Dr Steve Gibson

Head of Policy and Outcomes, Natural Capital and Ecosystem Assessment Programme at Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)

Head of Policy and Outcomes, Natural Capital and Ecosystem Assessment Programme, Defra
Policy Fellow, Centre for Science and Policy

Steve is a recognised leader in the field of environmental science and analysis. Currently, he holds a pivotal role as the head of Policy and Outcomes for the (terrestrial and freshwater) Natural Capital and Ecosystem Assessment Programme, a flagship natural science initiative and Government Major Project led by Defra. In this capacity, Steve spearheads the design, commissioning, exploitation and assurance of £150m worth of ground-breaking scientific research and data insights delivered with five partner organizations. The outcomes will play a crucial role in shaping ambitious, proactive, and sustainable natural environment policy decisions.

Prior to this Steve has an extensive government science career, most recently serving as the Head of Science for Defra's Wildlife, Climate, and Forestry, and Environment Strategy Directorates. Prior to that he was the Evidence Director and shared the Chief Scientist role at the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, where he guided the Committee in offering evidence-based advice on biodiversity conservation and sustainability and used his leadership to transform the organization's evidence capability. He has also provided advice to the governments of the UK on marine conservation and evidence in the UK and Europe, negotiated in international environmental treaties such as the Convention on Biological Diversity, advised the European Commission on environmental policy, and been active in conserving UK threatened species and managing wildlife conflict.

A people-centric leader, throughout his career, Steve has empowered teams to challenge conventions, develop innovative solutions, and look beyond their horizons for inspiration and motivation. He has fostered a culture of creativity and collaboration, enabling his teams to make significant strides in the field of environmental science and its role in enhancing policy making.

Steve is recognized as a Chartered Environmentalist and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management. He holds a PhD in Behavioural Ecology and Evolution and began his academic journey with a BSc in Biology and Environmental Studies.

With his leadership, commitment to evidence-based decision-making, and expertise, Steve intends to continue making significant contribution to the advancement of sustainable policies and the conservation of our natural capital as we grapple with the twin planetary crises of biodiversity loss and climate change.