and knowledge holders recognised for their work. 4) Increasing citizen engagement in science-policy interface activities. Since 2023, I am the Co-Chair of the Knowledge Coordination Body of Eklipse (KCB) which is responsible for selecting together with the Strategic Advisory Board (SAB) the requests Eklipse will process. In close collaboration with the Eklipse Management Body (EMB), its main responsibility is ensuring that requests from policy and other societal actors are answered through the coordination of joint evidence processes. The KCB also coordinates the identification of research priorities and emerging issues and encourages societal engagement. The role of the KCB is to act at the interface between the Expert Working Groups (EWGs), the different governance bodies, as well as with the requesters and possible end-users of Eklipse.

Scotland National Goose Forum
We established the National Goose Forum (previously, the National Goose Management Review Group, NGMRG) in May 2000 to implement the national policy framework and to advise Scottish Ministers on goose management in Scotland. The Forum is required to conduct a multi-disciplinary review of the national policy framework every five years, and to report its findings to ministers. Its core objectives are to: - meet the UK's nature conservation obligations for geese, within the context of wider biodiversity objectives - minimise economic losses experienced by farmers and crofters caused by geese - maximise the value for money of public expenditure on geese management


Mentor for Dr Isabel Jones - UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship
The Beacon Project is an interdisciplinary scientific research programme that uses large hydropower development as a model system to investigate trade-offs between different United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Mentor for Dr Isla Hogdson for NERC Knowledge Exchange Fellowship
This knowledge exchange fellowship will transfer conflict research to stakeholders involved in the management and governance of Scotland's MPA management network, using the Conservation Conflict Curve (Cusack et al., 2021) as both a diagnostic tool to assess conflict intensity and a conflict management tool to bring stakeholders together and share understanding of conflicts in the area.

University Contribution

Director of Centre for Policy, Conflict and Cooperation Research (CPCCR)…erationresearch/
The CPCCR seeks to bring together international and domestic politics and history, environmental management and climate science, policy making and theory, as well as the advancement of professional practice and theoretical developments. We regularly engage with professionals in diplomacy, military, international development, environmental protection and biodiversity conservation and other related areas, both in our teaching and in our research. This Centre is co-hosted by the Division of History and Politics and Biological and Environmental Sciences. At the heart of what our Centre does is the interaction between theory and practice. We explore how conflict and co-operation work in practice and we are keen on developing insights on how our research can help in real-life situations. We are happy to offer our global experiences for consultancy and training sessions to public and private sector clients.

Director of MSc Environmental Management (Conservation)…ntal-management/
Our Masters degree will give you a solid grounding in the scientific principles that underpin Environmental Management. We cover topics including the ecological, economic, social, political and legal aspects of environmental management. We give comprehensive training in quantitative, theoretical, analytical and practical skills. Environmental managers play a vital role in the protection and sustainable use of resources. You’ll learn to address issues such as adaptation to climate change, biodiversity and sustainable energy management. At the local level, Environmental Management focuses on conservation and protection of land and water resources and natural habitats. You’ll also benefit from employability skills training, a residential field skills course and the chance to carry out an environmental management related dissertation project which may include working collaboratively with a business.

Research (14)

I am currently working on two EU HorizonEurope funded projects. The RestoreID project (Restoring Ecosystems to Stop the Threat Of Re - Emerging Infectious Disease will run from 2024 until 2027 with the objective to understand how ecosystem restoration might impact wildlife disease and emergent spillover risk. The Eco-Ready project (2022-2026) will work towards "Achieving ecological resilient dynamism for the European food system through consumer-driven policies, socio-ecological challenges, biodiversity, data-driven policy, sustainable futures" ( I work on Eco-Ready through a part-time secondment to the science-policy organisation Alternet/Eklipse (

I am currently involved as a mentor in the Beacon project ( led by Dr Isabel Jones and funded by a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship. The Beacon Project is an interdisciplinary scientific research programme that uses large hydropower development as a model system to investigate trade-offs between different United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Between 2016 and 2022, I held a European Research Council Starting Grant called ConFooBio ( Resolving conflicts between biodiversity conservation and food security under uncertainty. The project was mentioned in EU "Frontier research for Food 2030" contributing to governance and system change ( as well as in "Frontier research for biodiversity" highlighting the importance of understanding conflicts between food security and biodiversity conservation (


