Laurens Geffert

Ph.D., Geography

2011-2016 Junior Research Fellow (University of Cambridge/WCMC)

Director, Nielsen, Identity Data Scientist

Laurens Geffert conducted his PhD research at the University of Cambridge in cooperation with UNEP-WCMC. Before his PhD he studied Biology, Geography, Ecology and Conservation at the University of Bonn, Germany. His PhD research focused on “Improving range map methodologies for marine taxa”. He tested approaches to account for sampling bias in species occurrence records and developed a method to integrate spatially explicit expert knowledge into quantitative machine learning models to more accurately map commercially important marine fish species. Laurens now works as a Data Scientist and uses psychometric data to better understand human behavior.


Martin C.S., Tolley M.J., Farmer E., Mcowen C.J., Geffert J.L., Scharlemann J.P.W., et al., 2014, A global map to aid the identification and screening of critical habitat for marine industries., Marine Ecosystem, Biodiversity, Marine Habitat, Marine Policy, 53, 45-53, DOI 10.1016/j.marpol.2014.11.007, link

Martin C.S., Fletcher R., Jones M.C., Kaschner K., Sullivan E., Tittensor D.P., Mcowen C., Geffert J.L., van Bochove J.W., Thomas H., Blyth S., Ravillious C., Tolley M., Stanwell-Smith D., 2014, Manual of marine and coastal datasets of biodiversity importance., Marine Ecosystem, Biodiversity, UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.

Singh, G. G., Cisneros-Montemayor, A. M., Swartz, W., Cheung, W., Guy, J. A., Kenny, T. A., McOwen, C. J., Asch. R., Geffert, J. L., Wabnitz, C. C. C., Sumaila, U. R., Hanich, Q., Ota, Y., 2017, A rapid assessment of co-benefits and trade-offs among Sustainable Development Goals, Marine Policy,, link

“I wanted to look at contemporary species distributions, arguing that we have so little data and know so little about the distribution of a lot of species that the logical first step is to look at the contemporary distribution,” says Laurens Geffert, Nereus Fellow at Cambridge/UNEP-WCMC.

June 22, 2016 | Biodiversity