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As a social scientist, my role is to design, manage and interpret sociological research, often within interdisciplinary projects, using a range of methodologies to improve biodiversity outcomes. My area of specialisation involves understanding the social factors that shape human interactions with the natural environment, such as non-monetary values. This research has significant impact because it often explores the interface between science and policy, for example when scientific evidence affects stakeholder livelihoods.
I have been working in environmental conservation within the ENGO and academic sectors since 2000. My main research interests are the relationships between humans and nature, specifically non-monetary (social, shared and cultural) values of threatened species and ecosystem services. I am also interested in developing ways to improve the integration of science into policy-making decisions.
My current research activities include exploring non-monetary values of marine ecosystem services in the southwest of England and the West Coast of Scotland as part of the Marine Ecosystems Research Programme (MERP) and developing forecasting tools for emerging zoonotic diseases in India.
Most recently, I was also a member of the EKLIPSE Secretariat: EKLIPSE is an EU-funded programme that aims to support better decisions about our environment based on the best available knowledge. In addition I was working on two projects in India exploring the socio-ecological drivers of emerging zoonotic diseases, such as Kyasanur Forest Disease, and developing geo-spatial forecasting tools to assist with mitigating outbreaks.
The first six years of my environmental conservation career were spent working in several environmental advocacy and legal organisations in Melbourne and Darwin, managing fundraising and office development strategies. I then moved to the academic sector in 2007, spending three years working as a Research Associate in Charles Darwin University's School for Environmental Research in the Livelihoods and Policy theme. I then embarked on my PhD exploring social values of Australian threatened birds. This led to a post-doc position at the University of Aberdeen in 2015 where I worked on a knowledge co-production project regarding conservation management of declining ground-nesting bird populations in Scotland. I joined CEH in early 2017.
Ainsworth, G B. (2014). Valuing birds: understanding the relationship between social values and the conservation of Australian threatened avifauna, Faculty of Engineering, Health, Science and the Environment, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, Australia.
Ainsworth, GB and Burns, GL (Submitted). "Affective and effective conservation messages: a case study of Australian threatened birds." Australasian Journal of Environmental Management.
Wilson, MW, Ainsworth, GB, Wernham, CV, Young, JC and Redpath, SM (In preparation). Where did the birds go? Contested knowledge and bird population declines in Scotland.
Ainsworth, GB, Redpath, SM, Wernham, CV, Wilson, MW and Young, JC (2020). "Integrating scientific and local knowledge to address conservation conflicts: Towards a practical framework based on lessons learned from a Scottish case study." Environmental Science & Policy, 107, 46-55. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envsci.2020.02.017
Ainsworth, GB , Kenter, JO, O'Connor, S, Daunt, FHJ, Young, JC (2019). "A fulfilled human life: Eliciting sense of place and cultural identity in two UK marine environments through the Community Voice Method." Ecosystem Services 39:100992. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoser.2019.100992
Watt, AD, Ainsworth, G, Balian, E, Cojocaru, G, Darbi, M, Dicks, L, Eggermont, H, Furman, F, Goudeseune, L, Huybrecht, P, Kelemen, E, Koch, F, Konstantinou, Z, Livoreil, B, Locher-Krause, K, Lux, A, Mehring, M, Neßhöver, C, Paloniemi, R, Saarikoski, H, Sousa Pinto, I, Vandewalle, M, Varjopuro, R, Wittmer, H, Young, JC (2018). "EKLIPSE: engaging knowledge holders and networks for evidence-informed European policy on biodiversity and ecosystem services." Evidence and Policy. doi:10.1332/174426418X15314036194114.
Kiley, H. M., Ainsworth, G. B. & Weston, M. A. (2018) Modest levels of interpretability of the term ‘biodiversity’, mediated by educational level, among the Australian public. Pacific Conservation Biology, -.
