Emma O’Donnell

PhD researcher

e: emma.odonnell@stcatz.ox.ac.uk


School of Geography and the Environment
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For my DPhil research, I am interested in incorporating nature-related risks and opportunities into financial decision-making to mainstream and incentivise investment in effective nature-based solutions. I will develop quantitative biodiversity metrics for financial decision-making using methods such as economic-ecological modelling and remote sensing. I will apply the approach to two case studies – the first being the development and quantification of biodiversity scenarios for stress-testing central banks. The second proposed case study will involve analysis of coral reef nature-based solutions for storm surge prevention.


I studied Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University with a senior thesis on the reef fish ecology of Bermuda’s inshore reefs. During my undergrad, I gained research experience in Bermuda and Palua in coral reef and reef fish ecology. After graduating in 2021, I worked at Aon, a financial services firm, in their Climate Change Unit on analytics and reinsurance products for climate- and ESG-related risks. I started the MSc in Sustainability, Enterprise and the Environment at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar in 2022.

I am currently a DPhil candidate in Biology under the supervision of Nicola Ranger (School of Geography and the Environment) and Nathalie Seddon (Biology).

Associated projects

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