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Jasper Montana BSc (Honours) DipCA MSc

Jasper Montana BSc (Honours) DipCA MSc

Doctoral Candidate

Jasper Montana is an environmental geographer, with a research focus on the social dimensions of environmental governance. Jasper's research is positioned at the intersection of human geography, and science and technology studies, which he applies to examine the increasingly politically, culturally and disciplinary diverse spaces of environmental governance and knowledge production. His current research focus is on debates that expose the politics of nature, such as the globalisation of biodiversity science and the emergence of the new geological epoch, the Anthropocene.

Jasper's doctoral research examined the multiple dimensions of expert authority for biodiversity knowledge by charting the establishment of a global expert body for biodiversity: the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).



2013 - Present PhD, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge,

Aug-Dec 2015 Visiting Research Fellow, Harvard Kennedy School

  • Program on Science, Technology and Society with Sheila Jasanoff

Jan-Apr 2015 Research Intern, United Nations, Bonn

  • Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

Jun-Aug 2014 Research Assistant, Centre for Science and Policy, University of Cambridge,

2012-2013 MSc in Science, Technology and Society, Imperial College, London / University College London

2008 - 2012 Researcher / Assistant Producer, Natural History Unit, British Broadcasting Corporation

  • Human Planet; Unnatural Histories; Nature's Microworlds

2003-2008 BSc (Honours) in Zoology, University of Melbourne

2004-2007 ​​ Diploma in Creative Arts (Media), University of Melbourne

Funding and awards

  • Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) PhD Studentship (2013 - 2016)
  • Cambridge Home and EU Scholarship Scheme (2013 - 2016)
  • Rae and Edith Bennett Travelling Scholarship (2012 - 2013)
  • British Society for the History of Science Master's Bursary (2012)
  • University of Melbourne Dean's Honours List (Science; 2008)
  • Museum Victoria 1854 Student Research Grant (2008)


Developing scholarship in the constitutional tradition of STS, Jasper's research explores how social systems are organised through negotiated practices that ultimately stabilise frameworks of expertise. His interest is in both developing theoretical frameworks for understanding how knowledge production operates across multiple contexts and the implications of different kinds of knowledge on how nature is governed.

Jasper's doctoral research examined the challenges associated with producing and governing expert knowledge in the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). Drawing on three years of empirical research, including interviews and participant observation in this expert panel in the United Nations system, his thesis examined how expert authority was constituted alongside competing perspectives about how nature can best be understood and managed.


Peer-reviewed Journal Articles


  • Montana, J. (2017). 'Accommodating consensus and diversity in environmental knowledge production: Achieving closure through typologies in IPBES.' Environmental Science and Policy. 68. 20-27. DOI: 10.1016/j.envsci.2016.11.011


  • Montana, J. and Borie, M. (2016; equal contribution). 'IPBES and biodiversity expertise: Regional, gender and disciplinary balance in the composition of the interim and 2015 Multidisciplinary Expert Panel.' Conservation Letters. 9(2): 138-142. DOI: 10.1111/conl.12192


  • Montana, J., Finn, J.K. and Norman, M.D. (2015). 'Liquid sand burrowing and mucus utilisation as novel adaptations to a structurally-simple environment in Octopus kaurna Stranks, 1990.' Behaviour. 152(14): 1871-1881. DOI: 10.1163/1568539X-00003313

Working paper

  • Montana, J. (2016). 'How IPBES Works: The Functions, Structures and Processes of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.' C-EENRG Working Papers, 2016(2): 1-23. Cambridge Centre for Environment, Energy and Natural Resource Governance, University of Cambridge.

Consulting Reports

  • Montana, J. and Parker, M. (2014). 'Regulation in the context of new approaches to policy and governance, new enforcement technologies and issues in public engagement: A consulting report for Sciencewise.' Cambridge: Centre for Science and Policy, University of Cambridge.

Conference and Meeting Presentations

  • Royal Geographical Society Annual Conference, London (August 2016)
  • Science and Democracy Network Annual Meeting, London (June 2016)
  • Society for the Social Studies of Science Conference, Denver, USA (Nov 2015)
  • Science, Technology and Society Fellows Group, Harvard University (Oct 2015)
  • Political Ecology Group, University of Cambridge (May 2015)
  • Bruno Latour and Environmental Governance, UCL STEaPP and PBL, London (May 2015)
  • Tansley Working Group on Data Visualisation for Science and Policy, London (April 2015)
  • Interdisciplinary Student Conservation Conference, University of Cambridge (Sep 2014)


  • Lecturer, Geographical Tripos Part II: Political Ecology in the Global South
  • Supervisor, Geographical Tripos Part II: Political Ecology in the Global South
  • Supervisor, Undergraduate study skills
  • Teaching Associates Programme (HEA Accredited)

External activities

Academic and Community Service

  • Co-convenor: Political Ecology group, University of Cambridge (2017)
  • Co-convenor: Knowledge and Democracy group, University of Cambridge (2016-2017)
  • Executive Committee, King's College Graduate Society (2014, 2016)

Society Memberships

  • Associate Fellow, Linnean Society, London
  • Graduate Member, Royal Geographical Society
  • Member, British Ecological Society
  • Member, Society for the Social Studies of Science
  • Member, European Association for the Study of Science and Technology
  • Member, British Sociological Association