New ESRC research grant on illegal wildlife trade in European species

We are thrilled to have been awarded a grant of £859,000 by the UK Economic and Social Research Council for our Project BEaStly Business: Examining the illegal trade in Bears, Eels and Songbirds.


Rosaleen Duffy
Charlotte Burns

The project was designed by Prof Rosaleen Duffy (PI), Prof Charlie Burns (Co-I) and co researchers Drs Hannah Dickinson, Teresa Lappe-Osthege and George Iordăchescu. The BIOSEC project showed us that there was a gap in our knowledge about European IWT, and especially how legal and illegal trades in wildlife are mixed together.

The global concern about organised crime targeting charismatic African and Asian species meant that little attention was being paid to the trades within Europe, even though the region is a major player in the illegal wildlife trade –  as source, consumer and transit area . We realised that there is a dearth of understanding of how green collar crime shapes and drives this trade. Green-collar crimes are a particular category of environmental crimes that are committed by legally registered companies involved in illegal activities, or which use their infrastructure to facilitate illicit trade.

Our project will bring together perspectives from green criminology and political ecology to examine  IWT in bears, eels and songbirds. Our team will undertake in depth field based research across Europe on the trades. The project officially begins on 1 April 2021, will run for two years,  and we will shortly advertise a post doctoral fellowship and a Project Manager position.

Hannah Dickinson
George Iordachescu



Teresa Lappe-Osthege








Hannah Dickinson will be a member of the advisory board, she now holds a post on the Circulatory Entanglements project at Durham University – congratulations Hannah!