Quantifying the global impacts of wildlife trade and effectiveness of trade regulators

Grantham Scholar Oscar Morton’s research focuses on wildlife trade’s effects on abundance and extinction.

Oscar Morton

I’m a PhD student in the School of Biosciences focusing on the impacts of the global wildlife trade.

I will use quantitative methods to assess the direct effect that trade is having species on species abundance and extinction risk. I’m also interested global policy and management of the wildlife trade, in particular the role and effectiveness of CITES in tackling unsustainable trade and the trade of globally threatened species.

Broadly my interests focus on conservation and sustainable long terms outcomes for humans and nature.


During the UK lockdown in 2020, we interviewed Oscar about his research. The interview covered how Oscar got into his work on wildlife trade and his recent publication of a ground-breaking meta-analysis. Read: Why we shouldn’t ban wildlife trade: interview with Oscar Morton.

Oscar’s wildlife trade research in The Guardian

It was great to see Oscar’s wildlife trade meta-analysis reported on by the Guardian. If you want to find out more then you can read Wildlife trade research in The Guardian.

This story was also picked up by The Hindu – Global wildlife trade causes decline of species abundance: study. And the Daily Mail carried a story about this research too.

Summary of publication forest restoration in shifting cultivation landscapes

After the publication of a paper on deforestation, Oscar wrote us a summary of the work. In this he explained how ecosystem services payments could bolster shifting cultivators and carbon stocks.

Social media

You can find Oscar on Twitter.

Oscar Morton’s publications

Oscar Morton, Brett R. Scheffers, Torbjørn Haugaasen, David P. Edwards, Mixed protection of threatened species traded under CITES,
Current Biology, 2022, ISSN 0960-9822, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2022.01.011.

Morton, O., Scheffers, B.R., Haugaasen, T. et al. Impacts of wildlife trade on terrestrial biodiversity. Nat Ecol Evol (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-021-01399-y

Economically viable forest restoration in shifting cultivation landscapes by Oscar Morton, Joli R Borah and David P Edwards. https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/ab7f0d

Read Oscar’s summary of this paper on utilising carbon payments to enable economically viable forest restoration in India.



Brett R Scheffers

Department of Wildlife Ecology & Conservation

Torbjørn Haugaasen

Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management