Rebecca J. Robertson

Research interests

My PhD (October 2017 start) explores the impact of green space interventions on public health and biodiversity. I aim to find win-win solutions to problems such as reduced health while increasing biodiversity and ecosystem function in urban areas. This is aided by my NHS CASE partner’s health data for 30,000 Bradfordians and a cohort of babies and their mothers.

I will use a controlled before-and-after study design to explore the mechanisms that simultaneously promote biodiversity, ecosystem function and good health and wellbeing. We aim to have an interdisciplinary and outcome-based evaluation process.

Knowledge will be co-produced with the community from the start, from identifying problems and setting research questions through to deciding what changes to make and in which greenspaces. We plan to adapt experience-based co-design to our study. This method is used in medicine and offers an opportunity to bring multiple-stakeholders together to prioritise issues and find solutions.

As part of our interventions, we plan to increase community understanding of health and biodiversity aspects of green space use and to train community members to aid data collection. We aim to empower communities to reclaim, use and improve their local greenspaces.

Other interests include evidence-based conservation and environmental policy. I have had the opportunity to work for the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technolgy and produce a POSTnote and POSTbrief on insect decline in the UK. I have also completed work for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs as part of a UKRI Policy Internship. I am also a member of the Royal Society of Biology Education and Science Policy Committee. As a member of the British Ecological Society Events Committee, I help steer the content and organisation of events such as the Annual Meeting.


1. Rose, D. C., Amano, T., González-Varo, J. P., Mukherjee, N., Robertson, R. J., Simmons, B. I., Wauchope, H. S. and Sutherland, W. J. (2019) Calling for a new agenda for conservation science to create evidence-informed policy. Biological Conservation, 238.

2. Sutherland, W.J., Taylor, N.G., MacFarlane, D., Amano, T., Christie, A.P., Dicks, L.V., Lemasson, A.J., Littlewood, N.A., Martin, P.A., Ockendon, N. …. Robertson, R. J., and Wordley, C.F.R., (2019). Building a tool to overcome barriers in research-implementation spaces: The conservation evidence database. Biological Conservation, 238, p.108199.

3. Rose, D.C., Sutherland, W.J., Amano, T., González‐Varo, J.P., Robertson, R.J., Simmons, B.I., Wauchope, H.S., Kovacs, E., Durán, A.P., Vadrot, A.B. and Wu, W., (2018). The major barriers to evidence‐informed conservation policy and possible solutions. Conservation Letters, p.e12564.

4. Rose, D. C., Mukherjee, N., Simmons, B. I., Tew, E. R., Robertson, R. J., Vadrot, A. B., ... & Sutherland, W. J. (2017). Policy windows for the environment: Tips for improving the uptake of scientific knowledge. Environmental Science & Policy.

5. Rose, D., Addison, P., Ausden, M., Bennun, L., Mills, C., O’Donnell, S., ... & Robertson, R. J., (2017). Decision support tools in conservation: a workshop to improve user-centred design. Research Ideas and Outcomes, 3, e21074.

6. Jucker, T., Wintle, B., Shackelford, G., Bocquillon, P., Geffert, J.L., Kasoar, T., Kovacs, E., Mumby, H.S., Orland, C., Schleicher, J.....Robertson, R.J, and Tew, E.R., (2018). Ten‐year assessment of the 100 priority questions for global biodiversity conservation. Conservation Biology.

7. Shackelford, G. E., Kelsey, R., Robertson, R. J., Williams, D. R. & Dicks, L. V. (2017) Sustainable Agriculture in California and Mediterranean Climates: Evidence for the effects of selected interventions. Synopses of Conservation Evidence Series. University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

8. Diaz-Rainey, I., Robertson, B., & Wilson, C. (2017). Stranded research? Leading finance journals are silent on climate change. Climatic Change, 1-18.


  • MSci Environmental Sciences - University of East Anglia