Dr. Elsa Maria Cardona Santos

Postdoctoral researcher

Department Conservation Biology and Social-Ecological Systems
für Umweltforschung - UFZ
Permoserstr. 15
04318 Leipzig, Germany


elsa maria cardona santos


2013 - 2018 Doctoral research on the allocation of Payments for Environmental Services, University of Bonn
2011 - 2013 Master of Science in Food and Resource Economics, University of Bonn
2008 - 2011 Bachelor of Science in Economics, University of Freiburg

Work experience

since 2022 Postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Conservation Biology & Social-Ecological Systems, Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ)
2020 - 2022 Project manager at the Department of Biodiversity and Nature Protection, Environmental Action Germany (DUH)
2013 - 2020 Research fellow at the Institute for Food and Resource Economics, University of Bonn
2011 - 2013 Research assistant, Center for Development Research (ZEF)

Research Interests

I am interested in the social aspects of nature conservation, the possibilities of reconciliation between ecological and socioeconomic systems, and nature-human relationships. My current work focuses on the integration of biodiversity goals in the political agendas of different sectors.


Cardona Santos, E.M.(2022). Enabling rewilding: society and nature. Federal Agency for Nature Conservation BfN Script 637, 46-53

Cardona Santos, E.M., Storm, H., & Rasch, S. (2021). The cost-effectiveness of conservation auctions in the presence of asset specificity: An agent-based model. Land Use Policy, 102, 104907.

Cardona Santos, E.M. (2018). Allocation of Payments for Environmental Services through auctions & the role of social interaction.

Jack, K. and Cardona Santos, E.M. (2017). The leakage and livelihood impacts of auctioned vs randomly allocated PES contracts: Evidence from Malawi, Land Use Policy 63, 645-658