Grant hails from Cape Town, South Africa. He did his bachelor's degree at the University of Cape Town and later completed a PhD at the Norwegian School of Economics. In between undergraduate and graduate studies, he worked for several years in the private sector and also did some extensive travelling. Most notable was a 12,500 km bicycle journey from Cairo to Cape Town. His research fields are environmental and resource economics, with interests in climate, energy, water and fisheries. His work utilises economic theory and Bayesian data analysis alongside traditional econometrics. He is particularly excited by the promise of big data and the prospect of using new tools to address environmental and social questions.