Diogo Verissimo

Diogo Verissimo
University of Oxford | OX · Oxford Martin School

Conservation Marketer

About

192
Publications
93,038
Reads
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4,377
Citations
Introduction
I work at the interface between social and natural sciences, with a focus on understanding human preferences and improving our ability to influence human behaviors that have an impact on biodiversity. All my papers are available at: diogoverissimo.com/research/
Additional affiliations
January 2014 - July 2014
University of Kent
Position
  • Lecturer
Education
September 2009 - December 2013
Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, University of Kent
Field of study
  • Biodiversity Management
September 2006 - September 2007
Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, University of Kent
Field of study
  • Conservation Biology
September 2003 - September 2006
University of Lisbon
Field of study
  • Environmental Biology

Publications

Publications (192)
Article
Full-text available
Games have a wide range of potential uses, from mediating conservation conflicts to changing behaviors. However, there have been few impact evaluations of serious games published in the environmental field. We conducted the first cross‐cultural evaluation of an environmental mobile game, Save The Purple Frog. In a randomized control trial with both...
Preprint
Regulation of natural resource use might have unintended spillover impacts beyond the policy targets. Overexploitation is a major cause of species extinction and banning wildlife trade is a common and immediate measure to tackle it. However, few rigorous studies have investigated consequences of wildlife trade bans, and those few studies have focus...
Article
Full-text available
Illegal wildlife trade (IWT) is threatening many species across the world. It is important to better understand the scale and characteristics of IWT to inform conservation priorities and actions. However, IWT usually takes place covertly, meaning that the data on species, trade routes and volumes is limited. This means that conservationists often h...
Preprint
Full-text available
The first target of the Convention for Biological Diversity aimed to increase public awareness towards the values of biodiversity and actions needed to conserve it - a key prerequisite for conservation support. Nevertheless, monitoring success in achieving this target is difficult. Here, we used Google search volume data to evaluate interest in bio...
Preprint
Serious games have a wide range of potential uses, from mediating conservation conflicts to changing behaviours. However, there have been few impact evaluations of serious games published in the environmental field. We conducted the first cross-cultural evaluation of an environmental mobile game, Save The Purple Frog. In a randomized control trial...
Article
The ongoing global biodiversity crisis not only involves biological extinctions, but also the loss of experience and the gradual fading of cultural knowledge and collective memory of species. We refer to this phenomenon as 'societal extinction of species' and apply it to both extinct and extant taxa. We describe the underlying concepts as well as t...
Article
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Article
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The archipelago state of Malta is renowned as a “blackspot” for illegal bird hunting. Since joining the European Union (EU), Maltese hunters have experienced restrictions on what and how much they can hunt. This article describes Malta's current enforcement efforts which, assisted by the Army and by volunteers from conservation groups, exceed EU st...
Article
Full-text available
Conservationists have long sought to reduce consumer demand for products from overexploited wildlife species. Health practitioners have also begun calling for reductions in the wildlife trade to reduce pandemic risk. Most wildlife‐focused demand reduction campaigns have lacked rigorous evaluations and thus their impacts remain unknown. There is thu...
Preprint
When striving to motivate support for conservation, there is often a bias in focus and funding for some species over others (such as flagship species, because they are attractive and recognisable to the public). However, species’ names can also influence peoples’ attitudes and feelings towards them, and celebrity endorsement can lead to increased a...
Article
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Although they are only home to 16% of the global human population, high-income countries produce approximately one third of the world’s waste, the majority of which goes to landfills. To reduce pressure on landfills and natural systems, environmental messaging should focus on reducing consumption. Messages that signal social norms have the potentia...
Preprint
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1.Reducing demand for wildlife products has been recognised as an important global priority, especially with fears that there are expanding markets for certain taxa. However, consumer demand is a complicated phenomenon and as with many conservation issues, it can involve numerous interacting biological, social, political and socio-economic factors,...
Article
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The crisis generated by the emergence and pandemic spread of COVID-19 has thrown into the global spotlight the dangers associated with novel diseases, as well as the key role of animals, especially wild animals, as potential sources of pathogens to humans. There is a widespread demand for a new relationship with wild and domestic animals, including...
