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Department of Land Economy

Environment, Law & Economics

PhD Thesis Title: The socioeconomic impacts and public acceptability of protected areas

Supervisors: Prof Andreas Kontoleon and Dr Nikoleta Jones

Awards and Scholarships

  • Fredderick Soddy Postgraduate Award, Royal Geographical Society (2021)
  • Vice-Chancellor’s & Wolfson College PhD Studentships (2019-2022)
  • International Honors Program Scholarship (2013-2016)



Vassilis is a PhD student at the Land Economy Department and a Researcher at the Cambridge Centre for Environment, Energy and Natural Resource Governance (C-EENRG). He is researching the economic and social impacts of protected areas on local communities under the supervision of Professor Andreas Kontoleon and Dr Nikoleta Jones. He is recepient of the Vice-Chancellor’s & Wolfson College PhD Studentships, funded jointly by ERC Fidelio and the Wolfson College.

For his doctoral research, Vassilis is using data from 20 national parks and spatial modelling to assess the distribution of the social impacts of parks across regions.  He is currently leading the fieldwork in 6 European national parks, where he is working closely with the managing authorities of each park as well as local stakeholders both to understand the individual characteristics of each park in depth and to produce applicable policy solutions.

Additionally, Vassilis has completed multiple academic and consultancy projects on environmental policy and taxation. In 2019, he was part of Professor Ekins’ team at the UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources assessing the effectiveness of a tax on plastics. More recently he completed projects for the UK Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), IIED, and the West Midlands Combined Authority.

Prior to starting his PhD, he worked on corporate social responsibility projects in the USA, with a focus on funding start-ups based in disadvantaged communities, and on a project converting abandoned houses into shelters for unaccompanied minors in Greece. Following that he worked for two years in the shipping industry.

Vassilis holds a MSc in Economics and Policy of Energy and the Environment from University College London and a BSc in Environmental Studies from the American College of Greece.


Conservation policy; Spatial analysis; Environmental economics; Protected Area Management; Environmental and Social Impact Assessment

Teaching and Supervisions


Paper 5: Environmental Economics and Law (14 hours)
Paper 4: Land Economy, Development and Sustainability (20 hours)
Paper 7: Regional Economics and Policy (10 hours)
Paper 17: Land Policy and Development Economics (19 hours)

Graduate (MPhil)
EP02: Environmental Economics and Policy (4 hours)


Research supervision: 

PhD Thesis Title: The socioeconomic impacts and public acceptability of protected areas

Supervisors: Professor Andreas Kontoleon and Dr Nikoleta Jones

Start Date: Michaelmas Term 2019

Expected Graduate Term: Easter 2022

College: Wolfson College

Other Professional Activities

Chair of the Wolfson Research Event 2021

 Vassilis  Gkoumas

Contact Details

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