Achieving Ecological Resilient Dynamism for the European food system through consumer-driven policies, socio-ecological challenges, biodiversity, data-driven policy, sustainable futures
PI: Professor Nils Bunnefeld
Funded by: European Commission (Horizon Europe)

The Beacon Project: Using Biodiversity and Energy justice to resolve Conflicts between Sustainable Development Goals
PI: Dr Isabel Jones
Funded by: Medical Research Council

From field and farm to flyway: management of geese in new landscapes
PI: Professor Nils Bunnefeld
Funded by: Swedish Environmental Protection Agency

Enhancing Diversity to Overcome Resistance Evolution
PI: Professor Matthew Tinsley
Funded by: Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council

Long term trends in Central African Forest phenology
PI: Professor Katharine Abernethy
Funded by: Agence Nationale des Parcs Nationaux

PI: Professor Nils Bunnefeld
Funded by: European Commission (Horizon 2020)

An interdisciplinary approach to encourage coexistence between livestock production and biodiversity conservation in Chile
PI: Professor Nils Bunnefeld
Funded by: The British Council

Development of a population model tool to predict shooting levels of Greenland barnacle geese on Islay
PI: Professor Nils Bunnefeld
Funded by: NatureScot (Formerly Scottish Natural Heritage)

Sustainable Small Game Management using Management System Evaluation Models (MSE)
PI: Professor Nils Bunnefeld
Funded by: The Research Council of Norway

Goose games: developing new approaches to resolve conflicts over rising geese populations in Scotland
PI: Professor Nils Bunnefeld
Funded by: The Carnegie Trust

Grant from Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
PI: Professor Nils Bunnefeld
Funded by: Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Research into the sustainable management of migratory water birds in the relation to the revision of AEWA guidelines
PI: Professor Nils Bunnefeld
Funded by: Aarhus University

Towards a European Study on the Economics of Hunting and its contribution to Ecosystems services
PI: Professor Nils Bunnefeld
Funded by: FACE: The European Federation for Associations for Hunting and Conservation

Review of Adaptive Management Approaches
PI: Professor Nils Bunnefeld
Funded by: NatureScot (Formerly Scottish Natural Heritage)

Outputs (111)


Showing 100 of 111 — See all 111 outputs


Jones IL, Timoshenko A, Zuban I, Zhadan K, Cusack JJ, Duthie AB, Hodgson ID, Minderman J, Pozo RA, Whytock RC & Bunnefeld N (2022) Achieving international biodiversity targets: learning from local norms, values and actions regarding migratory waterfowl management in Kazakhstan. Journal of Applied Ecology, 59 (7), pp. 1911-1924.

Book Chapter

Hodgson ID, Cusack J, Jones I, Minderman J, Nilsson L, Pozo RA, Rakotonarivo OS & Bunnefeld N (2021) Building Peace to Save Nature: Multi-disciplinary Approaches to Managing Conflicts in Conservation. In: Underkoffler SC & Adams HR (eds.) Wildlife Biodiversity Conservation: Multidisciplinary and Forensic Approaches. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing, pp. 3-22.


Cusack JJ, Bradfer‐Lawrence T, Baynham‐Herd Z, Castelló y Tickell S, Duporge I, Hegre H, Moreno Zárate L, Naude V, Nijhawan S, Wilson J, Zambrano Cortes DG & Bunnefeld N (2021) Measuring the intensity of conflicts in conservation. Conservation Letters, 14 (3), Art. No.: e12783.

Book Chapter

Skrimizea E, Lecuyer L, Bunnefeld N, Butler JRA, Fickel T, Hodgson I, Holtkamp C, Marzano M, Parra C, Pereira L, Petit S, Pound D, Rodríguez I, Ryan P & Staffler J (2020) Sustainable agriculture: Recognizing the potential of conflict as a positive driver for transformative change. In: Bohan DA & Vanbergen AJ (eds.) The Future of Agricultural Landscapes, Part I. Advances in Ecological Research, 63. London: Academic Press, pp. 255-311.


