Researcher biography

Dr Megan Evans is a Research Associate in the Centre for Policy Futures. 

Megan is a Lectuer in Public Sector Management within the School of Business, UNSW Canberra as part of the Public Service Research Group. Megan holds an Australian Research Council DECRA Fellowship which is currently examining the growth of private sector investment in biodiversity and natural capital.

Megan's research aims to understand how governments, businesses and other actors can more effectively protect and manage our natural environment. To do this, Megan uses theories and methods from the natural and social sciences to inform the design, implementation and evaluation of environmental laws, policies and tools. Megan has a diverse background, including undergraduate degrees in mathematics and ecology, a PhD in public policy, and direct experience with policymaking. Megan sits on the editorial board of Converstaion Letters.  


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Australian National University
  • Bachelor of Science with Honours Class 1, The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Arts (Mathematics – Extended Major), The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Science (Ecology), The University of Queensland

Research Interests

  • Public policy
  • Environmental markets, regulation and governance
  • Science-policy interface
  • Interdisciplinary research

Research Impacts

  • Megan's research on biodiversity offset policy has directly informed Australian and international policy. Together with colleagues Professor Martine Maron, Professor Hugh Possingham and others, our collaborative work translated into the Australian Government’s Offset Assessment Guide in 2012. This work subsequently informed the IUCN Biodiversity Offsets Policy (2016), the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) Land Degradation Neutrality Conceptual Framework (2017), and the New Zealand Biodiversity Offsets Accounting System (2015).
  • Megan's work on the economics of land-based carbon offsets (aka carbon farmingEvans et al. 2015) informed the establishment of the Queensland Government’s AUD 500 million Land Restoration Fund.
  • Megan's paper on how early-career researchers (ECRs) can achieve policy impact (Evans and Cvitanovic, 2018) was featured in several blogs and online news outlets, including a Nature News career feature. This paper is the top-rated contribution in Palgrave Communications on Altmetric (score of 568).
  • Megan's research on deforestation (Evans 2016) was featured in the 2016 Australian State of the Environment Report. You can download the data here and here.
  • Megan's work with colleagues from CSIRO directly informed the Australian Department of the Environment’s risk-based approach for prioritising monitoring and compliance efforts
  • Megan's Honours research on threats to Australian species was featured in the 2011 Australian State of the Environment Report.


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