Article
Full-text available
Promoting pro‐conservation behaviours has become a priority for conservation organisations world‐wide. Yet, current engagement strategies still face a number of barriers to creating successful interventions at the scale needed to meet global sustainability challenges. Online and mobile games enjoy immense world‐wide popularity, tapping into an audi...
Article
Full-text available
Globally, illegal and unsustainable wildlife trade can drive biodiversity loss. Understanding which product attributes consumers consider when deciding between products of threatened species or alternatives, is key for conservation interventions. Labeled Discrete Choice Experiments (DCEs) are underutilized in wildlife trade literature but can aid t...
Article
Full-text available
At least one third of sharks and their cartilaginous relatives (Class Chondrichthyes) meet the IUCN Red List Criteria for being threatened with extinction. Overfishing is the primary threat, with less than 4% of the world's shark catches managed for sustainability. The high‐value shark‐fin trade has gained the greatest attention as a conservation i...
Preprint
Funding shortage limits conservation impact, making it vital to find effective fundraising methods. To explore how traditional and digital conservation fundraising methods perform, we conducted real-world field experiments by using mailshot and Facebook advertisements. We compare three types of message frames (Simple, Seed money, and Ecological) an...
Preprint
Full-text available
While there is general skepticism regarding the progress made towards the 20 CBD targets set in 2010, there has been no comprehensive analysis of the progress towards this first target at the global and the national levels. We harnessed vast and readily available online data to gain insight into trends of people’s interest towards biodiversity and...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The report “Measuring global awareness of nature” represents the first step by On the EDGE Conservation towards the use of the internet to understand our perceptions of nature in more detail and larger scale than ever before. We use globally relevant metrics like Google searches and Wikipedia views to understand how salient different parts of natur...
Preprint
Full-text available
Key Points: 1. A rare example of a wildlife trade initiative that covers all stages of an evidence-based behaviour change intervention. 2. Intervention development involved combining extensive consumer research with human behaviour theory and past research. 3. Intervention used a cutting-edge, powerful combination of online news coverage and target...
Article
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Conservation is predominantly an exercise in trying to change human behaviour – whether that of consumers whose choices drive unsustainable resource use, of land managers clearing natural habitats, or of policymakers failing to deliver on environmental commitments. Yet conservation research and practice have made only limited use of recent advances...
Article
Full-text available
In the search for new ways to bring attention to the conservation of neglected species, marketing is increasingly recognised as offering new insights. Brand creation frameworks provide guidelines to create names or symbols for products that will differentiate them from the competition. In this paper, we examine if species common names that follow t...
Article
Full-text available
Many environmental organizations use photographic images to engage donors and supporters. While images play a role in fundraising, visual framing remains understudied in the environmental field. Few real-world experiments have examined which types of images result in higher donations to biodiversity conservation. We examined the role of images in c...
Article
Full-text available
It is essential for us to understand what drives human behaviour if we want to tackle anthropogenic damage to the environment. Popular media can play an important role in shaping public attitudes, behaviours and norms towards wildlife, and documentaries in particular have become an increasingly prominent tool for social change. There is, however, a...
Article
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Human activities are degrading ecosystems worldwide, posing existential threats for biodiversity and humankind. Slowing and reversing this degradation will require profound and widespread changes to human behaviour. Behavioural scientists are therefore well placed to contribute intellectual leadership in this area. This Perspective aims to stimulat...
Preprint
The Vietnamese Government committed to closing all bear farms in the country by 2022. Some researchers have expressed concerns that ending the commercial farming of bears while demand for bear bile persists could lead to increased hunting pressure on wild bear populations. In this article, we use mixed methods of questionnaires, discrete choice exp...
Article
Full-text available
With the digital boom that we have been experiencing for several years now and that has been significantly maximized due to the current situation caused by the pandemic, it is not a secret that the different economic, social, political, environmental initiatives, among others, have taken advantage of digital channels to convey their message to a gr...
Article
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Overexploitation for consumption of meat from wild animals in urban centres currently threatens numerous species across the globe. Indiscriminate offtake to satisfy demand for wild meat affects a range of wildlife of conservation concern in Vietnam. It is essential to understand the consumption of wild meat in Vietnam in order to ensure it is not d...
Article
Full-text available
Conservationists measuring noncompliance with measures limiting the exploitation of natural resources often ask sensitive questions. However, respondents may distort their answers due to the risk of sanctions, taboos or social norms. Specialized Questioning Techniques (SQTs) can encourage honest answering through protecting re-spondent's privacy by...
