Image of Dr Colm Bowe

Dr Colm Bowe

School of Biological and Environmental Sciences

Faculty of Science


Telephone: 0151 231 2133

Colm is a Reader in Engagement for Environment and Sustainability. He is the (founding) lead of the LJMU Natural Capital Hub and is Development Manager at Nature North (through secondment).

Colm’s research largely focuses on embedding the natural capital approach in decision making and planning. Much of his research looks to engage with key stakeholders outside academia such as business, policy makers and conservation practitioners.

Through a secondment as Development Manager he currently leads Nature North (see This is an innovative collaboration of organisations including government agencies, conservation NGO's, Protected Landscape organisations and funders looking to drive green economic growth and climate resilience through nature recovery in the North of England.

At LJMU he leads the Natural Capital Hub, a centre for research and knowledge exchange working on various aspects of natural capital, including mapping, natural capital finance and embeddings it use in decision making and policy. This work has led to the development of the mapping approach EcoservR ( Through the Hub he works with a number of partners to apply the approach including LEPs and Combined Authorities, Conservation NGO's, Community Forests and Government Departments and Agencies across England and Scotland. This includes the evaluation of major national level programmes such as Nature for Climate. The hub is seeking to improve natural capital literacy, skills and understanding across all stages of the green-skills pipeline from school children, university students and graduates to those already in work across various sectors. Colm has also worked with business to quantify natural capital externalities within supply chains and understand the role of the private sector and natural capital in post Brexit agricultural policy.

He is a member of many environmental committees within the LCR. He chairs the Liverpool City Region Natural Capital Working Group a subgroup of the Local Nature Partnership Nature Connected.

Earlier research focused on sustainable agriculture through the domestication and commercialisation of underutilised tree species in the tropics and elsewhere. This work included carrying out spatial analysis to identify the effects climate change on the distribution of such species.

Colm joined the School of Biological and Environmental Science at LJMU in 2010 as a Senior Lecturer in Environmental Science. He has held a number of teaching leadership roles in the School such as Programme Leader in BSc Wildlife Conservation (2014 - 2020) and Link Tutor for LJMU accredited degree courses at the Centre for Alternative Technology, Wales (2017 - 2020).


2007, University of Southampton, United Kingdom, PhD
2001, Durham University, United Kingdom, BSc Environmental Management

Academic appointments

Reader in Engagement for Environment and Sustainability, School of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, 2022 - present
Programme Manager BSc Wildlife Conservation, Natural Science and Psychology, Liverpool John Moores University, 2014 - 2020
Senior Lecturer, Natural Science and Psychology, Liverpool John Moores University, 2010 - 2022
Research Fellow, Engineering and the Environment, University of Southampton, 2006 - 2010

Journal article

Cont S, Rowley A, Knowles Z, Bowe C. 2023. The perceptions of trainee teachers towards Forest School, does connection to nature matter? Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning, DOI Publisher Url Public Url

Dowdall L, Bowe C, Kirby JR. 2022. The Natural Capital approach: A framework for the successful recovery of nature in estuaries Ecological Solutions and Evidence, 3 DOI Publisher Url Public Url

Tinch R, Beamont N, Sunderland T, Ozdemiroglu E, Barton D, Bowe C, Börger T, Burgess P, Cooper CN, Faccioli M, Failler P, Gkolemi I, Kumar R, Longo A, McVittie A, Morris J, Park J, Ravenscroft N, Schaafsma M, Vause J, Ziv G. 2019. Economic valuation of ecosystem goods and services: a review for decision makers Journal of Environmental Economics and Policy, DOI Publisher Url Public Url

Green JHH, Cranston GR, Sutherland WJ, Tranter H.R. , Bell SJ, Benton TG, Blixt E, Bowe C, et. al. . 2016. Research priorities for managing the impacts and dependencies of business upon food, energy, water and the environment Sustainability Science, DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Bowe C, der Horst DV. 2015. Positive externalities, knowledge exchange and corporate farm extension services; a case study on creating shared value in a water scarce area Ecosystem Services, 15 :1-10 DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Bourou S, Bowe C, Diouf M, Van Damme P. 2012. Ecological and human impacts on stand density and distribution of tamarind (Tamarindus indica L.) in Senegal African Journal of Ecology, 50 :253-265 DOI Author Url Publisher Url

