Staff profile

Peter  Hobson

Professor Peter Hobson


Professor in Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainability;
Research lead for the school of Sustainable Environments;
Co-Director of the Centre for Econics and Ecosystem Management


Peter is a Professor in Biodiversity Conservation & Sustainability within the School of Sustainable Environments, Writtle University College, UK. He is also currently acting co-director for the Centre of Econics and Ecosystem Management in partnership with Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development. Apart from his academic roles as principal lecturer and research leader, Peter is also on the Essex Climate Emergency Commission; IUCN Commission for forest ecosystems; the board of trustees for the UK Wilderness Foundation; board member for European Beech Forest Network; member of the European Society for Conservation Policy Group; European Wilderness Society Advisory Group; Rewilding Britain Advisory group; and the Advisory Group for Wild Europe.

His research interests include the application of ecosystem theory propositions, specifically thermodynamics, to natural ecosystems and cultural landscapes. For the last 10 years Peter's research has focused on thermodynamic measures of ecosystem function in forested landscapes and how this research may contribute to a new paradigm of sustainable land use practice referred to as “econics”.

His work in international consultancy includes biodiversity conservation and sustainability in biosphere reserves and 'shared landscapes' across Europe, Central America and other parts of the world. Closer to home, Peter is involved in initiating and developing urban rewilding and green veining projects across Suffolk as part of a strategy to help mitigate problems of climate change.


BSc (Hons) Zoology
MSc Environmental Resources
PhD historical ecology of an ancient forest – Wyre

Subject Areas

Ecosystem-based sustainable management (MSc & BSc), protected area management (BSC & MSc), ecosystem services, landscape ecology, ecosystem diagnostics analysis, biodiversity conservation, environmental policy & leadership, MARISCO, climate change and biodiversity. Conservation project management & leadership (BSc & MSc).
25 years experience of designing & directing > 10 undergraduate & postgraduate programmes in nature conservation & sustainability; 15 BSc & MSc validation panels in conservation, sustainable land management and architecture.
2008 – current, > 12 PhD research projects in ecosystem-based sustainability in areas of urban, agriculture, forestry and nature conservation; Undergraduate & postgraduate dissertation supervision, >220 theses; External examiner, Suffolk College, NEWI


Forest ecosystem functional analysis. Approximately 12 years of research activity with a focus on ecosystem thermodynamics, including 3 LAPBIO - funded research projects to do with boreal old growth ecology & wild fire dynamics in north Finland.

Ecosystem-based adaptive management, 10 years theory & practice organised around case studies in various countries and regions around the world including Namibia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Russia, Kazakhstan and DPRK (North Korea).

Sustainability models for biosphere reserves and mixed-use landscapes, 8 years research linked again, to case studies in Siberia, North Korea, Balkans and Ukraine.

In all cases the research has been carried out as part of an international partnership programme with colleagues from institutes around the world but mainly with staff from Eberswalde University. Funding for research projects has come from various sources including GIZ and WWF Germany (see following links for further details:;;


Journal papers

Axel Schick, Christina Sandig, Anja Krause, Peter R. Hobson, Stefan Porembski, Pierre L. Ibisch (2018) People-Centered and Ecosystem-Based Knowledge Co-Production to Promote Proactive Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Development in Namibia Environmental Management 62(2).

Florian Ulm, David Avelar, Peter Hobson, Gil Penha-Lopes, Teresa Dias, Cristina M_aguas, Cristina Cruz. (2018) Sustainable urban agriculture using compost and an open-pollinated maize variety. Journal of Cleaner Production 212

Schick, A., P.R. Hobson & P.L. Ibisch (2017) Conservation and sustainable development in a VUCA world: the need for a systemic, risk-robust and ecosystem-based approach Ecosystem Health and Sustainability 3(4) 1267

Hobson, P.R., Ibisch, P.L & Parmee (2016) A small plot study of Chalara infestation in a recently established natural stand of ash, UK International Journal of Arboriculture vol 38, 122-133

Hobson, P.R., Ibisch, P.L & Parmee, R (2016) A small plot study of Chalara infestation in a recently established natural stand of ash, UK International Journal of Arboriculture Vol 38, 122-133

IBISCH, P.L., M.T. HOFFMANN, S. KREFT, G. PE’ER, V. KATI, L. BIBER-FREUDENBERGER, D.A. DELLASALA, M.M. VALE, P.R. HOBSON & N. SELVA (2016) A global map of roadless areas and their conservation status. Science Science 354

Pe’er, G., Dicks, L.V., Visconti, P., Arlettaz, R., Báldi, A., Benton, T.G., Collins, S., Dieterich, M., Gregory, R.D., Hartig, F., Henle, K., Hobson, P.R., Kleijn, D., Neumann, R.K., Robijns, T., Schmidt, J., Shwartz, A., Sutherland, W.J., Turbe, A., Wulf, F. and Scott, A.V (2014) EU agricultural reform fails on biodiversity: Member States must take extra steps to protect farmed ecosystems Science 344 1090-1092


Jeanette S Blumroeder, Peter R Hobson , Uli F Graebener, Jorg-Andreas Kruger, Denis Dobrynin , Natalya Burova , Irina Amosa, Susanne Winter and Pierre L Ibisch (2018) Towards the Evaluation of the Ecological Effectiveness of the Principles, Criteria and Indicators (PCI) of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC): Case study in the Arkhangelsk Region in the Russian Federation. Challenges in Sustainability vol 6, 1 > 33

Saruhan Mosler & Peter Hobson (2018) Transformation of the landscape: The relationships between food & land use in prehistoric British & European societies Routledge Handbook of Landscape and Food 114-159.

Blumroder, J., Hoffmann, M., Winter, S., Kruger, J-A., Grabener, U.F., Hobson, P.R. & Ibisch, P.L (2017) Ecosystem-based assessment of sustainability standards and their effectiveness WWF 1-18.

IBISCH, P.L. & P.R. HOBSON (2016) MARISCO. Manejo Adaptativo de RISco e vulnerabilidade em sítios de COnservação. Guia para a conservação da biodiversidade baseada em ecossistemas com uma abordagem de adaptação e resistência ao risco Centre for Econics and Ecosystem Management, Eberswalde 1-130.


Jeanette S. Blumroeder, Peter R. Hobson, Uli F. Gräbener , Susanne Winter and Pierre L. Ibisch (2018) Ecosystem-based evaluation of two sustainability standards applied to oil palm cultivation in Sabah, Malaysia 1c-Assessing Sustainability/ ISDRS 1-14.