Isla Hodgson

Research Fellow – ConFooBio

23319196_10159587081100258_8127835969924710198_n @isla_dawn /

Autobiography: Originally from Newcastle, I moved up to Scotland to study marine science in 2010. I completed my BSc and MSc at Aberdeen University, specialising in marine mammal behaviour and habitat use, spatial analysis and ecological modelling. I took various breaks in my studies to work as a conservation practitioner in South Africa, working as a guide and on various projects. It was here I was first introduced to conservation conflicts, after assisting the delivery of an Anatolian guard dog scheme to reduce incidences of retaliatory killing of cheetahs by local farmers. On return to the UK my dissertation work was then used as part of a conflict mitigation process to alleviate seal and salmon conflicts in Aberdeenshire. I began my PhD in 2015, looking at conservation conflicts and their management, and graduated in 2018. Following various jobs as a research assistant and consultant, I now work as a postdoctoral researcher on the ConFooBio project with Nils Bunnefeld.

I’ve also had several roles in science communication. Throughout my degrees I worked as a researcher for the BBC, moving on to direct a feature programme on my research. I also freelance as a wildlife journalist and guide, most recently writing features for BBC Wildlife Magazine.

Research Interests: I am primarily interested in the human dimensions of conservation conflicts, and study their social and political aspects: relationships, power dynamics, and governance. However I am also interested in more global trends, looking at the common factors that cause conflicts to escalate, and how we may be able to model and predict occurrences. And lastly, how we may better integrate science with practical management in the field.


Rakotonarivo, O.S., Jones, I.L., Bell, A., Duthie, A.B., Cusack, J., Minderman, J., Hogan, J., Hodgson, I. and Bunnefeld, N., 2020. Experimental evidence for conservation conflict interventions: The importance of financial payments, community trust and equity attitudes. People and Nature

Skrimizea, E., Lecuye, L., Bunnefeld, N., Butler, J.R., Fickel, T., Hodgson, I., Holtkamp, C., Marzano, M., Parra, C., Pereira, L. and Petit, S., 2020. Sustainable agriculture: Recognizing the potential of conflict as a positive driver for transformative change. Advances in Ecological Research, pp.255-311.

Hodgson, I.D. (2018) A conflict with wings: understanding the narratives, relationships and hierarchies of conflicts over raptor conservation and grouse shooting in Scotland. PhD Thesis: University of Aberdeen

Hodgson, I.D., Redpath, S.M., Fischer, A. and Young, J., (2018) Fighting talk: Organisational discourses of the conflict over raptors and grouse moor management in Scotland. Land use policy, 77, pp.332-343.

Hodgson, I.D., Redpath, S.M., Fischer, A. and Young, J. (2019) Who knows best? Understanding the use of research-based knowledge in conservation conflicts. Journal of environmental management, 231, pp.1065-1075.

Hodgson, I.D., Redpath, S.M., Sandström, C., Biggs, D. (2020) The State of Knowledge and Practice in Human-wildlife Conflicts. Luc Hoffman Institute: Switzerland.