Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Life Sciences

Research Postgraduate



joss.lyons-white15 Website




N2.8MunroSilwood Park





I am a PhD student on the Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet (SSCP) Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment.

My research is focused on tropical deforestation caused by the expanding production of agricultural commodities such as palm oil. In particular, I am interested in the role played by private-sector commitments to "no deforestation, no peat, no exploitation" (NDPE) and "zero deforestation". My work involves using techniques from systems thinking to explore the potential to improve the sustainability of agricultural commodity production systems. I am currently conducting research using Critical Systems Heuristics to investigate the issues surrounding the use of zero-deforestation policy in highly-forested countries, with fieldwork in Gabon and Liberia. My fieldwork in Liberia has been funded by a Frederick Soddy Postgraduate Award from the Royal Geographical Society with IBG.

Prior to beginning my PhD, I completed a BA in Psychology and Philosophy at the University of Oxford and an MSc in Conservation Science at Imperial College London. I have also worked on private-sector conservation at the HCV Resource Network and, prior to undertaking my MSc, spent 5 years working as a communications consultant in the healthcare sector.


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Lyons-White J, Pollard E, Catalano A, et al., 2020, Rethinking zero deforestation beyond 2020 to more equitably and effectively conserve tropical forests, One Earth, ISSN:2590-3322

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