People and Nature

We are pleased to announce the launch of our sixth journal, People and Nature.

Read our latest content here.

Click here for author guidelines and to submit.

Led by Editor-in-Chief Kevin Gaston and Lead Editors Kai Chan, Robert Fish, Rosemary Hails and Cecily Maller, People and Nature is a broad-scope open access journal publishing work from across research areas exploring relationships between humans and nature.

We encourage conceptual and empirical approaches to answer interesting questions within this scope. Qualitative, quantitative and mixed methodologies are all welcome.

People and Nature fosters innovation and experimentation and particularly encourages submissions that stimulate debate.

People and Nature – a journal of relational thinking

We welcome presubmission enquiries, which should be directed to the Managing Editor Emilie Aimé.

If you’re ready to submit you can do so here.

Message from the Editor-in-Chief

So, you have a great idea for a new paper. It looks at some aspect of the interactions between people and nature. It will have some ecological relevance, but may not be a pure ecology paper. It will also have a good bit of material drawn from one or more other disciplines – it could be economics, geography, history, law, literature, medicine, philosophy, politics, psychology, or sociology, to name just a few possibilities. But it is not a mainstream paper for one of those disciplines either. So, where will you submit your latest contribution? You will want a journal that not just considers outputs from this kind of cross/multi/interdisciplinary work, but really values them. You will want one that understands both the importance of your paper being promptly and fairly handled by people who are knowledgeable about the topic, and that takes seriously the challenges that can arise when reviewing work that crosses disciplinary specialisms. You will want one backed by a respected organisation, with a track record of publishing high quality journals.

Welcome to People and Nature – a journal of relational thinking.

The British Ecological Society is launching this new journal in recognition of the rapid growth in inter-, multi-, and transdisciplinary research concerning the relationships between humans and nature. Much of this research addresses issues of vital importance.

We look forward to receiving your submissions.

Kevin Gaston – Editor-in-Chief People and Nature

Meet the Editors

For more info on what our Lead Editors would like to see submitted to the journal take a look at this short interview with them.


Kevin GastonKevin J. Gaston
I am Professor of Biodiversity and Conservation at the Environment & Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter. My research focusses heavily on the interactions between people and nature. Much of this work has concerned the impacts of anthropogenic pressures on species, communities and ecosystems. More recently it has also had a heavy emphasis on the benefits people gain from nature, including those associated with their health and wellbeing. I have worked on a wide range of taxa, and study systems that span the globe, and have collaborated with colleagues across a wide array of disciplines.

Lead Editors


Kai ChanKai Chan
I am a professor in the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability at University of British Columbia. I am an interdisciplinary, problem-oriented sustainability scientist, trained in ecology, policy, and ethics from Princeton and Stanford Universities. I strive to understand how social-ecological systems can be transformed to be both better and wilder (‘better’ including considerations of justice). Towards this end, I do modeling and empirical research to improve the management and governance of social-ecological systems. I have special interest in ecosystem services (ES; while recognizing and working on the concept’s limitations), including cumulative impacts and risks to ES; the evolutionary ecology of pest control; applied environmental ethics; ecosystem-based management; social-ecological systems and resilience; and connecting these ecosystem-oriented efforts to environmental assessment (e.g., LCA).

Rob FishRobert Fish
I am a Reader in Human Ecology in the School of Anthropology and Conservation, University of Kent. I am an environmental social scientist interested in the social and cultural dimensions of natural resource management. Understanding how the natural world is imagined, valued and planned as an asset for human well-being is the preoccupying concern of my research.

Much of my work is centred on rural and agricultural landscapes and is distinguished by its interdisciplinary, participatory and problem-centred focus, as well as by direct intervention in the policy process.  In recent years I have been particularly associated with the development of ecosystem based approaches to natural resource management, which I seek to influence and shape from a social science and critical starting point.

Rosie Hails Rosemary Hails
I am the Science Director for Biodiversity and Ecosystems Services at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH).   I am Chair of the Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment (ACRE) and a member of the Natural Environment Research Council Science Board as well as Council member of the RSPB. I lead the co-ordination team for the Valuing Nature Programme, a £7 million interdisciplinary research programme funded by NERC, ESRC, BBSRC, Defra and AHRC. I am a Vice President and member of the Board for the BES and in 2008 co-founded the Natural Capital Initiative in collaboration with the BES and The Royal Society of Biology. I was a member of the expert panel and an author for the UK National Ecosystem Assessment and a member of the first Natural Capital Committee. I was awarded an MBE for services to environmental research in June 2000.
In mid-July 2018 I will be moving from CEH to take up the new position of Director of Science and Nature for the National Trust.

Cecily MallerCecily Maller
I am an Associate Professor in the Centre for Urban Research at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia where I co-lead the People, Nature, Place Research Program. My research focuses on human-environment interactions in urban settings in the context of everyday life. I am particularly interested in how people interact with animals and plants in homes and neighbourhoods, how these interactions affect health and wellbeing, and the implications for making cities greener and more biodiverse. As part of this work, I am a lead investigator for the Australian Government’s Clean Air and Urban Landscapes Hub (funded by the National Environmental Sciences Program). I have been interested in the health benefits of contact with nature since working on the Healthy Parks, Healthy People initiative in the early 2000s. Although an interdisciplinary scholar, my work is broadly situated in human geography, specialising in post-humanist approaches and qualitative methods.

Article types

People and Nature will consider the following article types.

Research –empirical, conceptual and theoretical submissions are considered in this category. For empirical research qualitative, quantitative or mixed methodologies will be considered.

Review and synthesis – these should identify evidence gaps or interpret evidence for stakeholders. Standard literature reviews will not be considered.

Correspondence – these are short comments on articles published in the journal, or the original authors’ response to a correspondence piece

Perspective – short provocative articles designed to stimulate debate

Debates and conversations – commissioned pairs of articles giving two sides of a debate. These will not be available to submit without an invitation.

Please divide the main text of your manuscript into clearly labelled sections that best suit the story of your article. We do not impose strict length restrictions on submissions to People and Nature, however please ensure the length of your article is appropriate to your purpose. Editors will consider this when making their assessment. In general research articles will tend to be around 8000 words.