Tony Gross studied literature, politics, rural sociology, social anthropology and development economics in the UK before moving to Brazil in the 1970s. He undertook doctoral research on social movements and conflicts over land and natural resources in the Brazilian Amazon region.
As an Adjunct Senior Fellow of UNU-IAS since 2004, he contributes to the work of the Biodiplomacy Initiative and Traditional Knowledge Initiative on issues relating to access to genetic resources, benefit-sharing, traditional knowledge, and national implementation of global biodiversity-related treaties. He has recently completed (with Christian Prip and others) a review of national biodiversity strategies and action plans worldwide. Current research includes the impact of REDD (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) initiatives on indigenous peoples and the need for safeguards, and indigenous perceptions of climate change in the North West Amazon region. Other research interests include traditional fire management and carbon trading in tropical savannah regions, and the expansion of Brazilian agribusiness into African savannahs.
Tony has worked for Oxfam and for Brazilian NGOs. He was a member of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity and Director of the Foundation for International Environmental Law and Development. He was a coordinator of the Global Forum at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, has been an adviser on national and global biodiversity issues to the Brazilian Ministry of the Environment since 2005 and is a member of the board of the Instituto Socioambiental. In 2004 he was awarded the Chico Mendes Prize by the State of Acre. He holds Brazilian and UK citizenship and lives in Brasília.