Imperial College London

Dr William R Sheate

Faculty of Natural SciencesCentre for Environmental Policy

Reader in Environmental Assessment



+44 (0)20 7594 9299w.sheate




110AWeeks BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





  • UK, EC and international EIA legislation, policy, procedures and methodology
  • Comparative analysis of EIA/SEA regimes worldwide
  • Accountability and public and NGO participation in the EIA/SEA process
  • Strategic environmental assessment, especially in the water, agriculture, biodiversity, transport and energy sectors
  • Sustainability assessment
  • Strategic decision-making, futures analysis
  • Science-policy interface
  • Environmental governance
  • Teaching/training at advanced levels in EIA, SEA and environmental policy, as well as personal transferable skills, including problem solving, relaxation and mindfulnesss.
  • Specialist therapist in anxiety and stress in higher education, and in treating eco-anxiety (see here for further information on one-to-one, group therapy and workshops).

Most recent and current major research/projects (since 2010) - see also

  • Framework Contract Director (CEP-led Consortium), Framework contract for the provision of expert assistance on forward looking analysis, sustainability assessments and systemic transitions, European Environment Agency (EEA), Copenhagen (2017-2021)
  • Expert evidence and testimony at the International Court of Justice in The Hague on behalf of the Government of Nicaragua in the case of Nicaragua v Costa Rica (Border Road) (2014-2015)
  • Project manager SEA of the Scottish Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 (2012-2013)
  • Principal Investigator/Project Manager Evaluation of the Biodiversity Offsetting Pilot Phase  (CEP, with IEEP), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), 2012 - 2014 - summary
  • Senior expert, Defra project on ‘Measuring the Impacts on Global Biodiversity of Goods and Services Imported into the UK’, led by SEI/University of York(2011-ongoing).
  • Senior expert,OECD Mexico Environmental Performance Review - climate change (with Imperial Consultants and Environment Canada), Foreign and Commonwealth Office and OECD, (2011 - 2012)
  • Senior expert, European Commission project to prepare “Practical guidance and recommendations for integrating climate change and biodiversity into Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) / Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) procedures” (with Milieu). (2011)
  • Senior expert, European Commission study on “Assessing and Strengthening the Science and EU Environment Policy Interface” which is undertaking a detailed assessment of current methods and effectiveness of the science-policy interface in order help strengthen this interface within DG Environment to ensure more effective / appropriate use of scientific information in policy development (with Milieu). (2011) 
  • The natural environment and the proposed National Planning Framework for England - research on national level planning frameworks, including international case studies and expert interviews, to inform the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds’ (RSPB) response to the UK Government''s planning reform including Localism. (2010-11) 
  • Expert advisor to the Applicant in the judicial review: Marco McGinty v Scottish Ministers, (with Clare Twigger-Ross, CEP): report to Patrick Campbell and Company Solicitors  ‘Early and effective’ participation in SEA, in the case of McGinty v Scottish Ministers, November 2010.  (2010) 
  • Project Director, BLOSSOM 3.0/SEIS 2.0 Support to developing SEIS Forward system and cooperation with EIONET, European Environment Agency (Collingwood Environmental Planning with SEI /Milieu Ltd). (2010) 
  • Principal Investigator, Support for SOER 2010 Part A – Global long-term environmental trends and ecosystem shifts and their (potential) impacts on human society, European Environment Agency (CEP with SEI/Milieu Ltd). (2010) 
  • Expert international advisor to “A methodology and project implementation framework for a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of the Spatial Development Plans (SDP) for eThekwini Municipality” (using ecosystem services) eThekwini Municipality, Durban, South Africa/DANIDA. (2009-11) 

