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Photo of Professor Duncan Russel

Professor Duncan Russel

BSc; PhD both University of East Anglia

Professor, Associate Dean for Education


01392 723182

Amory A232B

Duncan Russel is an Professor in Environmental Policy. His research and teaching interests include:

  • UK and European environmental policy
  • climate policy
  • public policy
  • policy appraisal
  • policy coordination
  • evidence and policy interactions
  • budgetary politics
  • urban environmental goverance

Research interests

My current research activities are in the following areas:

1) Policy appraisal and environmental decision making

2) The politicisation of science, evidence and knowledge in environmental policy making.

3) Coordinating policy in the United Kingdom and European Union for sustainable development.

4) Climate politics

5) The politics of budgets


Current projects:

Principle Investigator. Defra, Scottish Government, Government, NERC, ESRC, AHRC-funded National Ecosystem Follow-up Work Package 8. Institutional behaviours and cultures and the uptake of ecological knowledge (2012-2014)

Co-investigator and Work Package Leader. European FP7-funded project, BASE: Bottom-up Climate Adaptation Strategies.


Co-investigator. ESRC seminar series on the Green Economy.  

Recent projects:

Co-investigator. NERC Valuing Nature Network BRIDGE project: Examining the supply and demand of ecological knowledge for decision making (2011-2012).

Co-investigator, with Robert Fish (PI) and others. Defra: Participatory and deliberative techniques for embedding an ecosystems approach into decision (2009-2010)

Co-investigator, with John Turnpenny (PI). Nuffield Foundation (SGS/37317): Connecting Science and Policy: The Impact of the Parliamentary Environmental Audit Committee on the Implementation of Sustainable Development in the United Kingdom. (2009-2010)

Principle Investigator. Funder: ESRC Post-Doctoral Fellowship Scheme (award number: PTA-026-27 1094). Title: Environmental policy appraisal for sustainable development: An interdisciplinary analysis. (2006-2007)

Research supervision

UK and European Environmental Policy, Public Policy, Policy Appraisal, Policy Coordination, Evidence and Policy Interactions,  Climate Change politics

Research students

I am happy to supervise students in the areas of environmental policy, evidence-based policy, climate change and regulatory politics.

External impact and engagement

I have sought to engage with policy makers in a number of ways. Among other things, I have provided written and oral evidence for parliamentary committees as an expert witness, I have been a consultant for the World Bank to help them link their climate change governance and better regulation strategies, and I was a lead author and principal invesitgator for the UK National Ecosystem Assessment Follow-on. 

Some key outputs include:

Russel, D., Turnpenny, J., Jordan, A., Sheate, W., Bond, A. and Adelle, C. (2014) Work Package 8 of the UK National Ecosystem Assessment Follow-on: Institutional Barriers and Enablers to Embedding the Ecosystem Services Framework into policy Appraisal.  UNEP-WCMC, LWEC, UK.*


UK National Ecosystem Assessment Follow-On (2014) The UK National Ecosystem Assessment: Synthesis of the Key Findings. UNEP-WCMC, LWEC, UK.


Russel, D., Jordan, A. and Turnpenny, J. (2014) Written memorandum by Dr. Russel et al. In: House of Commons, Environmental Audit Committee (2014) An Environmental Score-card. Session, 2014-15, 5th Report, HC Paper 215. The Stationery Office: London.


Russel, D., Turnpenny, J., Jordan, A., Sheate, W., Bond, A. and Adelle, C. (2014) Work Package 8 of the UK National Ecosystem Assessment Follow-on: Institutional Barriers and Enablers to Embedding the Ecosystem Services Framework into policy Appraisal.  World Conservation Monitoring Centre: Cambridge.


Russel, D., and Radaelli, C., (2010) Regulatory Reform and Climate Change, World Bank, FIAS-IFC, Washington, DC, World Bank, 2010.


Turnepenny, J., Jordan, A., Rayner, T. and Russel, D. (2010) written and Oral Evidence to the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee enquiry on Embedding Sustainable Development across Government. HC 503, session 2010-2011. The Stationary Office: London.



Russel, D., Turnpenny, J. and Jordan, A (2009). Evidence submitted to the Government Economic Service's interdepartmental group enquiry: Sustainable Development: Call for Solutions by Dr Duncan Russel, Dr John Turnpenny and Professor Andrew Jordan, 6 March 2009


Russel, D. and Jordan, A. (2007) Written memorandum and oral evidence by Dr. Russel and Dr Jordan. In: House of Commons, Environmental Audit Committee report on The Structure and Operation of Government and the Challenge of Climate Change. Session, 2006-2007, 9th Report, HC Paper 740, pp.ev5-ev9. The Stationery Office: London.


Turnpenny, J., Russel, D., and Jordan, A. (2007). Written memorandum by Dr. Turnpenny and others. In: House of Commons, Environmental Audit Committee report on Regulatory Impact Assessment and Policy Appraisal. Session 2006-2007, 3rd report, HC Paper 353, pp. EV37-EV43. The Stationery Office: London.


Jordan, A., Russel, D., Schout, A. and M. Unfried (2003)
Written memorandum by Dr. Andrew Jordan and others. In: House of Lords, European Union Committee (2003) European Union Waste Management Policy, Session 2002-3, 47th report, HL Paper 194, pp. 120-126. The Stationery Office: London

Modules taught


I trained as an interdisciplinary environmental scientist at the University of East Anglia (UEA). I then specialised in environmental politics at UEA through my PhD entitled “Environmental Policy Appraisal in UK Central Government: A political Analysis.” The thesis had an interdisciplinary approach drawing on perspectives from environmental science, economics, public administration and politics. I was a Senior Research Associate at the Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment and the Tyndall Centre for Climate Research at UEA from Oct 2004 until Jan 2009. During this time I was awarded an ESRC Post-Doctoral Fellowship to help me disseminate my work on policy appraisal, and I was a visiting fellow at the Free University of Amsterdam. I joined Exeter in February 2009 as a Lecturer under the Climate Change and Sustainable Futures strategy and have since progressed to full professor. I have held various leadership poistions including Head of the Politics Department and am currently the Associate Pro-Vice Chancellor for Education for teh Faculty of Humanities, Arts and teh Social Sciences.


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