Ian Bateman is an environmental economist recognised for his work in the integration of natural, physical, economic and social sciences into decision making and policy formation. Ian was born in 1961 in the inner city area of Handsworth, Birmingham, UK. From an early age his parents instilled a love of the natural environment through regular camping trips to Wales and Cornwall. He left school and took a variety of jobs ranging from telephone box cleaner to ice cream sales. In 1982 he returned to education selecting to study economics as a way out of low paid work. However, when studying for a Masters degree in 1987 he became aware of the potential for using economics to bring the natural environment into decision making. A PhD at the University of Nottingham and academic positions at the University of East Anglia and now the University of Exeter have given Ian the opportunity to pursue these interests and increasingly work with decision makers in government and the business sector. Combined with marriage to Fiona and three children, Ben, Freya and Tasha, this makes Ian convinced he is one of the most fortunate people in the world.

Research Interests

Ian Bateman is an environmental economist with a wide array of research interests revolving around the issue of ensuring sustainable wellbeing through the integration of natural and social science knowledge within decision making and policy. Ian's early research focussed upon examination of the methodological robustness of techniques for valuing preferences for non-marketed, and hence unpriced, goods, in particular those derived from environmental resources such as water quality and recreation as well as environmental problems such as noise pollution. Alongside this work ran an interest in the underlying stability of the preferences being measured with a considerable focus on the extent to which these conformed or diverged from standard economic theory. More recently Ian's research focus has been upon trying to improve decision making concerning the nexus between the natural environment and the economy with a particular interest in bringing the natural and physical sciences into decision making alongside economic analysis. This has developed into a keen interest in working with decision makers in the business sector and policy makers in government seeking to bring the concerns of sustainability, efficiency and equity into conventional decisions.

Membership Type

International Member

Election Year


Primary Section

Section 64: Human Environmental Sciences

Secondary Section

Section 63: Environmental Sciences and Ecology