Dr James McGinlay

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Global Sustainability Institute

Faculty:Faculty of Science and Engineering

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Ecosystems and Human Wellbeing

Jim is a postdoctoral researcher at the Global Sustainability Institute, working primarily on the FIDELIO project (Forecasting Social Impacts of Biodiversity Conservation Policies in Europe).



Following degrees in physical and environmental sciences at the Universities of Oxford and Nottingham, Jim worked for many years in technical and engineering consultancy specialising in environmental resource assessment and management for both public and private sectors.
With a growing interest in biodiversity and conservation, Jim left consultancy to complete a PhD in environmental geography at the Open University, Milton Keynes, focusing on the conservation management of High Nature Value grasslands.
He is experienced in interdisciplinary approaches to complex environmental problems drawing on knowledge from the natural and social sciences, using mixed-method and case-study strategies, and both qualitative and quantitative research methods. Since the PhD he has undertaken research into cultural ecosystem services and is now working on the assessment of social impacts from nature protected areas.

Spoken Languages

English, Spanish, French

Research interests

  • Biodiversity and conservation
  • Management of socio-ecological landscapes
  • Environmental assessment and management
  • Ecosystem services
  • People's relationship with nature

Areas of research supervision

MSc Sustainability - Ecosystem services


Jim was an activity tutor in Ecology for the Open University residential school at the University of Sussex (2010-2012), and has since taught for the University of Reading (undergraduate Geography) and more recently on the ARU MSc Sustainability.


PhD in Environmental Geography, Open University, Milton Keynes
MSc in Environmental Sciences, University of Nottingham
BA in Natural Sciences (Chemistry), University of Oxford

Selected recent publications

McGinlay, J., Parsons, D.J., Morris, J., Hubatova, M., Graves, A., Bradbury, R.B. and Bullock, J.M. (2018) 'Leisure activities and social factors influence the generation of cultural ecosystem service benefits', Ecosystem Services.

Ridding, L. E., Redhead, J.W., Oliver, T.H., Schmucki, R., McGinlay, J., Graves, A.R., Morris, J., Bradbury, R.B., King, H. and Bullock, J.M. (2018) 'The importance of landscape characteristics for the delivery of cultural ecosystem services', Journal of Environmental Management, 206, pp. 1145-1154.

King, H., Morris, J., Graves, A., Bradbury, R.B., McGinlay, J. and Bullock, J.M. (2018) 'Biodiversity and cultural ecosystem benefits in lowland landscapes in southern England', Journal of Environmental Psychology, 53, pp. 185-197.

McGinlay, J., Parsons, D.J., Morris, J., Hubatova, M., Graves, A., Bradbury, R.B. and Bullock, J.M. (2017) 'Do charismatic species groups generate more cultural ecosystem service benefits?', Ecosystem Services, 27, Part A (October) pp. 15-24.

Jones, N., McGinlay, J. and Dimitrakopoulos, P.G. (2017) ' Improving social impact assessment of protected areas: A review of the literature and directions for future research', Environmental Impact assessment Review, 64, pp. 1-7.

McGinlay, J., Gowing, D. J. G. and Budds, J. (2017) 'The threat of abandonment in socio-ecological landscapes: Farmers' motivations and perspectives on high nature value grassland conservation', Environmental Science & Policy, 69, pp. 39-49.

McGinlay, J., Gowing, D. J. G. and Budds, J. (2016) 'Conserving socio-ecological landscapes: An analysis of traditional and responsive management practices for floodplain meadows in England', Environmental Science & Policy, 66, pp. 234-241.