Biography

I am a conservation ecologist interested in movement ecology, biogeography and ecological responses to global change.  After obtaining a PhD at UEA, I worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Universities of Leeds, York and Washington State in the US. I then returned to UEA in 2009 for an academic position.

My early work involved identifying measures to protect a globally endangered species (lesser kestrel). I worked alongside non-governmental organisations and have demonstrated that targeted conservation efforts can be effective for providing conservation outputs. This research convinced me that scientific research and conservation in practice can work together to provide successful conservation outputs. My work was included in the Wildlife comeback in Europe report. 

I am interested in understanding global patterns of distribution of biodiversity and the drivers and determinants underlying species range limits, at different spatial scales. My research focuses on the effects of habitat loss and climate change and I investigate the different mechanisms species have to respond to environmental change.

My group is involved in developing and testing new tracking technologies to investigate recent changes in animal movement strategies, in particular: the establishment of non-migratory populations in previously wholly migratory species. Ultimately we are interested in the identifying the drivers and determinants underlying these recent changes in the migratory behaviour of animals.

 

 Research projects

- NERC SHEAR catalyst BOULDER: Accounting for BOUlders in Landslide-flood Disaster Evaluation and Resilience. PI Georgie Bennett, University of Exeter.

- Refugial Populations at Trailing-Edge Range Margins: Attributes, Survival and Conservation. NERC funded (2015-2018) PI Chris Thomas, University of York

- Migratory decisions in a changing world: mechanisms and drivers of changing migratory behaviour, NERC funded (2013-2016)

    - Understanding the migratory behaviour of long-lived species and responses to global environmental change using state-of-the-art GPS/GSM loggers, NERC, ELSA and NRP funded

     Website: http://www.bto.org/science/migration/tracking-studies/stork-tracking

We have studied the movement of white storks and quantified how important landfill resources are for the resident birds. We have shown that resident birds use their nests all year round and that storks nesting near landfill have smaller home ranges than storks breeding further away: http://movementecologyjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40462-016-0070-0

- Understanding causes and consequences of the extreme thermal sensitivity of male fertility using a model insect, NERC funded (2013-2016) PI- Matt Gage, UEA

- The role of dispersal in species' ability to respond to climate change, NERC funded (2010-2013)

Development of animal tracking devices

I coordinate the Movetech Telemetry project at UEA, this is a collaboration with BTO and University of Porto, Portugal. We develop state-of-the-art tracking devices for wildlife that include multiple sensors (e.g. barometer, accelerometer).

NERC Proof-of-Concept (2016-2017) Long range wireless devices for high-resolution monitoring of animal movement. Co-Is JP Silva (UL e UP), P Atkinson (BTO)

Norwich Research Park Innovation Fund (2016) MoveTech – State-of-the art loggers for tracking animal movement. Co-Is JP Silva (UL e UP), P Atkinson (BTO)

 UEA Proof-of-Concept fund (2015) Development of light weight GPS/GSM loggers. Co-Is JP Silva, (UL e UP), P Atkinson (BTO)

https://www.uea.ac.uk/movetech/devices 

 PhD and postdoctoral positions

Two fully-funded PhD projects:

Designing protected areas networks that incorporate animal movement and habitat connectivity

Supervisors: Aldina Franco (UEA), Carlos Peres (UEA), Carlos David Santos (Universidade Federal do Para', Brazil) and Tiziana Luisetti (CEFAS) 

How can we achieve biodiversity net gain?

Supervisors: Alan Bond, Chris Gerrard, Julia Baker and Aldina Franco (UEA)

I am happy to accept PhD students and postdocs and to help develop funding applications (e.g Marie Curie, FCT, SwB). I also speak Portuguese and Spanish and have a international group of students and postdocs.  

Click here for current PhD opportunities in the School of Environmental Sciences. However, feel free to email me to discuss projects outside these areas and alternative sources of funding.


 

Career

  • 2013- present Senior Lecturer/Reader, University of East Anglia
  • 2009 - 2013: Lecturer, University of East Anglia
  • 2008: Postdoctoral Researcher, Washington State University, USA
  • 2004 - 2007: Postdoctoral Researcher, University of York
  • 2003 - 2004: Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Leeds
  • 1997 - 1999: Co-ordinator of a EU LIFE-Nature Project on the Conservation of the Steppe Birds in Portugal, Ligue for Protection of Nature (LPN), Portugal
  • 1998: Research Associate, Institute for Conservation of Nature (ICN), Portugal  

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