UCL Institute for Global Prosperity


Professor Robert Costanza

Professor of Ecological Economics

Research Summary

Robert Costanza is Professor of Ecological Economics at the Institute for Global Prosperity (IGP) at University College London (UCL). He is a Fellow in the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia (ASSA) and the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) in the UK, and is an Overseas Expert in the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). He is also currently a Senior Fellow at the Stockholm Resilience Centre in Stockholm, Sweden, an Affiliate Fellow at the Gund Institute at the University of Vermont, and a deTao Master of Ecological Economics at the deTao Masters Academy in Shanghai, China and an Honorary Professor at Australian National University.Professor Costanza is a global pioneer of transdisciplinary research at the complex intersection of dynamic human economic and social systems and stressed ecosystems that is informing new models of, and pathways to, sustainable prosperity. By harnessing and integrating diverse disciplines, Costanza has made a substantial contribution to building the robust new evidence base urgently needed to secure long term economic returns while supporting human wellbeing and conserving and restoring the natural environment and the ecosystem services it provides in the face of escalating climate change and other human-induced impacts. Costanza’s transformative ‘whole systems’ approach integrates systems ecology, ecological economics, ecosystem services, landscape ecology, ecological modeling, ecological design, energy analysis, environmental policy, social traps and addictions, incentive structures and institutions. His exceptional portfolio of original research has propelled the integration of the market and non-market values of ecosystem services into research and policy He is co-founder and past-president of the International Society for Ecological Economics and was founding chief editor of the society’s journal Ecological Economics. He currently serves on the editorial board of ten other international academic journals. He is also founding editor in chief of Solutions, a unique hybrid academic/popular journal and editor in chief of the Anthropocene Review.

Professor Costanza is the author or co-author of over 600 scientific papers and 28 books. His work has been cited more than 130,000 times in Google Scholar with an h-index of 136. More than 350 interviews and reports on his work have appeared in various popular media and he has written over 75 articles for the popular press.

Professor Costanza will teach on the new Prosperity, People and Planet MSc starting September 2023.