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Department of
Geography & Environment


Houghton Street

London WC2A 2AE


Murray Collins


Murray's PhD is on the quantification and valuation of forest carbon and forest biodiversity. The research draws on both the social and natural sciences and is funded by the NERC-ESRC. He is hosted at the London School of Economics and Political Science and the Zoological Society of London|.

Murray is supervised by Susana Mourato|, Marcus Rowcliffe| and Chris Carbone|.


Murray studied for a BSc in Anthropology and Geography at University College London and La Sorbonne (Paris V, Rene Déscartes; 'Mention Excellent'). He has an MSc from Imperial College London in Conservation Science (Distinction).

Murray has most recently worked on the economics team of the UK National Ecosystem Assessment|, and for the Grantham Research Institute, producing the 3rd GLOBE review of climate change legislation|.

Prior to PhD research, he worked for the government of Gabon, undertaking research on forest carbon stocks, to help the country build its position in UNFCCC discussions over a potential international REDD+ mechanism. He has also worked in Indonesia, as a field researcher, placing camera traps for National Geographic. In addition, Murray made a natural history mystery film| with Banyak Productions about a primate said to live in the mountain rainforests of Sumatra.

Research programmes

Research interests

  • Quantification and valuation of ecosystem services; 
  • Payments for ecosystem services; 
  • Institutional aspects of environmental policy implementation; 
  • Tropical forests, carbon emissions and biodiversity conservation;
  • Remote sensing of the environment.

Media articles


What's Redd and will it help tackle climate change?|
Murray Collins and Naomi Hicks, The Guardian, 19 December  


Book Review: 'Nuclear Energy: what everyone needs to know'|
Murray Collins, British Politics and Policy at LSE (blog), 4 December

Research articles


Simon L Lewis, Bonaventure Sonké, Terry Sunderland, Serge K Begne, Gabriela Lopez-Gonzalez, Geertje MF van der Heijden, Oliver L Phillips, Kofi Affum-Baffoe, Timothy R Baker and Lindsay Banin, et al.(2013Above-ground biomass and structure of 260 African tropical forests|. PHILOSOPHICAL TRANSACTIONS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES. 368(1625).

Slik, J.W. et al. (2013). Large trees drive forest aboveground biomass variation in moist lowland forests across the tropics|. Global Ecology and Biogeography, (Global Ecol. Biogeogr.). xxxx.

Townshend, T., Fankhauser, S., Aybar, R., Collins, M., Landesman, T., Nachmany, M., and Pavese, C. April 2013. How national legislation can help to solve climate change|. Nature Climate Change, v.3, pp.430-432


Collins, M.B., Milner-Gulland, E.J., Macdonald, E.A. and Macdonald, D.W. 2011. Pleiotropy and charisma determine winners and losers in the REDD+ game: all biodiversity is not equal|. Tropical Conservation Science v.4.

Mitchard, E. T. A., Saatchi, S. S., White, L. J. T., Abernethy, K. A., Jeffery, K. J., Lewis, S. L., Collins, M., Lefsky, M. A., Leal, M. E., Woodhouse, I. H., and Meir, P. October 2011. Mapping tropical forest biomass with radar and spaceborne LiDAR: overcoming problems of high biomass and persistent cloud|. Biogeosciences Discuss, v.8, pp.8781-8815.

Collins, M., Macdonald, E.A., Clayton, L., Dunggio, I., Macdonald, D.W. and Milner-Gulland, E.J. October 2011. Wildlife conservation and reduced emissions from deforestation in a case study of Nantu Wildlife Reserve, Sulawesi: 2 An institutional framework for REDD+ implementation|. Environmental Science and Policy, v.14.

Macdonald, E.A., Collins, M., Johnson., P.J., Clayton, L., Malhi, Y., Fisher, J.B., Milner-Gulland, E.J., and Macdonald, D.W. October 2011. Wildlife conservation and reduced emissions from deforestation in a case study of Nantu National Park, Sulawesi: 1. The effectiveness of forest protection—many measures, one goal|. Environmental Science and Policy.


White, L., Jeffery, K., Collins, M., Lewis, S., Dimoto, E., Dibakou, J., and Mbouni, A. Rapport pour le Projet : ECOFAC Évaluation de l'Impact du Changement Climatique au Gabon: Inventaire statistique du carbone contenu dans la biomasse au-dessus du sol, Parc National de la Lopé. Report to Gabonese government.

Mourato, S., Atkinson, G., Collins, M., Gibbons, S., MacKerron, G., and Resende, G. 2010. Economic assessment of ecosystem related UK cultural services. Report to the Economics team of the UK National Ecosystem Assessment, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

Policy articles


GLOBE International. January 2013. Climate Legislation Study: a review of climate change legislation in 33 countries| (Terry Townshend, Sam Fankhauser, Rafael Aybar, Murray Collins, Tucker Landesman, Michal Nachmany and Carolina Pavese [Eds.]), third Edition.


Collins, M. (contributing author), et al. June 2011. Chapter 22: Economic values from ecosystems|. The UK National Ecosystem Assessment.


Murray Collins