Deputy Director of the NERC-funded Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service Sustainability Directorate; Co-Director of IGDC, Department of Environment and Geography
Piran White carries out research on human-environment interactions, including the services and benefits we derive from nature and the links between ecosystems and human and animal health. His development-related research is focused on Latin America and the Caribbean. He is leading two projects on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, under the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) El Niño and Building Resilience programmes, which are integrating ecological, social and historical approaches to understand the interactions between long-term environmental, political and social drivers and short-term environmental shocks in affecting communities and their livelihoods. He is also leading a GCRF project to develop novel insurance products to enhance response and recovery of coral reefs and sea grass beds in the Caribbean, following damage from tropical cyclones. He has also worked in the UK and Australasia. His research frequently involves the use of interdisciplinary approaches alongside more traditional ecological research, working closely with economists and qualitative social scientists, and alongside policy-makers, practitioners and the business community. He has led the development of a range of decision support tools for Government and practitioners to enhance the management of natural capital and ecosystem services, including in relation to renewable energy production. His work on ecosystem and human health includes a long-standing interest in the ecology and management of zoonotic disease, especially rabies and bovine tuberculosis. He is also involved in a number of projects relating to people's use of green and blue spaces and the impact of these spaces on health and wellbeing.