See also for other projects since 2006, including:-

  • The Water Framework Directive, Assessment, Participation, and Protected Areas: What are the Relationships? (WAPPA), Irish EPA ERTDI Research Programme (2006)
  • Review of future-related studies and analyses of uncertainties in the pan-European region, European Environment Agency (2005-6)
  • SEA of theWales Rural Development Plan under the EU Rural Development Regulations, Welsh Assembly (with Agra CEAS, 2005-2006)
  • Sustainability Appraisal of the Water Action Framework for the Greater London Authority (August 2006-)
  • Sustainability Appraisal of the Climate Change Adaptation Strategy for the Greater London Authority (August 2006-)
  • Thames Gateway Ecosystem Services Assessment Using Green Grids and Decision Support Tools for Sustainability (THESAURUS); one of the case studies in the Defra Natural Environment Policy research programme (Phase II) (October 2006-April 2008)
  • Supporting the Development of a Social Science Strategy for Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management (FCERM) R&D research, Defra/Environment Agency (2007-8)
  • SEA of the Deer Commission for Scotland Strategic Vision (March 2006-)
  • SEA Pathfinder project: Case studies of SEA, Scottish Executive (withEnviroCentre , Scotland   - 2005 - 2007)
  • SEA for selected River Basin Management Plans (RBMPs), Environment Agency (2006, 2007/8)
  • European Environment Agency: Pan-European Futures Studies (2005/6), Foresight Studies (2007).
  • BLOSSOM 2.0: Support to analysis for long-term governance and institutional arrangements for futures studies and environmental policy making (2008-9), European Environment Agency
  • Review of SA reports and compliance of the UK Government's draft Planning Policy Statement on Ecotowns and Ecotowns Programme, for the BARD Campaign see Sheate report.
  • Valuing ecosystem benefits: a scoping study, European Environment Agency (2009).
  • Expert international advisor to “A methodology and project implementation framework for a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of the Spatial Development Plans (SDP) for eThekwini Municipality” (using ecosystem services) eThekwini Municipality, Durban, South Africa/DANIDA. (2009-10)
  • Expert advisor on SEA to the applicant in the judicial review of Irwin Glenbank Ltd v Department of Environment, Northern Ireland. (2009)
  • Developing the SEIS Forward system in support of environmental as sessments. Project manager, European Environment Agency (with Milieu Ltd).(2009-10)

Publications available for download

  • Review of Eco-towns Sustainabilty Appraisals (the S heate Report), for the BARD Campaign (December 2008)
  • Cooper, L. M. (2004), Guide lines for Cumulative E ffec ts Assessment in SEA of Plans, EPMG Occasional Paper 04/LMC/CEA, Imperial College London  Guidelines for CEA in SEA

See for examples of projects since 2006 (part-time at Imperial College since October 2006).

2004 – 2005  Project Manager/Principal Investigator for The Relationship between the EIA and SEA Directives, European Commission, DG ENV.

2002 – 2005  Principal Investigator and team leader for sustainability appraisal: Scenarios for Reconciling Biodiversity Conservation with Declining Agricultural Use in the Mountains of Europe (BIOSCENE) project; EU 5th Framework funded project.

Reports available: BIOSCENE Final Report  2001 – 2004  Principal Investigator, Renewable Energy for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods – RESURL (in Cuba, Peru and Columbia) , Department for International Development Research Contract.

2000 to 2002  Member of research team commissioned by Environment Agency National Centre for Risk Assessment and Options Appraisal for a R&D project on Strategic Integrated Assessment Methods.

2001 Project Manager for University of London External Programme funded development project on Developing an Online Database and Course in EIA Law.

2000 to 2001 Project Manager (for IC component), Use Classes Orders and the Integrated Transport Strategy, DETR (with Baker Associates).

2000 to 2001  Project ManagerStrategic Environmental Assessment and Integration of the Environment into Strategic Decision-Making, European Commission DGXI.

1998-1999  Project Manager, Pan European Network of Environmental Legislation Observatories for Planning ,Education and Research (PENELOPE): web-based EIA resources and on-line course development, EU 4FP, DGXIII Telematics Programme.  See

Research Student Supervision

Ojike,U, Combining Tools and Techniques for embedding an ecosystems approach in spatial planning (finished 2013)

Omran,SM, A Transition Management Approach to Low-carbon Transportation in Iran (completed)

Quinlan,M, Delivering a novel intervention for vector control: Learning frameworks for complex decisions (p/t)

Thiermann,U, Mindfulness and Environmental Behaviours

Wadmore,A, Tiger Poaching: The Whys and Wherefores and the Implications for Governance (p/t)