Dr Sarah Whitmee is a senior postdoctoral researcher who works on a range of topics including planetary health, trade-offs in ecosystem services, the effectiveness of protected areas and the impacts of climate change on species distributions. She is also a member of the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) and is part of the WCPA/SSC IUCN Joint Task Force on Biodiversity and Protected Areas, an international collaboration on protected area management effectiveness.
Previously Sarah worked as a researcher on the WWF Living Planet Index with the Institute of Zoology-ZSL, charting global trends in vertebrate species abundance in marine, terrestrial and freshwater systems. She has also worked on initiatives for the UK government looking at international challenges and opportunities of climate change mitigation and adaptation and has worked in the not-for-profit sector for the Earthwatch Institute and the Environment Council, advising multinational corporations on corporate social responsibility and stakeholder engagement.
Sarah completed her PhD at Imperial College London. Her dissertation focused on quantifying the impact of climate change on mammal species. She also has a Masters in Environmental Technology from Imperial College London and a BSc in Zoology from Sheffield University.
In 2015 she was been seconded to The Rockefeller-Lancet Commission on planetary health where she served as a lead author and member of the secretariat on the groundbreaking report “Safeguarding human health in the Anthropocene epoch”.
Between 2015 and 2018 she worked on a WWF-funded project at University College London looking at new ways to measure the health of habitats and ecosystems in different biomes under a variety of anthropogenic pressures.
In 2019, Sarah joined the Oxford Martin School at Oxford University as Executive Secretary to the The Rockefeller Foundation Economic Council on Planetary Health, to deliver its report on the economics of planetary health which is due to be published in 2020.