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Professor Terence (Terry) Dawson (BSc Exeter 1990, MPhil Cantab 1994, PhD Soton 1997) has research expertise in biogeography and natural resource management with a specific interest in human-environment interactions, ecosystems services and climate change.

A Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society since 1986, his earlier career included academic positions at the Universities of Oxford (1998-2004), Edinburgh (2004-2007), Southampton (2007-2011) and Dundee (2011-2016).

Terence has published over 250 manuscripts since 1997, some of which have been highly cited (eight publications listed on the Thomson ‘highly-cited’ category from Essential Science Indicators).

From 2000-date, he has successfully managed research grants from the European Union (V and VI Frameworks), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) (including the Darwin Initiative Programme), Leverhulme Trust, Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Royal Society, Department for International Development (DfID), English Nature, Scottish Natural Heritage, Andrew Mellon Foundation and ENTRUST, with a total value over £6 Million.

More recently his research has focused on the potential and controversies surrounding rewilding and in 2022, he was awarded funding from the British Deer Society for the project ‘Rewilding Scotland: Dilemmas for wild deer management and the rural economy’ (2022-2025).

In 2021, Terry was appointed Co-leader of the Agroecology Specialist Group of the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Commission on Ecosystem Management for the period 2021-2025. 


  • Complex systems and Earth systems science
  • Biogeography
  • Evaluating environmental change and anthropogenic impacts on landscapes, biodiversity, natural resources, food security and ecosystem services
  • Development of remote sensing, Geographic Information System (GIS) and modelling tools for studying and understanding biodiversity, sustainability development and the interaction between climate change and social-ecological systems

Terence was the principal investigator on the policy-influential, Modelling Natural Resource Responses to Climate Change (MONARCH) project from 1999-2007 and the NERC QUEST (Quantifying and Understanding the Earth System) Global-scale impacts of climate change (2008-2011).

Terry’s latest project is Humpback Whales of the Pitcairn Islands, which has been funded by the Darwin Initiative from 2022-2024.

He is also currently the Principal Investigator on the NERC ColombioBIO programme project ‘Towards environmental reconciliation in Páramo land in Boyacá: resolving ecosystem trade-offs in post-conflict spaces’ (Por El Páramo) from 2018 - 2022.

Further details

See Terry's research profile