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Department of Land Economy

Environment, Law & Economics


Dr McGinlay joined the Department of Land Economy in October 2019 as Research Associate on the FIDELIO project (Forecasting Social Impacts of Biodiversity Conservation Policies in Europe), funded by the European Research Council. This project explores the factors affecting public support for nature protected areas as a policy tool for nature conservation, including the socio-economic impacts, and how support evolves over time. He also works on the ESRC-funded ESCALATION project on public perceptions of flood defence plans in the UK.

Dr McGinlay is an environmental researcher with a broad-based interest in the environment and sustainability, and a particular interest in biodiversity and nature conservation, assessment and management, and in people's relationship with nature. He is experienced in interdisciplinary approaches to complex environmental problems drawing on knowledge from the natural and social sciences, and in mixed-method and case-study strategies focusing particularly on qualitative research methods. Past research has included work on the policy and practice of managing socio-ecological systems, and on cultural ecosystem services.

Prior to this he studied at the Universities of Oxford and Nottingham, worked in technical and engineering consultancies, with over ten years work experience in the field of environmental assessment and management for public, private and academic sectors, before returning to academia with research at the Open University, Cranfield University and Anglia Ruskin University.


Biodiversity, nature conservation, people-nature relationships, ecosystem services/cultural ecosystem services, rewilding, social and environmental impact assessment and management, sustainability


Key publications: 


McGinlay, J., V. Gkoumas, J. Holtvoeth, R. F. A. Fuertes, E. Bazhenova, A. Benzoni, K. Botsch, C. C. Martel, C. C. Sanchez, I. Cervera, G. Chaminade, J. Doerstel, C. J. F. Garcia, A. Jones, M. Lammertz, K. Lotman, M. Odar, T. Pastor, C. Ritchie, S. Santi, M. Smolej, F. S. Rico, H. Waterman, T. Zwijacz-Kozica, A. Kontoleon, P. G. Dimitrakopoulos and N. Jones (2020). ‘The Impact of COVID-19 on the Management of European Protected Areas and Policy Implications.’ Forests, 11(11).  .

McGinlay, J., N. Jones, J. Clark, V. A. Maguire-Rajpaul (2020). ‘Retreating coastline, retreating government? Managing sea level rise in an age of austerity’, Ocean and Coastal Management, .

McGinlay, J., Parsons, D. J., Morris, J., Graves, A., Hubatova, M., Bradbury, R.B. and Bullock, J. M. (2018). 'Leisure activities and social factors influence the generation of cultural ecosystem service benefits', Ecosystem Services, 31, pp. 468-480, 

Ridding, L. E., Redhead, J.W., Oliver, T.H., Schmucki, R., McGinlay, J., Graves, A.R., Morris, J., Bradbury, R.B., King, H. and Bullock, J.M. (2018) 'The importance of landscape characteristics for the delivery of cultural ecosystem services', Journal of Environmental Management, 206, pp. 1145-1154,

King, H., Morris, J., Graves, A., Bradbury, R.B., McGinlay, J. and Bullock, J.M. (2018) 'Biodiversity and cultural ecosystem benefits in lowland landscapes in southern England', Journal of Environmental Psychology, 53, pp. 185-197,

McGinlay, J., Parsons, D.J., Morris, J., Hubatova, M., Graves, A., Bradbury, R.B. and Bullock, J.M. (2017) 'Do charismatic species groups generate more cultural ecosystem service benefits?', Ecosystem Services, 27, Part A (October) pp. 15-24,

Jones, N., McGinlay, J. and Dimitrakopoulos, P.G. (2017) ' Improving social impact assessment of protected areas: A review of the literature and directions for future research', Environmental Impact assessment Review, 64, pp. 1-7,

McGinlay, J., Gowing, D. J. G. and Budds, J. (2017) 'The threat of abandonment in socio-ecological landscapes: Farmers' motivations and perspectives on high nature value grassland conservation', Environmental Science & Policy, 69, pp. 39-49,

McGinlay, J., Gowing, D. J. G. and Budds, J. (2016) 'Conserving socio-ecological landscapes: An analysis of traditional and responsive management practices for floodplain meadows in England', Environmental Science & Policy, 66, pp. 234-241,

Teaching and Supervisions


Dr McGinlay was an activity tutor in ecology for the Open University course SXR103 (Natural Sciences) from 2010-2012 and has taught students on environmental themes for the University of Reading and Anglia Ruskin University.

Research supervision: 

Dr McGinlay is currently supervising a postgraduate student on the MSc in Environmental Sustainability at Anglia Ruskin University, and whilst based at Cranfield University supervised a visiting PhD student from Charles University, Prague researching ecosystem services.

Dr James  McGinlay

Contact Details

Email address: 


Person keywords: 
Climate Change
Public Policy