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Dr Marije Schaafsma PhD


Dr Marije Schaafsma's photo
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Marije is an environmental economist and a Lecturer in the School of Geography and Environmental Science. She joined the University of Southampton in August 2014, after postdoctoral positions at the Universities of East Anglia and Cambridge. She is also a Research Fellow at CSERGE, University of East Anglia.

Marije has a broad interest in sustainable development, with a focus on decision-making concerning environmental management and human development. She uses economic theory and methods and strongly engages in interdisciplinary research. Marije held an ESPA (Ecosystem Services and Poverty Alleviation) Early Career Research Fellowship, which focused on the suitability of climate smart agriculture in Malawi.


Previous employment:

Research interests

Valuation of ecosystems

Marije’s experience includes ecosystem services assessments (e.g. the UK National Ecosystem Assessment Follow-On and the Valuing the Arc project in Tanzania), and different methodologies for monetary and non-monetary valuation of ecosystem services. In Malawi, she has conducted choice experiments and multi-criteria analysis, both in individual and group settings.

Poverty and environment

Marije is involved in several projects on the inclusion of an environmental dimension in multidimensional poverty indices, including a GCRF funded project “Developing an Environmentally-adjusted Index for Multidimensional Poverty”, an ESPA Blue Skies project “Ecosystem Services as a Missing Dimension of Poverty” and an ESPA Impact Acceleration Fund project, together with the University of Cambridge and UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre.

Trade-offs in sustainable development

Marije investigates trade-offs in normative decision-making at multiple levels (macro, meso, micro) and the role of conservation and equity values (distributional preferences) in these decisions.

UKRI GCRF Trade, Development and the Environment Hub

UKRI GCRF funded, 2019-2024

Project Description

The trade of wild species and agricultural commodities has potential for creating employment and increasing economic growth, particularly in low and middle-income countries. However, intensive use causes entire populations of wild animals or plants to crash, and demand for agricultural land for crops removes natural habitat for wildlife, while the benefits are not enjoyed by those people who may need them most. Degradation of nature also has very real knock-on effects for marginalised people and increases the chance of the world failing to meet international ambitions such as the Sustainable Development Goals and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.

Over the next five years the project, called the UKRI GCRF Trade, Development and the Environment Hub, will trace the trade of wildlife, wild meat and agricultural goods from their origin in eight countries, and then throughout the entire world: Brazil, China, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Indonesia, Republic of Congo, and Tanzania.

These country-level results will then be linked within a global modelling framework to look at different possible trade futures and how these might benefit or impact on people and nature. The University of Southampton co-leads the Work Package on social-economic impacts of trade.

The Hub will then be able to look at the UK trade relations and dependencies, and how trade decisions that we take in the coming years can be a positive force for sustainably living on this planet.

This project is one of twelve research hubs funded by this year’s £200m UK Research and Innovation Global Challenges Research Fund (UKRI GCRF), a key supporter of the UK AID strategy which places UK-led research at the heart of efforts to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (for more information about UKRI and the GCRF Hubs, visit:


Prof Zoe Matthews

Dr Marije Schaafsma

PhD supervision

Research group

Global Environmental Change and Earth Observation

Research project(s)

Bat pollination services: their importance and vulnerability to environmental changes

Marije is the thematic pathway coordinator of the Sustainability, Environment and Resilience pathway of the ESRC South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership (since February 2016).

She is a Lead Author on the IPBES assessment on multiple values of nature.

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Book Chapters



Working Papers

Module coordinator

  • Sustainability, Environment and Resilience (RESM6018)


  • Introduction to Sustainability (GEOG6098)
  • Data Collection and Research Methods for Sustainability (GEOG6097)
  • Dangerous World (GEOG1011)
  • Global Climate Change: Science, Impacts and Policy (GEOG2032)
  • Practicing Human Geographical Research (GEOG2035)
  • Adapting to Climate Change and Weather Hazards (GEOG3057)
Dr Marije Schaafsma
University of Southampton SO17 1BJ

Room Number: 44/2065

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