Bush ER, Whytock RC, Bahaa-el-din L, Bourgeois S, Bunnefeld N, Cardoso AW, Dikangadissi JT, Dimbonda P, Dimoto E, Edzang Ndong J, Jeffery KJ, Lehmann D, Makaga L, Momboua B, Momont LRW, Tutin CEG, White LJT, Whittaker A & Abernethy K (2020) Long-term collapse in fruit availability threatens Central African forest megafauna. Science, 370 (6521), pp. 1219-1222.


Cusack J, Duthie AB, Rakotonarivo OS, Pozo R, Mason T, Månsson J, Nilsson L, Tombre I, Eythórsson E, Madsen J, Tulloch AIT, Hearn R, Redpath S & Bunnefeld N (2019) Time series analysis reveals synchrony and asynchrony between conflict management effort and increasing large grazing bird populations in northern Europe. Conservation Letters, 12 (1), Art. No.: e12450.


Redpath S, Keane A, Andren H, Baynham-Herd Z, Bunnefeld N, Duthie AB, Frank J, Garcia CA, Mansson J, Nilsson L, Pollard CRJ, Rakotonarivo OS, Salk CF & Travers H (2018) Games as Tools to Address Conservation Conflicts. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 33 (6), pp. 415-426.

Book Chapter

Nuno A, Bunnefeld N & Milner-Gulland EJ (2017) Using Management Strategy Evaluation as a Framework for Improving Conservation under Uncertainty: The Case of the Serengeti Ecosystem. In: Bunnefeld N, Nicholson E & Milner-Gulland E (eds.) Decision-Making in Conservation and Natural Resource Management: Models for Interdisciplinary Approaches. Conservation Biology Series. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 156-181.

Book Chapter

Milner-Gulland EJ, Nicholson E & Bunnefeld N (2017) Synthesis: Moving Forward Together. In: Bunnefeld N, Nicholson E & Milner-Gulland E (eds.) Decision-Making in Conservation and Natural Resource Management: Models for Interdisciplinary Approaches. Conservation Biology Series. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ Press, pp. 213-234.

Research Report

Jones I, Whytock R & Bunnefeld N (2017) Assessing Motivations for the Illegal Killing of Lesser White-fronted Geese at Key Sites in Kazakhstan (2017). UN-AEWA. AEWA Lesser White-fronted Goose International Working Group Report Series, 6. Bonn, Germany.


Neergheen-Bhujun V, Awan AT, Baran Y, Bunnefeld N, Chan K, Cruz TEd, Egamberdieva D, Elsasser S, Johnson MV, Komai S, Konevega AL, Malone JH, Mason P, Nguon R & Piper R (2017) Biodiversity, drug discovery, and the future of global health: Introducing the biodiversity to biomedicine consortium, a call to action. Journal of Global Health, 7 (2), Art. No.: 020304.


Redpath S, Linnell JDC, Festa-Bianchet M, Boitani L, Bunnefeld N, Dickman AJ, Gutierrez RJ, Irvine RJ, Johansson M, Majic A, McMahon BJ, Pooley S, Sandstrom C, Skogen K, Swenson JE, Trouwborst A, Young J & Milner-Gulland EJ (2017) Don't forget to look down - collaborative approaches to predator conservation. Biological Reviews, 92 (4), pp. 2157-2163.


Grauer A, Konig A & Bunnefeld N (2015) Citizen Science Based Monitoring of Greylag goose (Anser anser) in Bavaria (Germany): Combining Count Data and Bag Data to Estimate Long-Term Trends between 1988/89 and 2010/11. PLoS ONE, 10 (6), Art. No.: e0130159.


Papworth SK, Bunnefeld N, Slocombe K & Milner-Gulland EJ (2012) Movement ecology of human resource users: using net squared displacement, biased random bridges and resource utilization functions to quantify hunter and gatherer behaviour. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 3 (3), pp. 584-594.

See all 111 outputs

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