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C-EENRG

Cambridge Centre for Environment, Energy and Natural Resource Governance

Studying at Cambridge

 

Dr Aiora Zabala

Dr Aiora Zabala

C-EENRG Fellow

Affiliated Lecturer, Department of Land Economy

Senior Editor, Nature Sustainability


Biography:

Dr Zabala is Affiliated Lecturer in the Department of Land Economy and Senior Editor, Nature Sustainability journal. Her interests are in environmental governance and sustainability policy effectiveness, with a focus on understanding the diversity of views on controversial or conflictive issues. This includes adoption and diffusion of sustainable land-use practices, social implications of biodiversity indicators and drivers and motivations of behavioural change.

She has published research on a range of policies, such as environmental and conservation programs in rural areas in Mexico and South Africa, deforestation drivers at large scales, peatland fires in Indonesia, and public policy for sustainable transport to industrial estates. Her work has been published by UNEP and in journals like Global Environmental Change, Land Use Policy and Ecological Economics.

Her expertise includes R statistical language, econometrics, multi-criteria decision methods, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Q methodology and data visualisation. She also lectured in R programming, scientific figure design and Q methodology, at the Social Sciences Research Methods Programme (formerly Social Sciences' Research Methods Centre) and the Graduate School of Life Sciences.

Her research has focused on incentive schemes for ecosystem service management. Her thesis uncovered unexpected drivers of adoption of silvopasture (a type of agroforestry) in the tropical forest frontier. She explained this adoption using a framework of exogenous and endogenous predictors, informed by theories in behavioural economics and social psychology, and accounting for pathway dependency derived from place-based social and environmental history. More recent work includes an assessment of the multiple social views of bird diversity indicators in the UK and their implications for biodiversity policy, analysing acceptability of waste-to-energy facilities (with University of Basque Country), barriers for sustainable aquaculture certification (with University of Tokyo), and use and valuation of urban green spaces.

She holds a PhD in Environmental Policy (University of Cambridge), MSc in Geography (University of Oxford), postgraduate degree in Ecological Economics and BSc in Environmental Sciences with focus on social environmental studies (both at Autonomous University of Barcelona). She was previously web knowledge consultant for a clean technology networking platform (Skipso), and designer of environmental communication material.

Keywords

  • Forest governance
  • Economics
  • Human perspectives
  • Rural livelihoods
  • R statistical language and GIS
  • Ecological economics

Key Publications

See full list of publications.