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School of Geography

Jon Lovett Prof Jon Lovett

Contact details

Room 10.21
School of Geography
University of Leeds
University Road
Leeds LS2 9JT   UK


+44 (0) 113 34 33327

Student hours:
By appointment

Research overview

My main interest is natural resource management and I maintain a broad collaborative interdisciplinary environmental research programme. In the 1980s my research was on ecology and biography. This work resulted in formulation of the Eastern Arc as a phytogeographic unit and globally recognized biodiversity hotspot; and also led to the development of the ‘stability’ hypothesis explaining high biodiversity and presence of phylogenetic relicts in the forests.

During the 1990s I developed a research group in York working on environment, climate change and natural resource management, particularly in Nepal, Tanzania and Mexico. From 1996-2002 I was the senior environmental advisor on the Lower Kihansi Hydropower Project in Tanzania, leading a team investigating the impact of this major World Bank funded project on an area of high biodiversity. During the project we discovered a number of new species, including the narrowly endemic Kihansi Spray Toad, which was at the centre of an international controversy over loss of its habitat.

From 1999-2006 I was the environmental specialist on the UK Department for International Development Programme Advisory Committee for the Natural Resources Systems Programme. After the long period of fieldwork in Tanzania during the 1980s and early 1990s I developed an interest in institutional economics, and in 1996-1997 I was on the Joint ESRC-NERC committee on environmental economics, and in 2009 I was seconded to Natural England under an ESRC award as the environmental economist on the NE Chief Scientists team.

I am currently a member of the Natural England Science Advisory Committee. My more recent work has been on renewable energy, and whilst working in the Netherlands I advised the Dutch Foreign Ministry on market-based solutions to technology transfer in the run-up to the 2008 UNFCCC CoP in Poznan, drawing attention to the ‘Porter Hypothesis’ and the role of environmental regulation in enhancing competiveness and innovation. In 2011 I was part of the team devising the draft energy strategy for the African Development Bank.


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