Eleanor Warren-Thomas profile picture

Eleanor Warren-Thomas

IIASA-NERC Research Fellow

Integrated Biosphere Futures Research Group

Biodiversity and Natural Resources Program

IIASA-NERC Research Fellow

Capacity Development and Academic Training Unit

IIASA-NERC Research Fellow

Biodiversity, Ecology, and Conservation Research Group

Biodiversity and Natural Resources Program


Eleanor Warren-Thomas is a NERC-IIASA Collaborative Research Fellow with the IIASA Integrated Biosphere Futures (IBF) and Biodiversity, Ecology, and Conservation (BEC) Research groups, as well as the School of Natural Sciences, Bangor University, UK. She is also a visiting scientist at the Department of Biology, University of York.

Warren-Thomas completed a PhD in Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia in 2017, focusing on natural rubber plantations as a driver of deforestation and biodiversity change in the Indo-Burma biodiversity hotspot. She conducted cost-benefit analyses of forest conservation using carbon finance/REDD+ versus rubber plantation and timber profits in Cambodia, established and led field data collection to investigate biodiversity co-benefits and yield impacts of rubber agroforestry in Thailand, and analyzed the ongoing role of natural rubber demand as a driver of deforestation.

From 2017 to 2019, she was a post-doctoral researcher at the University of York, working to understand the effects of tropical peatland restoration initiatives on biodiversity and smallholder livelihoods, and changes in the landscape connectivity of peat swamp forests in Sumatra over time. She established and led a program of fieldwork, conducted connectivity modeling, and coordinated the international and inter-disciplinary research project, working with social scientists, remote sensing specialists, and greenhouse gas emissions scientists between the UK and Indonesia. From 2019 to 2020 she worked as a GIS/Spatial Data Analyst at the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology on the UKSCAPE Soil Organic Carbon Dynamics project and the Environment and Rural Affairs Monitoring and Modeling Programme (ERAMMP).

Prior to her PhD she obtained an MSc in Conservation from University College London, a BA in Biological Sciences from Oxford University, and conducted field research in agroecosystems and forests in China, Honduras, and Peru.

Her current research focuses on addressing the potential unintended consequences of tropical forest restoration initiatives and policies for biodiversity and socioeconomic outcomes. She works to identify pathways to generating multiple benefits from forest restoration. She will use models of land use change, biodiversity response, and ecosystem service delivery together with scenario analysis, using Colombia as a main case study.

Last update: 12 MAY 2021


Wang, Y., Hollingsworth, P.M., Zhai, D., West, C., Green, J., Chen, H., Hurni, K., Su, Y., Warren-Thomas, E., Xu, J., & Ahrends, A. (2023). High-resolution maps show that rubber causes substantial deforestation. Nature 10.1038/s41586-023-06642-z.

FABLE (2023). Ecological restoration and deforestation control: Implications for Colombia’s agriculture and climate goals. FABLE Policy Brief. Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) , Paris, France/Laxenburg, Austria.

Warren-Thomas, E., Agus, F., Akbar, P.G., Crowson, M., Hamer, K.C., Hariyadi, B., Hodgson, J.A., Kartika, W.D., Lopes, M., Lucey, J.M., Mustaqim, D., Pettorelli, N., Saad, A., Sari, W., Sukma, G., Stringer, L.C., Ward, C., & Hill, J.K. (2022). No evidence for trade‐offs between bird diversity, yield and water table depth on oil palm smallholdings: Implications for tropical peatland landscape restoration. Journal of Applied Ecology 59 (5) 1231-1247. 10.1111/1365-2664.14135.