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Christopher Schulz BA MSc PhD

Christopher Schulz BA MSc PhD

Research Associate

Christopher Schulz investigates the legacy and impacts of the World Commission on Dams as a global science-policy interface.


Christopher Schulz is a human geographer and environmental social scientist, and currently works as Research Associate in the Global Challenges Research Fund project "FutureDAMS", investigating the history, legacy and impacts of the World Commission on Dams.

Before joining the Department of Geography, he was Research Fellow at the University of St Andrews, researching social, economic, and cultural values of tropical peatlands in the Peruvian Amazon, in collaboration with the Peruvian Amazon Research Institute (IIAP), Iquitos, Peru.

He completed his PhD in Geography at The University of Edinburgh in 2017 with a thesis on environmental values and water governance in Brazil's Upper Paraguay River Basin, funded by the Scottish Government's Hydro Nation Scholars Programme.

He has been a visiting researcher at the Federal University of Mato Grosso (UFMT), Cuiabá, Brazil; New University of Lisbon, Portugal; Peruvian Amazon Research Institute (IIAP), Iquitos, Peru; São Paulo State University (UNESP), Rio Claro, Brazil; The James Hutton Institute, Aberdeen, UK; University of Delhi, India; and the University of Leeds, UK.


  • August 2018-present: Research Associate, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge
  • Jan-July 2018: Research Fellow, School of Geography and Sustainable Development, University of St Andrews
  • 2013-2017: PhD Researcher, School of GeoSciences, The University of Edinburgh & Scotland's Rural College (SRUC), Edinburgh
  • 2011: Intern and Consultant, Development Policy Forum, GIZ, Berlin


  • PhD Geography, The University of Edinburgh
  • MSc Environment and Development (distinction), The University of Edinburgh
  • BA Politics and Public Administration, University of Konstanz


Christopher Schulz' research interests include:

Environmental policy and governance; science-policy relations; sustainability and interdisciplinarity; environmental values and valuation; qualitative and quantitative research methods.

Current research project:

Past research projects:

  • Valuing intact tropical peatlands: pilot study (University of St Andrews & Peruvian Amazon Research Institute (IIAP), Jan-July 2018)
  • The value base of water governance in the Upper Paraguay River Basin, Mato Grosso, Brazil (The University of Edinburgh & Scotland's Rural College (SRUC), 2013-2017)



  • Martín Brañas, M., Núñez Pérez, C., Fabiano, E., Del Aguila Villacorta, M., Schulz, C., Laurie, N., Sanjurjo Vilchez, J., Davies, A., Roucoux, K.H., Lawson, I.T. and Andueza, L., 2019. Urarina: Identidad y Memoria en la Cuenca del Río Chambira, Instituto de Investigaciones de la Amazonía Peruana.

Journal articles


  • Schulz, C. and Adams, W.M., 2021. In search of the good dam: Contemporary views on dam planning in Latin America. Sustainability Science, v. 16(1), p.255-269. doi:10.1007/s11625-020-00870-2.


  • Schulz, C., 2020. Forest conservation through markets? A discourse network analysis of the debate on funding mechanisms for REDD+ in Brazil. Environmental Communication, v. 14(2), p.202-218. doi:10.1080/17524032.2019.1631869.
  • Schulz, C., 2020. Revisiting the debate on large dams. International Water Power & Dam Construction, v.72(2), p.22-23.


