Biodiversity conservation as a promising frontier for behavioural science

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Electronic versions



  • Kristian Steensen Nielsen
    University of Cambridge
  • Theresa M. Marteau
    University of Cambridge
  • Jan M. Bauer
    Copenhagen Business School
  • Richard B. Bradbury
    RSPB Centre for Conservation Science
  • Steven Broad
  • Gayle Burgess
  • Mark A. Burgman
    Imperial College London
  • Hilary Byerly
    University of Colorado
  • Susan Clayton
    The College of Wooster
  • Dulce Espelosin
    Center for Behavior & the Environment
  • Paul J. Ferraro
    Johns Hopkins University
  • Brendan Fisher
    The University of Vermont
  • Emma E. Garnett
    University of Cambridge
  • J.P.G. Jones
  • Mark Otieno
    University of Würzburg
  • Stephen Polasky
    University of Minnesota
  • Taylor H. Ricketts
    The University of Vermont
  • Rosie Trevelyan
    Tropical Biology Association
  • Sander van der Linden
    University of Cambridge
  • Diogo Verissimo
    University of Oxford
  • Andrew Balmford
    University of Cambridge
Human activities are degrading ecosystems worldwide, posing existential threats for biodiversity and humankind. Slowing and reversing this degradation will require profound and widespread changes to human behaviour. Behavioural scientists are therefore well placed to contribute intellectual leadership in this area. This Perspective aims to stimulate a marked increase in the amount and breadth of behavioural research addressing this challenge. First, we describe the importance of the biodiversity crisis for human and non-human prosperity and the central role of human behaviour in reversing this decline. Next, we discuss key gaps in our understanding of how to achieve behaviour change for biodiversity conservation and suggest how to identify key behaviour changes and actors capable of improving biodiversity outcomes. Finally, we outline the core components for building a robust evidence base and suggest priority research questions for behavioural scientists to explore in opening a new frontier of behavioural science for the benefit of nature and human wellbeing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)550-556
JournalNature Human Behaviour
Issue number5
Early online date13 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - May 2021

Total downloads

No data available
View graph of relations