Photo of Laura Thomas-Walters

Laura Thomas-Walters

University of Stirling
United Kingdom
Email: lathowal [at] gmail [period/dot] com

Laura Thomas-Walters is conservation social scientist, currently exploring experimental video games as a research and behaviour change tool. Her research has focussed on applying psychological insights into human behaviour to help tackle some of conservation’s most pressing problems, including the illegal wildlife trade. She has studied the design and evaluation of behaviour change interventions, drawing upon work across multiple disciplines and methodologies. She is increasingly interested in narratives around dietary change.

Laura Thomas-Walters’s Website.


Laure Boissat, Laura Thomas-Walters, Diogo Veríssimo. 2021. “Nature Documentaries as Catalysts for Change: Mapping Out the ‘Blackfish Effect’”. People & Nature. [In press]

Laura Thomas‐Walters et al. 2021. “An Optimistic Outlook on the Use of Evidence Syntheses to Inform Environmental Decision‐making.” Conservation Science and Practice. 3(6): e426.

Laura Thomas‐Walters, Amy Hinsley, et al. 2020. “Motivations for the Use and Consumption of Wildlife Products.” Conservation Biology. 35(2): 483–91.

Laura Thomas-Walters, Diogo Veríssimo, et al. 2020. “Taking a More Nuanced Look at Behavior Change for Demand Reduction in the Illegal Wildlife Trade.” Conservation Science and Practice. 2(9): e248.

Laura Thomas‐Walters et al. 2020. “Challenges in the Impact Evaluation of Behaviour Change Interventions: The Case of Sea Turtle Meat and Eggs in São Tomé.” People and Nature: 2(4): 913–22.

Laura Thomas-Walters, Hubert Cheung, et al. 2020. “Targeted Values: The Relevance of Classical Chinese Philosophy for Illegal Wildlife Demand Reduction Campaigns.” People and Nature. 2(4): 964–71.

Alegría Olmedo, […] Laura Thomas-Walters, et al. 2020. “A Scoping Review of Celebrity Endorsement in Environmental Campaigns and Evidence for Its Effectiveness.” Conservation Science and Practice. 2(10): e261.

Jones, Julia P. G., Laura Thomas‐Walters, Niki A. Rust, and Diogo Veríssimo. 2019. “Nature Documentaries and Saving Nature: Reflections on the New Netflix Series Our Planet.” People and Nature. 1(4): 420–25.

Laura Thomas-Walters, Claire McNulty, and Diogo Verissimo. 2019. “A Scoping Review into the Impact of Animal Imagery on Pro-Environmental Outcomes.” Ambio. 49: 1135–1145.

Laura Thomas-Walters, and Nichola J Raihani. 2017. “Supporting Conservation: The Roles of Flagship Species and Identifiable Victims.” Conservation Letters 10(5): 581–87.

Media Coverage

Laura Thomas-Walters’ work on environmental threats in nature documentaries discussed by Laura Thomas-Walters, “Seven Worlds, One Planet: why David Attenborough’s latest series disappointed me”, The Conversation UK, October 28, 2019. Republished by Yahoo News.

  • Also discussed by British Ecological Society, “Nature documentaries increasingly talk about threats to nature, but still don’t show them”,, September 17, 2019.
  • Also discussed by Christopher Intagliata, “Nature Docs Avoid Habitat Destruction”, Scientific American, September 24, 2019.
  • Also discussed by Ali Pattillo, “Nature Docs Have a Starving Polar Bear Problem”, Inverse, September 24, 2019.

Laura Thomas-Walters’ work on reducing demand for wildlife products discussed by Laura Thomas-Walters, “How can we stop people wanting to buy illegal wildlife products?”, The Conversation UK, July 09, 2020. Republished by, Metro, and The Japan Herald.

Laura Thomas-Walters’ work on consumer motivations in the wildlife trade discussed by Laura Thomas-Walters, “Five reasons people buy illegal wildlife products – and how to stop them”, The Conversation UK, September 03, 2020. Republished by Iflscience and Yahoo News.

Laura Thomas-Walters’ work on Chinese cultural values and behaviour change communication discussed by University of Kent, “The role of Chinese cultural values in illegal wildlife trade interventions”,, August 05, 2020. Republished by EurekaAlert! and ScienMag.