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Oliver Taherzadeh

Oliver Taherzadeh

PhD Candidate

Oliver is interested in how complex interactions between natural resource systems, pressures and policies can be understood and managed. His PhD explores this in relation to problem shifting between water, energy, land, and climate management within the global economy.

Prior to starting my PhD, I worked as a researcher at the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI). Here, my research sought to advance policy coherence and accountability within the UN SDGs agenda, national sustainable consumption policies, and bilateral climate finance. As an inaugural member of SEI's Policy Advisory Group, I helped establish a programme of research to investigate and further develop SEI's approaches to policy impact. Between 2015 and 2016 I coordinated the development of a successful £3.4m research proposal to The Global Food Security Programme.



  • 2013-2016: Researcher, Stockholm Environment Institute


  • 2016-present: PhD, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge. Funded via the Vice-Chancellor's Award (Cambridge Trust)
  • 2011-2014: Environmental Economics, University of York (Starred First)
    Dissertation: O. Taherzadeh, P. Howley, 'No net loss of what, for whom? stakeholder perspectives to biodiversity offsetting in England', Environment, Development and Sustainability, (2017). doi:10.1007/s10668-017-9967-z


Measures which address the degradation and over-exploitation of natural resources are urgently needed, in individual countries and globally. However, the extraction and use of natural resources is highly interconnected, spatially and sectorally, within a complex web of interactions and feedbacks. These interactions are poorly understood, but have major implications for the wider consequences of measures designed to target individual resource-related pressures. Understanding these interactions is critical to informing policies which guide development within planetary boundaries.

My research, funded by the Vice-Chancellor's Award, responds to the need for improved decision support to promote integrated environmental management. By modelling how resource stocks, flows, and decisions connect different actors within the global economy, my PhD helps to deepen understanding of feedbacks between resource systems, pressures and policies. Practically, my research involves a combination of methods, including environmentally-extended input-output analysis, biophysical resource stock analysis, and scenario development.


I supervise on a variety of papers within the Department of Land Economy:

  • Land Economy, Development and Sustainability [Paper 4], Department of Land Economy
  • Environmental Economics and Law [Paper 5], Department of Land Economy
  • Environmental Economics and Policy [EPO2], Department of Land Economy​

I also assist with different outreach teaching programmes over the Summer period:

  • Coordinator: Experience Cambridge 2017, Department of Geography
  • Coordinator: Sutton Trust Summer School 2017, Department of Geography

External activities

  • Representative: Graduate Student Committee [2016-]
  • Fellow, Cambridge Philosophical Society [2017-]