Research Overview

I am currently a DPhil (PhD) student at the University of Oxford in the School of Geography and the Environment and Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, where I research conservation land purchase by individuals and families. My work aims to understand 1) factors that influence decision making about land purchase, such as motivations, values, and social context, 2) the experiences and perspectives of conservation landowners, and 3) the scale and characteristics of private conservation land ownership.



Gooden, J., & Grenyer, R. (2018). The psychological appeal of owning private land for conservation. Conservation Biology. doi:10.1111/cobi.1321.

Root-Bernstein, M., Gooden, J., & Boyes, A. (2018). Rewilding in practice: Projects and policy. Geoforum. doi:10.1016/j.geoforum.2018.09.01.

Gooden, J. (2016). The red tape of rewilding. ECOS, 37(2), 11-18.

PhD Research

My research is primarily rooted in conservation and economic geography, though I also rely on theory and methods from finance, management, sociology, and psychology. Epistemologically it is rooted in American pragmatism, and practically it has been influenced by recent work on privately protected areas by the World Commission on Protected Areas.

My academic supervisors are Professor Gordon Clark and Professor Richard Grenyer.

MSc Research

In 2014 I received an MSc at the University of Oxford in Biodiversity, Conservation, and Management in the School of Geography and the Environment. My dissertation, The Red Tape of Rewilding, examined institutional barriers to the innovative conservation of wild lands, looking at rewilding sites in England, Wales, Scotland, and the Netherlands. My fieldwork took me to Alladale Wilderness Reserve, the Cairngorms, Trees for Life, Blaeneinion, Wild Ennerdale, Knepp Castle Estate, the Oostvaardersplassen, and Millingerwaard. My academic supervisor was Paul Jepson in the Conservation Governance Lab.

In addition to research, coursework included ecosystems, governance, economics, technology, social theory, and ethics. I also conducted an independent project cataloging osteological collections of birds and fishes at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

Wild horses at Oostvaardersplassen, Netherlands

 Credit:  anuradhac , Flickr,  creative commons .

Credit: anuradhac, Flickr, creative commons.

Undergraduate (AB) Research

I began my studies with an AB in psychology from Harvard, where my honors thesis experimentally investigated the relationship between implicit attitudes and behavior.

I was advised by Nalini Ambady and Jennifer Richeson. My experiments used the Implicit Association Test, based on the work of Mahzarin Banaji and Anthony Greenwald.