Margaret Insley

Professor Emerita, Adjunct Associate Professor
insley in front of hagey hall
Office: HH 128
CV: Margaret InsleyPersonal websiteGoogle Scholar Profile

BA (Calgary); MA (Alberta); PhD (Guelph)

Areas of specialization: Natural resource and environmental economics; Investment under uncertainty -- real options  

Research interests:

I am interested in the economics of natural resources and the environment. My research explores how market uncertainty affects the efficient use of natural resources such as oil and timber, and how negative environmental consequences can be reduced. I use an approach called real options analysis, which makes use of the tools of finance to analyze decisions under uncertainty.


I did my BA in economics at the University of Calgary and my MA at the University of Alberta. After completing my Master’s degree in the early 1980’s, I worked in Calgary for six years as an economist for an energy company called Nova, An Alberta Corporation. In the late 1980’s I moved to Waterloo and in the 1990’s began PhD studies in economics at the University of Guelph, specializing in the economics of natural resources and the environment. My thesis research examined making optimal decisions under uncertainty in the context of the protection of groundwater resources. I received my PhD in 1996 and in 2002 I accepted my current position as a faculty member in Economics at the University of Waterloo. I teach undergraduate and graduate courses on natural resource economics and decision making under uncertainty. I am supervising a number of PhD students with interests in my research areas. I served as Chair of the Department from 2011 to 2019. 

Selected publications