Personal profile


Professor O’Riordan is Emeritus Professor of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia.

He received an OBE in 2010, is a Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Norfolk, served as Sheriff of Norwich (2009-10), and is a Fellow of the British Academy. He holds an MA in Geography from the University of Edinburgh, an MS in Water Resources Engineering from Cornell University, and a PhD in Geography from the University of Cambridge.

He has edited a number of key books on the institutional aspects of global environmental change, policy and practice, led two international research projects on the transition to sustainability in the European Union (1995-2002) and edited two editions of the text book, Environmental Science for Environmental Management.

Professor O’Riordan is European Advisor to the UK Sustainable Development Commission and a member of Sustainability East, the East of England Sustainable Development Round Table. His research deals with the themes associated with better governance for sustainability. He is also active in the evolution of sustainability science partnerships. His direct work relates to designing future coastlines in East Anglia in England so that they are ready for sea level rise and the creation of sound economies and societies for a sustainable future.

He is a core member of the Prince of Wales' seminar on Business and the Environment. He has many contacts with the business world. He is an assessor for the Prince of Wales Accounting for Sustainability project. He sits on the Corporate Responsibility Body for Asda plc, and also on the Growth and Climate Change Panel for Anglian Water Group.

Professor O’Riordan is also Executive Editor of Environment Magazine.

His other research interests cover interdisciplinary approaches to pursuing the transition to sustainability, risk perception and communication, business and social virtue.

Tim O’Riordan plays classical double bass in a Norwich orchestra, which he has chaired for over 25 years.

Additional Contacts

Fax: +44 (0)1603 591327


Key Research Interests

Environmental policy analysis; environmental appraisal and evaluation, environmental governance and decision-making.

Significant Publications

  • Horlick-Jones, T., Walls, J., Rowe, G., Pidgeon, N., Poortinga, W., Murdock, G., O'Riordan, T.,  (2007)The GM Debate: Risks, Politics and Public Engagement. Routledge, 240pp.
  • Walls, J., O'Riordan, T., Horlick-Jones, T., Niewöhner, J. (2005) The meta-governance of risk: GM crops and mobile telephones. Journal of Risk Research 8(7-8), 635-661. DOI: 10.1080/13669870500101200
  • Ledoux, L., Cornell, S., O'Riordan, T., Harvey, R., Banyard, L. (2004) Towards sustainable flood and coastal management; identifying drivers of and obstacles to managed realignment. Land Use Policy 22(2), 129-144. DOI: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2004.03.001
  • O'Riordan, T. (2004) Environmental science, sustainability and politics. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 29(2), 234-247. DOI: 10.1111/j.0020-2754.2004.00127.x
  • O’Riordan, T., Cameron. J. and Jordan, A.J. (eds.) (2001) Reinterpreting the Precautionary Principle, Cameron May, London.
  • O’Riordan, T. (ed.) (1999) Environmental Science for Environmental Management, Revised Second Edition. Prentice Hall, Harlow Essex.

Publications: EPrints Digital Repository

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 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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