Bowe C, Haq N. 2010. Quantifying the global environmental niche of an underutilised tropical fruit tree (Tamarindus indica) using herbarium records Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 139 :51-58 DOI Author Url Publisher Url

TRABUCCO A, ACHTEN WMJ, BOWE C, AERTS RAF, ORSHOVEN JV, NORGROVE L, MUYS B. 2010. Global mapping of Jatropha curcas yield based on response of fitness to present and future climate GCB Bioenergy, 2 :139-151 DOI Author Url Publisher Url


Rouquette J, Fenn T, Anger-Blondin S, Ashby M, Zini V, Busdieker K, Bowe C. 2021. Cheshire and Warrington Natural Capital Audit and Investment Plan Author Url

Busdieker K, Angers-Blondin S, Rouquette J, Holt A, Bowe C. 2020. Quantifying environmental (natural capital) net gain and loss - Urban development demonstration: Liverpool City Region Author Url

Holt A, Bowe C, Rouquette J, Angers-Blondin S, Busdieker K. 2020. Baseline natural capital assessment for the Liverpool City Region Publisher Url

Angers-Blondin S, Pimblett J, Bellamy C, Rouquette J, Holt A, Varley M, Bowe C. 2020. EcoservR: a natural capital mapping tool for measuring public goods. ELM Test and Trial 074 Author Url

Bowe C, Cranston G, Walsh L. 2017. The inescapable truth: Brexit, business and natural capital. University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership

Bowe C, van der Horst D, Meghwanshi C. 2013. Assessing the Externalities of SABMillers’s barley extension program

Bowe C, van der Horst D, Cranston G, Le Vernoy A. 2013. Natural Capital Leadership Summary of SABMiller Case Study: The (Sustainable) Business Case for Natural Capital Valuation

Pearson A, Bowe C. Review and development of evidence base of Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and Special Protection Areas (SPAs) in the Cheshire to Lancashire area Review and development of evidence base of Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and Special Protection Areas (SPAs) in the Cheshire to Lancashire area


Bowe C, Scott A, Smith A, Chamberlain B, Clavey L. 2021. Chapter 9: Embedding nature-based solutions in strategic spatial planning Stafford R, Chamberlain B, Clavey L, Gillingham P, McKain S, Morecroft M, Morrison-Bell C, Watts O. Nature-based Solutions for Climate Change in the UK: A Report by the British Ecological Society. :135-150 Author Url

Haq N, Bowe C, Dunisger Z. 2007. Challenges to stimulating the adoption and impact of indigenous fruit trees in tropical agriculture Akinnifesi FK, Leakey RRB, Ajayi O, Sileshi G, Matakala P, Kwesiga F. Indigenous fruit trees in the tropics CABI 9781845931100 DOI Publisher Url

Bowe C. 2006. Chapter 2 Composition Williams JT, Smith RW, Haq N, Dunsinger Z. Fruits for the Future 2 - Ber and other jujubes :18-28 ICUC. Southampton 9780854328581

Conference publication

Bowe C, Van der Horst D. 2016. Business Valuation of Natural Capital; learning by doing Rethinking capital publication, Series 2 Natural Capital, ICAEW Rethinking Capitals Publisher Url Public Url

Haq N, Bowe C, Dunsiger ZE. 2008. A case for promotion of tropical underutilised fruits for improvement of livelihoods Smart J, Haq N. New Crops and Uses: Their role in a rapidly changing world :288-299

Bowe C. 2007. Potential answers to the adaptation to and mitigation of climate change through the adoption of underutilised crops Tropical Agricultue Association Newsletter, South West Seminar on Underutilised Crops 27

Research Grants Awarded:

