Robinson, Elizabeth J Z

Elizabeth Robinson is an EfD Research Fellow with a PhD (1997) in Applied Economics from Stanford University, USA, and almost 30 years of experience undertaking research in low and middle income countries. She is currently Director of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and has previously worked as a tutorial fellow (St Hugh’s College) and lecturer at the University of Oxford, as a professor of environmental economics at Reading University, at the World Bank, the Rockefeller Foundation, Natural Resources Institute, and the Boston Consulting Group.


Research interest

Elizabeth’s main research focus is the health co-benefits of tackling climate change, with a focus on extreme heat and worker health and worker rights, and the links between climate change, food security and nutrition, particularly in lower-income countries. Elizabeth has been collaborating with Environment for Development Tanzania since 2005, including over four years while living in Tanzania, where much of her research addressed resource dependent livelihoods, often in the context of terrestrial and marine protected areas.



Over past ten years, PhD supervisor for over 16 individuals, including 12 from non-OECD countries. Supervised over 50 MSc dissertations and over 50 UG dissertations.

Ruforum mentorship programme, mentoring African early career researchers, 2020-21


Grants and consultancy

  • 2022-2026. LSE lead for Horizon Europe Project IDAlert, Umea lead, approximately £400k to GRI

  • 2020. Rapid Research Policy Engagement grant (£13,000) for “A public health and climate change ‘Countdown’ for Reading Phase Two: Transforming research into action”
  • 2019-2023. Wellcome Trust, Lancet Countdown, approximately £120,000 for University of Reading
  • 2018-2023. University of Reading Lead Investigator for GCRF (Global Challenges Research Fund)-funded “Trade Hub”, approximately £500,000 for University of Reading
  • 2017-2021. University of Reading Lead Investigator for GCRF (Global Challenges Research Fund)-funded capacity building project “Sentinel” – Social and Environmental Trade-offs in African Agriculture, approximately £500,000 for University of Reading
  • 2016-2018. University of Reading Lead investigator for WS3 (Systemic Risk, University of Reading, with R Bailey, Chatham House) for UK-China Climate Change Risk Indicators project, funded by the UK FCO Prosperity Fund, approximately £40,000 for University of Reading
  • 2013-2016. University of Reading Co-Investigator for ESPA-NERC Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation, “Exploring the ecosystem limits to poverty alleviation in African forest-agriculture landscapes”
  • 2012-13. Principal investigator for Swedish Sida-funded FORMAS COMMONS project “Exploring the linkages between forest protection, REDD, energy usage and policy in sub-Saharan Africa”
  • 2010-13. Principal investigator (joint), Environment for Development Forestry Collaborative
  • 2010-2011 Principal investigator for EfD Sida-funded project “Group decisions over the allocation of REDD payments: An example from Tanzania”
  • 2009-2010 Principal investigator for EfD Sida-funded project “Improving the potential for successful implementation of REDD in Tanzania”
  • 2009-2010 Principal investigator for EfD Sida-funded project “Protecting peri-urban forests and livelihoods: Spatial enforcement issues and incentives for community-based initiatives”
  • 2009-2010 Co-investigator for EfD Sida-funded project “Assessing Tanzania’s marine protected areas: Incentives, opportunities, and constraints” 2008-2009 Co-investigator for EfD Sida-funded project “Incentives to cooperate with marine protected areas as a function of location: Mnazi Bay Ruvuma Estuary Marine Park Case Study”
  • 2008-2009 Principal investigator for EfD Sida-funded project “Improving the effectiveness of joint forest management in Tanzania”


Policy Engagement

  • Chair of the Advisory Group on the Economics of Climate Risk and Adaptation for CCRA4 for the Climate Change Committee (2023-)

  • Working group one lead for the Wellcome Trust funded Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change (2016-2023)
  • Specialist Advisor to the House of Lords Select Committee on Food, Poverty, Health and the Environment (2019-2020)
  • UK Economic Advisory Panel, DEFRA (2012-2017)
  • Coordinating Lead Author for sub-Saharan Africa; Member of global and sub-Saharan Africa design teams; Co-author of synthesis report for the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (2004-9)
  • Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, Lead Author, Biodiversity (protected areas) (2001-4)



  • Full scholarship for PhD study; American Agricultural Economics Association Outstanding Ph.D. Dissertation Honourable Mention (second best PhD in the US, Agricultural Economics, 1997); Orals (viva) with distinction; Stanford Centennial Teaching Assistant; Institute for International Studies, Stanford University, competitive grant for dissertation research and primary data collection in India.

  • Maurice Lubbock Prize, awarded to top student in Engineering, Economics, and Management (EEM); Deloitte Prize for Economics, EEM (shared); Institute of Production Engineers/ Unipart Industries Prize, EEM (1990). Open Scholarship, Magdalen College, Oxford (1986-90). National Engineering Scholarship, 1986-90. Varsity Gymnastics (Captain); Varsity Lightweight Rowing; Varsity Athletics.


People | 3 November 2007