Article
Full-text available
Pangolins have been exploited throughout history but evidence points to population declines across parts of their ranges since the 1960s, especially in Asia. This is the result of overexploitation for local use and international trade and trafficking of their derivatives. The prevalence of the consumption of pangolin products has been estimated for...
Article
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The fields of ecology and conservation have evolved rapidly over the past century. Synthesizing larger trends in these disciplines remains a challenge yet is critical to bridging subdisciplines, guiding research, and informing educational frameworks. Here, we provide what we believe is the largest full‐text culturomic analysis of ecology and conser...
Article
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Interventions to shift the behaviour of consumers using unsustainable wildlife products are key to threatened species conservation. Whether these interventions are effective is largely unknown due to a dearth of detailed evaluations. We previously conducted a country-level online behaviour change intervention targeting consumers of the Critically E...
Article
Full-text available
Online crowdfunding can help address the perennial financial shortfalls in environmental conservation and management. Although many online crowdfunding campaigns fail to collect any funds due to not achieving their targets, little is known about what drives success. To address this knowledge gap, we applied a mixed-methods approach to data from 473...
Article
Full-text available
Ongoing loss of biological diversity is primarily the result of unsustainable human behavior. Thus, the long-term success of biodiversity conservation depends on a thorough understanding of human-nature interactions. Such interactions are ubiquitous but vary greatly in time and space and are difficult to monitor efficiently at large spatial scales....
Article
Introduction Biological invasions are a major threat to global biodiversity and can have substantial socioeconomic costs. Although invasive non–native species have been studied extensively, their monitoring and management are often inadequate (Pergl et al. 2020). Moreover, the great harm invasive non–native species cause tends to be underestimated...
Article
Full-text available
Three of the four newly distinguished giraffe species are in significant decline. Concern over the species' threat status prompted a proposal to list the giraffe, which is still recognized as a single species by the IUCN, in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES). However, there is a distinct lack of quan...
Article
Full-text available
1. Efforts to shift unsustainable human behaviour are at the crux of many conservation interventions, particularly when addressing illegal or unsustainable wildlife trade. These efforts, often in the form of behaviour change interventions, have proven largely unable to counteract this pervasive issue, however, leading to calls for more robust inter...
Article
Full-text available
The Vietnamese Government committed to closing all bear farms in the country by 2022. Some researchers have expressed concerns that ending the commercial farming of bears, while demand for bear bile persists, could lead to increased hunting pressure on wild bear populations. In this article, we used mixed methods of questionnaires, Discrete Choice...
Article
Full-text available
Robust impact evaluations are needed for conservation to learn and grow as a field. Currently we lack a large body of evidence on the effects of behaviour change interventions in social‐ecological systems. By uncovering mechanistic relationships and establishing causality we can refine future programmes to enhance likelihood of effectiveness. Altho...
Preprint
Conservationists are increasingly interested in interventions which aim to encourage voluntary behaviour change in environmentally-beneficial ways. We conducted a systematic review to assess the strength of evidence that these interventions will result in desired behaviour change. We started with more than 300 000 records and after critical apprais...
Article
Full-text available
1. Unsustainable wildlife use is one of the leading threats to earth's biodiversity. Historically, efforts to address this issue have been focused on increasing enforcement and anti-poaching measures. 2. However, recognition that such supply-reduction measures may be inefficient has spurred a movement towards consumer research and behaviour change...
Article
Full-text available
Many threats to biodiversity are the result of human actions, which means that changing human behavior can positively alter the trajectory of our current biodiversity crisis. While there is an increasing number of behavior change interventions being implemented in biodiversity conservation, their design is rarely informed by the people they try to...
Article
Full-text available
Environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs) appeal to private donors for conservation fundraising, often employing single species flagships as their fundraising strategy. Previous studies suggest that donor preferences vary, and can be divided into segments. Just as preferences towards species can vary, preferences towards different flagsh...
Preprint
Full-text available
Conservationists measuring noncompliance with rules about the exploitation of natural resources often need to ask sensitive questions. However, respondents can introduce bias through distorting their answers to direct questions, due to social norms and/or the risk of legal sanctions. Specialized Questioning Techniques (SQTs) are often a more suitab...