Woodland Trust, Northern Forest Evaluation - first 5 years of planting, Grant value (£): 29,495. 2024

DEFRA, Nature for Climate Woodland Creation Evaluation, Grant value (£): 218,055, Duration of research project: 1.5 years. 2023

St Helens Council, Opportunity Mapping to Support BNG, Grant value (£): 4500. 2023

Environment Agency, Natural Capital Opportunity Mapping for North West and Eastern Hub, Grant value (£): 84,497, Duration of research project: 2 years. 2023

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, Natural Capital Digital Guide - Supporting doc for LCR Spatial Development Strategy, Grant value (£): 9215. 2023

NatureScot, Developing a Landscape Scale Natural Capital Tool for Scotland, Grant value (£): 54,310. 2022

DEFRA/Environment Agency, NEIRF - Investing in Nature in the Liverpool City Region, LCR Combined Authority/Merseyside Environmental Advisory Service, Grant value (£): 99,000, Duration of research project: 1 year. 2022

Mersey Forest/Community Forest Trust/Trees for Climate, Spatial evaluation of woodland planting across England's Community Forests, Sylva, Grant value (£): 174,964, Duration of research project: 3. 2022

DEFRA/National Lottery Heritage Fund, Community Forest Trust - More from Trees: a green recovery through the Mersey Forest, Mersey Forest, Cheshire Wildlife Trust, Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group, Plant a Tree Today Foundation, Grant value (£): 1,326,700, Duration of research project: 1.5 years. 2021

DEFRA - Natural Environment Investment Fund, Doubling Nature, Mersey Forest, Grant value (£): 90,000. 2021

NLHF/EFF/Nature North, Nature North Secondment, Grant value (£): 262,589, Duration of research project: 4 years 5 months. 2020

DEFRA, ELMS Test and Trial: A Natural Capital Mapping Tool for Measuring Public Goods - T&T 074 Upper Dane Catchment, Grant value (£): 50,000, Duration of research project: 9 months. 2019

Mersey Forest/CFT's, Spatial Mapping + Modelling Natural Capital Evaluation of CFT planting for Tree for Climate, Grant value (£): 99,140. 2019

MGET, Exploring a natural capital approach in the Upper Mersey Estuary for improved decision making and investment in the environment., Grant value (£): 30,531, Duration of research project: 3 Years. 2019

Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Exploring Local Implementation of DEFRA’s 25 Year Plan: Learning lessons from embedding the Natural Capital Approach in a Northern Coastal City Region, Grant value (£): 45,335, Duration of research project: 10 months. 2018

Valuing Nature Network (VNN) Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Developing understanding and strategies for business to engage and inform UK Food and Farming policy to ensure that Natural Capital is an integral part., University of Cambridge, Grant value (£): 22,599, Duration of research project: 3 months. 2016

Natural England, Evidence Review – Natura 2000 Sites in North West, Grant value (£): 10000. 2015

Valuing Nature Programme (VNP) Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Valuing externalities in a business context, Grant value (£): 6000, Duration of research project: 6 months. 2012


Edie Awards Celebrating sustainability leadership, Nature and Biodiversity Project of the Year Finalist 2024., Edie Awards, 2024

University Winner (overall) Vice Chancellor's Award for Excellence in the promotion of sustainability in Research and Knowledge Exchange, Liverpool John Moores University. 2022

Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Excellence - Shortlisted - Excellence in Planning for the Natural Environment category, Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), 2021

Finalist - Outstanding Project or Action for the Year of the Environment 2020., Echo Environment Awards, 2020

Celebrating Success Impact Award, Liverpool John Moores University. 2016

External committees:

Liverpool City Region Natural Capital Working Group, Nature Connected, Chair. 2019

Steering Group, Liverpool City Region Year of the Environment, Member, 2018

Biodiversity and Environment Research Board, Mersey Gateway Environmental Trust, Member, 2018

Liverpool City Region Local Nature Partnership, Nature Connect, Member/Management team member, 2017

Liverpool City Region Climate Partnership Board, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, Member.