Michaela Roberts

Environmental Economist
Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences
T: +44 (0)1224 395405

I am an environmental economist with a background in ecology. I am interested in environmental conservation, and particularly how this integrates into multi-use landscapes, and how to include the needs of varied stakeholders. I use methods such as stated preference modeling and cost-effectiveness analysis to consider available options for land management, taking account of socio-economic as well as environmental needs.

  • Cost-effectiveness analysis of peatland restoration in Scotland
  • Soil valuation and management
  • Urban Greenspace natural capital accounts, and opportunities and barriers for use
  • Fire risk management – FirEUrisk

Past research

Past James Hutton Institute Projects:

PROVIDE: Providing smart delivery of public goods by EU agriculture and forestry

University of St Andrews PhD: Environmental Conservation Across Ecosystem Boundaries: Connecting Management and Funding (2017)

I conducted cost-effectiveness analysis for control of invasive grazing species on Bonaire, Caribbean Netherlands. This work involved ecological assessments of impacts of grazing on the terrestrial ecosystem, as well as the impacts on the coral reef due to increased sediment run off. I estimated costs of alternative actions, and carried out choice experiments with ecosystem users to estimate willingness to pay for controlling grazing.

Previous to my academic work I have worked for an NGO in Bonaire, Caribbean Netherlands, researching the Yellow-shouldered Amazon population, including population studies, habitat, and threats. I have also worked in Tanzania and Belize.




