Personal profile


Since the mid 1970s I have sought to develop and pioneer the interface between environmental/ecological economics and the natural sciences, in the context of a range of environmental management situations. This work began with a focus on waste management and was extended into pollution control, ecosystem conservation and management and coastal/catchment management. Adaptation strategies for the mitigation of the effects of environmental change (including climate change) has also been a particular focus for my work. I have helped establish and have worked in two ESRC funded research centres as research fellow, executive director and director (The Public Sector Economics Research Centre, Leicester University and East Anglia 1976-1979; CSERGE 1991-2010). CSERGE's research programme from 2006 onwards is built around several major research projects on catchment management (ESRC funded) and ecosystem services valuation (Leverhulm Foundation funded) and coastal zone management and 'blue carbon' valuation (EU funded and NERC funded). In the mid 1980s I coordinated an ESRC programme to help build environmental economics research capacity in the UK. I have also sought to make my research as policy relevant as possible and to that end I have played an active role in the policy process itself.

I was Chairman of the Broads Authority and served on the East of England Regional Assembly until 2007. I also served on the East of England Sustainable Development Round Table, DEFRA's Flood Defence and Coastal Protection R and D panel and its Estuaries Research Advisory Group. I previously served on the Board of the National Rivers Authority, and the UK Environment Agency's Anglian Region Environment Protection Advisory Committee and was a member of the UK Climate Change Impacts Review Group. From 1995-1999, I was Chairman of the Office of Science and Technology's Foresight Panel on Natural Resources and the Environment. From 2008 to 2014 I was Chair of the Interagency Panel on Climate Change Adaptation in Broadland. I contributed to the UK National Ecosystem Assessment (NEA)programme, 2010-2011; and from 2012 to 2014 was Co-Chair of the UK NEA Follow On programme.I was also a member of the Royal Society Resilience Working Group 2012-2014.

 In 1991 I was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and in 1996 an Honorary Fellow of the Chartered Institute for Water and Environmental Management. In early 2000 I was awarded a CBE for my services to sustainable development. In 2014 I was awarded a DSc by Hull University and was rated in the top1% of scientists worldwide by the Thomson-Reuters citation analysis and tables. I have been an economic consultant and/or special advisor to a number of UK and overseas Government committees, departments, international and national agencies since the 1970s. I sit on the editorial boards of a number of academic journals and was Jt Chief Editor of Environmental and Resource Economics until 2012. 

Additional Contacts

Fax: 01603 593739 (+44 1603 593739)

PhD Positions

Click here for current PhD opportunities in the School of Environmental Sciences.


Key Research Interests

Environmental and ecological economics; ecosystem services; wetland valuation and management; coastal zone manangement, waste management.

Significant Publications

  • Strassburg B, R. K. Turner, B Fisher, R Schaeffer and A, Lovett (2009) Reducing emissions from deforestation- The '' combined incentives'' mechanism and empirical simulations, Global Environmental Change 19: 265-278.
  • Fisher B, R K Turner and P. Morling (2009) Defining and classifying ecosystem servcies for decision making, Ecological Economics, 68(3): 643-653.
  • Fisher, B. and R.K.Turner et al (2008) Integrating ecosystem services and economic theory, Ecological Applications 18, 2050-2067.
  • Turner, R.K. (2007) Limits to CBA in UK and European environmental policy: retrospects and future prospects. Environmental and Resource Economics 37(1), 253-269. DOI: 10.1007/s10640-007-9119-2 
  • Andrews, J.E., D. Burgess, R. Cave, E. Coombes, T. Jickells, D. Parks and R. K. Turner (2006) Biogeochemical value of managed realignment, Humber Estuary, UK, Science of the Environment, 371(1-3), 19-30. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2006.08.021
  • Turner, R.K., J. Paavola, P. Cooper, S. Forber, V. Jessamy and S. Georgiou (2003) Valuing nature: Lessons learned and future research directions, Ecological economics, 46: 493-510, Doi: 10.1016/50921-8009(03)00189-7
  • Balmford, A., A. Bruner, P. Cooper, R. Costanza, S. Forber, R. Green, M. Jenkins, P. Jefferiss, V. Jessamy, J. Madden, K. Munroe, N. Myers, S. Naeem, J. Paavola, M. Rayment, S. Rosends, J. Roughgarden, K. Trumper and R.K. Turner (2002) Economic reasons for conserving wild nature, Science 297: 950-953. DOI: 10.1126/science.1073947 
  • Pearce, D.W. and R.K. Turner (1990) Economics of Natural Resources and the Environment, John Hopkins University Press, Balitmore, Maryland.

Click here for full list of publications since 2000

Areas of Expertise

Environmental economics and management; waste recycling and management; wetland management; economic and ethical principles; appraisal of flood protection and sea defence schemes; global environmental change; policy and management analysis.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or