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Paola Ovando Pol

Staff picture: Paola Ovando Pol
Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences
Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences
MDT Fellowship in Natural Capital
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

Aberdeen AB158QH, Scotland (UK)



I am an Environmental Economist, with a PhD in Economics from the University of Alcalá (Madrid, Spain). My PhD work focused on the economic analysis of native forests conservation and extension in Mediterranean areas. I hold a bachelor’s degree in environmental sciences from the Autonomous University of Madrid, and an additional B.Sc. degree in Agribusiness Engineering from the San Francisco University in Quito (Ecuador).

I joined the James Hutton Institute in July 2018, as MDT Fellow in Natural Capital Accounting, and I am part of the Social, Economic and Geographic Sciences Group (SEGS).

Full CV (

Current research interests

My research focusses on the development of integrated economic and environmental models to better understand land use and management decisions and their environmental and socioeconomic effects. My research expertise includes economic valuation of ecosystem services and natural capital, and their integration into ecosystem accounting and economic decision analysis frameworks. I am especially interested in the quantification and analysis of trade-offs and synergies in the provision of private and public good and services.

I am member of the Cost Action “Payments for Ecosystem Services (Forests for Water)”, where I act as vice-leader of Working Group on PES cost-effectiveness analysis. I am also member of the Global Forest Expert Panel on Forests and Water of the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO).

Past research

After finishing my PhD I was part of the scientific team of a large regional project aimed at developing an integrated Ecosystem Accounting System applied to forest landscapes in Spain, after which I was granted a Marie Curie Intra-European Post-doctoral Fellowship at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and The Environment of the London School of Economics and Political Sciences. Before joining the James Hutton Institute, I was a Postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Environmental Social Sciences (Environmental Economics cluster) of the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (eawag).

Selected publications

  • Ovando P., Beguería S., Campos, P., 2018. Carbon sequestration or water yield? The effect of payments for ecosystem services on forest management decisions in Mediterranean forests. Water Resources and Economics. 2018.04.002.
  • Classen, M., B. Vira, J. Xu, D. Gyawali, J. Martin-Ortega, P. Ovando, I. F. Creed, D. Ellison, S. G. McNulty, E. Archer, C. A. Sullivan, 2018. Current and Future Perspectives on Forest-Water Goods and Services. In: I. F. Creed, M. van Noordwijk (eds.), Forest and Water on a Changing Planet: Vulnerability, Adaptation and Governance Opportunities. A Global Assessment Report. IUFRO World Series Volume 38. Vienna, pp. 102-120.
  • Ovando, P., Caparrós, A., Diaz-Balteiro, L., Pasalodos, M., Beguería, S., Oviedo, J.L., Montero, G., Campos, P. 2017. Spatial Valuation of Forests’ Environmental Assets. An Application to Andalusian Silvopastoral Farms. Land Economics 93 (1): 87-108 (Open access).
  • Ovando, P., Campos, P., Oviedo, J.L., Caparrós, A., 2016. Ecosystem accounting for measuring total income in private and public agroforestry farms. Forest Policy and Economics 71, 43-51.
  • Caparrós, A., Cerdá, E. Ovando, P., Campos, P., 2010. Carbon Sequestration with Reforestations and Biodiversity-scenic Values. Environmental and Resources Economics 45: 49-72.
  • Ovando, P., Campos, P., Oviedo, J.L., Montero, G., 2010. Private net benefits from afforesting marginal crop and shrublands with cork oaks in Spain. Forest Science 56(6), 567-577.

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The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.