Article
Full-text available
The use of trophy hunting as a wildlife management option has been a highly controversial topic, especially in southern Africa, but trophy hunting has historically also taken place also throughout Asia. In China, trophy hunting was the topic of intense public discussion more than a decade ago, leading ultimately to the suspension of this practice i...
Preprint
Mobile app games are an increasingly appealing method of public engagement, boasting a vast and diverse audience. This technology has also been found to be an important force for behaviour change as it is built upon experimental learning, repetitive play and motivated working, and has already been shown to be successful in health-related behaviour...
Preprint
Full-text available
1.Unsustainable wildlife use is one of the leading threats to earth’s biodiversity. Historically, efforts to address this issue have been focused on increasing enforcement and anti-poaching measures. 2.However, recognition that such supply-reduction measures may be inefficient has spurred a movement towards consumer research and behavior change. He...
Article
Full-text available
The global scale of the ocean plastics crisis demands a collective change in plastic consumption behaviors. The documentary series Blue Planet II has been praised for driving changes in consumer behaviors by raising awareness about this issue, yet there is little evidence that directly links the documentary to viewers' plastic consumption. We inves...
Article
Full-text available
Changing human behavior is essential for biodiversity conservation, but robust approaches for large scale change are needed. Concepts like repeat message exposure and social reinforcement, as well as mechanisms like online news coverage and targeted advertisements, are currently used by private and public sectors, and could prove powerful for conse...
Preprint
Full-text available
Conservationists have long sought to reduce consumer demand for overexploited wildlife products. More recently, health practitioners and others have begun calling for reductions in the wildlife trade to reduce the risk of pandemics. Despite this broadening interest, most wildlife-focused demand reduction campaigns have lacked rigorous evaluations a...
Article
Full-text available
The dominant approach to combating the illegal wildlife trade has traditionally been to restrict the supply of wildlife products. Yet conservationists increasingly recognise the importance of implementing demand‐side interventions that target the end consumers in the trade chain. Their aim is to curb the consumption of wildlife or shift consumption...
Article
Full-text available
The use of celebrities in marketing campaigns is widespread globally, including in environmental conservation. Celebrity endorsements are pervasive, but there is limited evidence of their effectiveness. We conducted a review of celebrity‐endorsed environmental campaigns. We report on the extent to which celebrities have been used in these campaigns...
Preprint
Full-text available
Human factors are increasingly recognised as central to conservation of biodiversity. Despite this, there are no existing systematic efforts to monitor global trends in perceptions of wildlife. With traditional news reporting now largely online, the internet presents a powerful means to monitor global attitudes towards species. In this work we deve...
Article
Full-text available
The illegal wildlife trade threatens the future of many species, and undermines economies and livelihoods. Conservationists have largely responded with supply‐side interventions, such as antipoaching patrols, but these often fail to stem the tide of wildlife trafficking. There is now increasing interest in demand‐side interventions, which seek to l...
Article
Full-text available
For many researchers, particularly in academia, publishing in peer-reviewed journals is a necessity, with major implications for their career progression. Yet, it is increasingly recognised that the current scientific publishing model is not fair and equitable, which can have severe consequences for the way science is accessed and used in nature co...
Preprint
Full-text available
The crisis generated by the emergence and pandemic spread of COVID-19 has thrown into the global spotlight the dangers associated with novel diseases, as well as the key role of animals, especially wild animals, as potential sources of pathogens to humans. There is a widespread demand for a new relationship with wild and domestic animals, including...
Chapter
Full-text available
Conservation Research, Policy and Practice - edited by William J. Sutherland April 2020
Article
Commonly used in the literature to refer to the “attractiveness”, “appeal”, or “beauty” of a species, charisma can be defined as a set of characteristics – and the perception thereof – that affect people’s attitudes and behaviors toward a species. It is a highly relevant concept for invasion science, with implications across all stages of the invas...
Article
Full-text available
Cambridge Core - Ecology and Conservation - Conservation Research, Policy and Practice - edited by William J. Sutherland
Preprint
Full-text available
There have been numerous calls across the scientific community, in recent years, for research conferences to embrace sustainability. With growing public consciousness and the challenging context posed by climate change both economically, socially and for biodiversity, researchers should be leading the path towards sustainable event planning. In thi...