Garnett, ST, Ainsworth, GB, Zander, KK (2018). "Are we choosing the right flagships? The bird species and traits Australians find most attractive." PLoS One, 13 (6), e0199253. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0199253
Ainsworth, GB, Fitzsimons, JA, Weston, MA, Garnett, ST. (2017). "The culture of bird conservation: Australian stakeholder values regarding iconic, flagship and rare birds." Biodiversity and Conservation, 27 (2): 345-363. doi: 10.1007/s10531-017-1438-1
Wolf, ID, Ainsworth, GB and Crowley, J. (2017). "Transformative travel as a sustainable market niche for protected areas: a new development, marketing and conservation model." Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 1-24. doi: 10.1080/09669582.2017.1302454
Kiley, HM, Ainsworth, GB, van Dongen, WFD, and Weston, MA. (2017). "Variation in public perceptions and attitudes towards terrestrial ecosystems." Science of the Total Environment, 590-91, 440-451. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.12.179
Ainsworth, GB, Aslin, HJ, Weston, MW, and Garnett, ST. (2016). "Social values and species conservation: the case of Baudin's and Carnaby's black-cockatoos." Environmental Conservation, 43, 294-305. doi: 10.1017/S0376892916000126.
Ainsworth, GB, Aslin, HJ, Weston, MW, and Garnett, ST. (2016). "Do social values influence levels of conservation effort in threatened species? The case of two Australian Chats." Oryx, 50, 636-645. doi: 10.1017/S0030605315000538.
Zander, KK, Ainsworth, GB, Meyerhoff, J, and Garnett, ST. (2014). "Threatened bird valuation in Australia." PLoS ONE no. 9 (6):e100411. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0100411.t001.
Garnett, ST, Williams, G, Ainsworth, GB, and O’Donnell, M. (2010). "Who owns feral camels? Implications for managers of land and resources in central Australia." Special Issue of The Rangelands Journal. no. 32 (1).
Ainsworth, G B, and Garnett, S T. (2009). RIMBA: sustainable forest livelihoods in Malaysia and Australia: LESTARI: UKM, Malaysia.
Ainsworth, G B, Garnett, S T, and Aslin, H. (2012). "The values of wildlife embodied in protected areas." In RIMBA2: Regional Sustainable Development in Malaysia and Australia, edited by M Mokhtar and S A Halim. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: LESTARI: UKM.
Garnett, S, and Ainsworth, G B. (2009). "Joint management and multiple use in a climate change era." In RIMBA: sustainable forest livelihoods in Malaysia and Australia, edited by G. B. Ainsworth and S. Garnett. Malaysia: Institute of Environment and Development (LESTARI), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM).
Ainsworth, G., Calladine, J., Martay, B., Park, K., Redpath, S., Wernham, C., Wilson, M. & Young, J. (2016) Understanding predation: a review bringing together natural science and local knowledge of recent wild bird population changes and their drivers in Scotland. Scotland's Moorland Forum, Dumfries, UK.
Wolf, ID, Ainsworth, G, Alimane, C & Bainbridge T (2015). "Transformative Travel: Concepts and Market Opportunities for Protected Areas – Annotated Bibliography." Office of Environment and Heritage, Sydney.
Wolf, ID, Ainsworth, G, & Crowley J (2016). "Transformative Travel: Concepts and Market Opportunities for Protected Areas – Product Review." Office of Environment and Heritage, Sydney.
Carey, R, O’Donnell, M, Ainsworth, G B, Garnett, S, Haritos, H, Williams, G, Edwards, G P, McGregor, M, and Zeng, B. (2008). "Review of legislation and regulations relating to feral camel management (summary)." In DKCRC Report 47. Desert Knowledge Cooperative Research Centre, Alice Springs.
Stacey, Natasha, Petheram, L, and Ainsworth, G B. (2008). NAILSMA/TS - CRC – Dugong and marine turtle project partner feedback survey report. School for Environmental Research, CDU.
Garnett, Stephen, Ainsworth, Gill, and Carey, Rachel. (2007). Analysis of Northern Territory legislation for the protection of threatened species. Darwin, Australia: Charles Darwin University.
PhD - 2014, Valuing birds: Exploring the relationship between social values and the conservation of Australian threatened birds.