  • Schulz, C., 2019. Governance-related values as dimensions of good water governance. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water, v. 6(1), art. e1322. doi:10.1002/wat2.1322.
  • Schulz, C. and Adams, W.M., 2019. Debating dams: The World Commission on Dams 20 years on. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water, v. 6(5), art. e1396, doi:10.1002/wat2.1369.
  • Schulz, C., Martín Brañas, M., Núñez Pérez, C., Del Aguila Villacorta, M., Laurie, N., Lawson, I.T. and Roucoux, K.H., 2019. Peatland and wetland ecosystems in Peruvian Amazonia: Indigenous classifications and perspectives. Ecology and Society, v. 24(2), art. 12. doi:10.5751/es-10886-240212.
  • Schulz, C., Martín Brañas, M., Núñez Pérez, C., Del Aguila Villacorta, M., Laurie, N., Lawson, I.T. and Roucoux, K.H., 2019. Uses, cultural significance, and management of peatlands in the Peruvian Amazon: Implications for conservation. Biological Conservation, v. 235, p.189-198. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2019.04.005.
  • Schulz, C., Martin-Ortega, J. and Glenk, K., 2019. Understanding public views on a dam construction boom: The role of values. Water Resources Management, v. 33(14), p.4687-4700. doi:10.1007/s11269-019-02383-9.
  • Schulz, C., Whitney, B.S., Rossetto, O.C., Neves, D.M., Crabb, L., de Oliveira, E.C., Terra Lima, P.L., Afzal, M., Laing, A.F., de Souza Fernandes, L.C., da Silva, C.A., Steinke, V.A., Torres Steinke, E. and Saito, C.H., 2019. Physical, ecological and human dimensions of environmental change in Brazil's Pantanal wetland: Synthesis and research agenda. Science of the Total Environment, v. 687, p.1011-1027. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.06.023.


  • Schulz, C. and Martin-Ortega, J., 2018. Quantifying relational values — why not?. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, v. 35, p.15-21. doi:10.1016/j.cosust.2018.10.015.
  • Schulz, C., Martin-Ortega, J. and Glenk, K., 2018. Value landscapes and their impact on public water policy preferences. Global Environmental Change, v. 53, p.209-224. doi:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2018.09.015.


  • Schulz, C. and Ioris, A.A.R., 2017. The paradox of water abundance in Mato Grosso, Brazil. Sustainability, v. 9(10), art. 1796. doi:10.3390/su9101796.
  • Schulz, C., Martin-Ortega, J., Glenk, K. and Ioris, A.A.R., 2017. The value base of water governance: A multi-disciplinary perspective. Ecological Economics, v. 131, p.241-249. doi:10.1016/j.ecolecon.2016.09.009.
  • Schulz, C., Martin-Ortega, J., Ioris, A.A.R. and Glenk, K., 2017. Applying a 'Value Landscapes Approach' to conflicts in water governance: The case of the Paraguay-Paraná Waterway. Ecological Economics, v. 138, p.47-55. doi:10.1016/j.ecolecon.2017.03.033.


  • Schulz, C., Ioris, A.A.R., Martin-Ortega, J. and Glenk, K., 2015. Prospects for Payments for Ecosystem Services in the Brazilian Pantanal: A scenario analysis. The Journal of Environment & Development, v. 24(1), p.26-53. doi:10.1177/1070496514548580.

Book chapters

  • Schulz, C., 2020. Carbon markets and forest conservation in the Brazilian Amazon, in Prusa, A. and Smith, A.E. (eds.) Building a Sustainable Future in Brazil: Environment, Development, and Climate Change, Brazil Institute, Wilson Center. p. 43-46.
  • Claassen, M., Vira, B., Xu, J., Gyawali, D., Martin-Ortega, J., Ovando Pol, P., Creed, I.F., Ellison, D., McNulty, S.G., Archer, E., Sullivan, C.A., Trick, D., Schulz, C., Serran, J. and Aldred, D., 2018. Current and future perspectives on forest-water goods and services, in Creed, I.F. and van Noordwijk, M. (eds.) Forest and Water on a Changing Planet: Vulnerability, Adaptation and Governance Opportunities. A Global Assessment Report, International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO). v. 38, p.101-118.


  • Supervisor, Geographical Tripos, Paper 1A, Part 1D, 'Society, Environment and Sustainable Development'
  • Demonstrator, Geographical Tripos, 'Human Geography Research and Analysis Skills'

External activities

  • Lecturer, MSc Ecological Economics, The University of Edinburgh and Scotland's Rural College (SRUC), Edinburgh, UK
  • Lead Researcher, 'Valuing Water Initiative', Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Netherlands
  • Reviewer for Biodiversitas; Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability; Ecological Economics; Ecosystem Services; Environment, Development and Sustainability; Environmental Engineering and Management Journal; Future of Food; Hydrology and Earth System Sciences; International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health; PLoS ONE; Politics and Governance; Resources; Water