Prior to appointment

Technical / contract reports

  • Nicholson, H.; Roberts, M.; Thompson, C.; Irvine, K. (2024) Validated index of green and blue space quality, RESAS report
  • Roberts, M.; Gray, R.; Ballesteros Figueroa, A.; Mzek, T. (2024) Scottish peat values and ecosystem services Prioritising the gaps, Report to RESAS, shared via Zenodo
  • Colley, K.; Hague, A.; Thompson, C.; Fischer, A.; Roberts, M.; Irvine, K.; Juarez Bourke, A.; Conniff, A.; Nicholson, H.; Eastwood, A.; Herrett, S.; Ferguson, J.; Murray, K.; Rae, G. (2023) Creating Natural Connections: Final Evaluation of Outcomes for People, Evaluation report of the people-focused activities of the Creating Natural Connections project, delivered by Cumbernauld Living Landscape.
  • Roberts, M.; Nicholson, H.; Li, K.; Irvine, K. (2023) Green and blue space quality metrics scoping review, Directly to stakeholders.
  • Roberts, M.; Mzek, T.; Nazli Koseoglu, M.; Parker, T.; Artz, R. (2023) Scottish peat values and ecosystem services Evidence Map of literature, Directly to stakeholders.
  • Kuhfuss, L.; Attalla, L.; Begg, G.; Hawes, C.; Gimona, A.; Lozada-Ellison, L.; Martinat, S.; McKeen, M.; Pakeman, R.; Roberts, M.; Zuta, A. (2022) Exploring alternative agrienvironmental payment schemes for arable land in Scotland, Online report
  • Stewart, G.B.; Glendell, M.; McMorran, R.; Troldborg, M.; Gagkas, Z.; Ovando, P.; Roberts, M.; Maynard, C.; Williams, A.; Clay, G.; Reed, M.S. (2021) Uplandia: making better policy in complex upland systems., Defra and Natural England Report, 68pp.
  • Appiah, B.; Roberts, M.; Irvine, K.N. (2021) Monitoring outcomes of Cumbernauld Living Landscape volunteer projects., Report to Cumbernauld Living Landscape.
  • Irvine, K.N.; Msika, J.; Dinnie, E.; Craig, T.; Fischer, A.; Hague, A.; Rajagopalan, D.; Roberts, M.; Wilson, R. (2020) Climate change engagement: assessing the impacts of the Climate Challenge Fund., ClimateXChange Report, 164pp.
  • Neilson, R.; Lilly, A.; Aitkenhead, M.; Artz, R.R.E.; Baggaley, N.; Giles, M.E.; Holland, J.; Loades, K.; Ovando Pol, P.; Rivington, M.; Roberts, M.; Yeluripati, J. (2020) Measuring the vulnerability of Scottish soils to a changing climate., ClimateXChange Report, 42pp.
  • Roberts, M. (2020) How does climate change impact demand for natural capital: implications for Scotland., Report to RESAS, 8pp.
  • Koseoglu, N.; Roberts, M. (2020) Trends in peat use for horticulture and barriers to reduction., Report
  • Roberts, M.; McVittie, A.; Glenk, K.; Irvine, K.N. (2020) Natural Capital Accounts for Scotland: Urban greenspace accounts, Report, Natural Capital Accounts for Scotland
  • Glenk, K.; Novo, P.; Roberts, M.; Sposato, M.; Martin-Ortega J.; Shirkhorshidi, M.; Potts, J. (2020) The costs of peatland restoration:
    Analysis of an evolving database based on the Peatland Action Programme in Scotland.
    , Report to Peatland Action and SEFARI.
  • Tindale, S.J.; Roberts, M.; Koseoglu, N.; Novo, P.; Kyle, C.; Byg, A.; Faccioli, M.; Komossa, F.; Schaller, L.; Slee, B.; Villanueva, A.J.; Zasada, I.; Viaggi, D. (2018) Evaluation of the co-construction research process., Report for PROVIDE (PROVIding smart DElivery of public goods by EU agriculture and forestry), Deliverable D2.5. Final Version, August 2018, 44pp.
  • Roberts, M.; Kyle, C.; Tindale, S.; Koseoglu, N.; Schaller, L.; Targetti, S.; Ratinger, T.; Villanueva, A.J.; Zagorska, K.; Komossa, F. (2018) Report on practicability and transferability., Report for Provide (PROViding smart dElivery of public goods by EU agriculture and forestry), Deliverable D5.3., 313pp.
  • Roberts, M.; Tindale, S.; Byg, A. (2018) Guidelines and report on workshops supporting WP4 and WP5., Report for Provide (PROViding smart dElivery of public goods by EU agriculture and forestry), Deliverable D2.4., 50pp.
  • Glenk, K.; Novo, P.; Roberts, M.; Martin-Ortega, J.; Potts, J. (2018) The costs of peatland restoration in Scotland – considerations for data collection and systematic analysis., Report to Scottish Government, 34pp.
  • Novo, P.; Byg, A.; Herrett, S.; Roberts, M. (2018) Biodiversity governance characteristics and values., Report on a Workshop, Edinburgh, February 2018, 12pp.
  • Rivington, M.; Kuhfuss, L.; Roberts, M. (2018) The ‘Payment for Ecosystem Services’ approach – relevance to climate change., Draft Report PES for CXC v9 MR , 16 April 2018, 30pp.
  • Byg, A.; Roberts, M.; Kyle, C.; Tindale, S. (2018) Strengths and weaknesses of governance mechanisms – workshop report., PROVIDE Workshop Report, James Hutton Institute, Aberdeen, 21 February 2018, 17pp.
  • Artz, R.R.E.; Faccioli, M.; Roberts, M.; Anderson, R. (2018) Peatland restoration – a comparative analysis of the costs and merits of different restoration methods., Report for ClimateXChange Scotland Website, Final report, March 2018, 48pp.
  • Byg, A.; Novo, P.; Herrett, S.; Roberts, M. (2018) Governance for biodiversity – the role of values and perceptions., Report for James Hutton Institute or Sefari webpage, 14pp.

Conference papers

  • Martino, S.; Roberts, M.; Wooldridge, T.; Ovando Pol, P.; Moulliot, F.; Pernice, U.; Ortega, M.; Velea, R.; Laterza, R.; Moreira, B. (2022) Developing an Integrated Capitals Approach to Understanding Wildfire Vulnerability. Preliminary Considerations from a Literature Review, IX INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON FOREST FIRE RESEARCH & 17th International Wildland Fire Safety Summit, 11 – 18 November 2022, Coimbra, Portugal

Conference posters / abstracts

  • Roberts, M.; Nicholson, H.; Li, K.; Irvine, K. (2023) Green and Blue Space Quality Metrics: Scoping Review, RESAS Science, Evidence and Policy Conference, 18 May 2023, Our Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh
  • Baggaley, N.; Roberts, M.; Loades, K.; Parker, T.; Zhang, Z.; Lilly, A.; Rivington, M.; Sharififar, A.; Jabloun, M.; Hallett, P.; Fraser, F. (2023) Assessing the socio-economic impacts of soil degradation on Scotland’s water environment, Catchment Science 2023 Conference, 7-9 November 2023, Wexford
  • Roberts, M.; McVittie, A.; Irvine, K.N. (2019) Impacts of urban greenspace on mental health., Valuing Nature Conference, Royal Society, London, 28-29 October 2019. (Poster)