George Holmes

Associate Professor in Conservation and Society, University of Leeds

George Holmes

George is Associate Professor in Conservation and Society at the University of Leeds.

He is interested in issues of biodiversity conservation, as seen from a social, cultural and political perspective.

He is also looking at re-wilding initiatives and projects to turn landscapes dominated by human activities into landscapes dominated by natural processes, both in Patagonia and in Europe. George’s work focuses particularly on the conflicts and coexistence between different humans who advocate for a wilder or more domesticated landscape, and on the conflicts and coexistence between humans and biodiversity (particularly predators) in wilder landscapes.

George has recently been working on undertanding what conservation means to conservationists, particularly with regard to so-called New Conservation. He is keen to move debates about what conservation is, and should be, beyond scholarly journals to somewhere more open, democratic, and reflective of the breadth of conservation.

George teaches at all levels, from first-year undergraduates to leading the core MSc module. He is also Director of Student Education for the School of Earth and Environment.

George is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, a member of the Association of American Geographers and the Society for Conservation Biology. He is also part of  the Poverty and Conservation Learning Group – a forum of scholars and practitioners looking at links between poverty alleviation and biodiversity conservation – which is coordinated by the International Institute for Environment and Development.


  • PhD Development Policy and Management, University of Manchester
  • MRes Human Geography, University of Edinburgh
  • BSc Geography, University of Edinburgh

Research Interests

  • Conservation
  • protected areas
  • poverty
  • biodiversity
  • re-wilding
  • philanthropy
  • political ecology