Personal profile

Career

  • Associate Professor, University of East Anglia (2021 -)
  • Lecturer, University of East Anglia (2014 - 2021)
  • NERC Fellow, University of East Anglia (2011 – 2014)
  • BBSRC Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Reading (2008-2011)
  • Research Fellow, University of Reading (2006-2008)
  • Research Biologist, RSPB (2004-2006)
  • DPhil – Conservation Ecology, University of Oxford (2004)
  • MRes – Ecology & Environmental Management, University of York (2001)
  • BSc – Zoology, University of Nottingham (1998)

ResearcherID:

http://www.researcherid.com/rid/H-1703-2011   

Key Research Interests

My research aims to develop and enhance the evidence-base explaining continued global biodiversity losses and supporting the targeted delivery of conservation management measures designed to halt them. I use a range of observational, experimental and modelling approaches to address the mechanistic links between land-use change and biodiversity health and to identify potential synergies and conflicts between competing demands for space, particularly in agricultural and woodland systems. The pure science foundations of my research are explicitly linked to applied endpoints; I use this research to identify appropriate preventative or mitigation measures to conserve biodiversity and to facilitate the development of sustainable, multi-functional systems. Increasingly this work is adopting interdisciplinary approaches to explore the implications of biodiversity loss for human health and well-being. I am also interested in the development of objective frameworks for selecting indicator species.

Research Projects

Grants:

  • Economics of Biodiversity Programme Coordinator (NERC/ESRC grant, Co-PI 2023-2026)
  • Valuing the mental health and well-being benefits of nature engagment through measures of soundscape complexity (NERC/ESRC grant, PI 2022-2025)
  • Using population synchrony to target conservation action (NERC grant, PI 2020-2023)
  • Seasonal interactions and rapid population declines in Afro-Palaearctic migratory birds (NERC grant, Co-I with Dr J Gill 2014-2017)
  • Quantifying functional space requirements to improve the targeted delivery of conservation management (NERC Fellowship 2011-2014)

PhD projects:

  • From landscape to soundscape: what drives spatial variation in natural soundscape characteristics? (PhD; William Gough 2023-2027)
  • Linking landscape structure to productivity and population change in migratory birds (PhD; Sarah Binnie 2021-2025)
  • The genetic basis of emigration behaviour in Tribolium castaneum, a major post-harvet crop pest (PhD; Michael Pointer 2019-2023; co-supervisor with Prof D Richardson)
  • The role of birds in tropical perennial systems: the effect of landscape and management approaches on ecosystem service and disservice provision (PhD; Natalia Zielonka 2019-2023; co-supervisor with Prof L Dicks, University of Cambridge)
  • Combining habitat conservation and risk modelling to save the endangered Barberry Carpet moth (PhD; William Millard 2020-2023; Supervisory Team with Prof D Saunders, JIC)

Other projects:

  • Sonic ornithology - a data sonification project in collaboration with Kingsley Ash (Leeds Beckett University, http://kingsleyash.com/) converting bird census and land-use data into music and sound. Preliminary work presented at the International Ornithological Conference, Tokyo 2014

Completed PhD projects

  • Drivers of ocean movement patterns in Round Island petrels (PhD; Kirsty Franklin, completed 2023; co-supervisor with Prof J Gill)
  • Road verges for bumblebee conservation: a green infrastructure opportunity or an ecological trap (PhD; Claire Wallace, completed 2023; co-supervisor with Prof L Dicks, University of Cambridge)
  • Improving and extending the use of biodiversity indices (PhD; Enya O'Reilly, completed 2023)
  • The role of habitat and climate change in recent declines in Eastern and Western populations of European rollers Coracias garrulus (PhD; Phil Saunders, completed 2017; co-supervisor with Dr A Franco)
  • Intra-specific variation in the breeding ecology and population dynamics of the European Roller Coracias garrulus (PhD; Tom Finch, completed 2016)
  • The ecology of Hispaniolan Solenodon and Hispaniolan Hutia in agricultural and native forest systems in the Dominican Republic (PhD; Ros Kennerley, completed 2014; co-supervisor with Dr M Nicoll, University of Reading)
  • The benefits of agri-environmental management: insights from the wider countryside (PhD; Helen Hicks, completed 2014; co-supervisor with Prof K Norris, University of Reading)
  • Changes in UK wild bird populations and their cultural values (PhD; Natalie Clark, completed 2014; co-supervisor with Prof K Norris, University of Reading)
  • Assessing changes in land-use on the nest-site selection, population dynamics and feeding ecology of the Little Owl in Britain (PhD; Emily Joachim, completed 2012; co-supervisor with Dr M Nicoll, University of Reading)

Life in our Research Group

Our research focuses on the links between land-use change, resource availability and population dynamics. We currently work with national and international conservation NGOs on a range of study systems in the UK, Europe and further afield and would be interested in discussing potential collaborative projects with conservation organisations. The group is part of the Organisms and Environment Research theme, the Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Conservation (CEEC) and has links with the School of Environmental Sciences and the wider Norwich Research Park. Each of these organizations runs seminar programs and social events and group members are encouraged to attend and present at national and international conferences.

PhD Positions 

Click here for current PhD opportunities in Biological Sciences. Please email me to discuss PhD opportunities and projects within the School of Biological Sciences.

Postdocs & Fellows

I am always happy to discuss possibilities for post-doctoral research projects, collaborations and funding applications.

Teaching Interests

  • Ecological Survey Methods (BIO-7028Y)
  • Conservation, Ecology and Biodiversity in the Tropics: Field course (BIO-5020K) 
  • Maths and Skills for Biologists (BIO-4008Y)
  • Supervision of undergraduate and MSc Applied Ecology & Conservation dissertation projects

Administrative Posts

  • Course Director: MSc Applied Ecology & Conservation (2023 -)
  • Organisms and Environment Theme leader (2022 -)
  • BIO Plagiarism & Collusion Officer (2019 - 2023)
  • UEA Senate Student Discipline Committee; Senate Student Discipline Appeals Committee (2021 -)
  • BIO Research Staff coordinator (2016 - 2021)
  • Member of BIO PGT Exam Board
  • Module Organiser: Ecological Survey Methods (BIO-7028Y)

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or