Key Research Interests and Expertise

My research group works in four core research areas:

  • Unravelling the mechanisms underlying changes in dispersal capacity and migratory behaviour and their links to global environmental change
  • Development of niche theory and envelop models for native and non-native species
  • Conservation of endangered species
  • Selection of priority areas for conservation

These research areas come together to understand the mechanisms underlying species range changes, this information is essential to identify appropriate conservation measures for endangered species and biodiversity in a changing world.

The work of my research group and collaborators has shown that the southern range margin of northern butterfly species is retracting and this has been associated with recent temperature increases. Dispersal abilities vary dramatically between species and we have demonstrated that small scale movement parameters of species can help us understand species movement capacity in fragmented and heterogeneous landscapes.  

Native and non-native species distributions are changing presenting interesting challenges for the conservation of biodiversity and the establishment of effective protected areas. Some of the applications of my work include the identification of priority areas for conservation that account for species capacity to respond to environmental change. this is particularly interesting and challenging for migratory species that move across continents and have suffered sharp population declines in recent decades.

We interact with several Environmental NGOs (BTO, Birdlife International, Audubon Society, SEO, LPN, SPEA) based in the UK, Spain, Portugal and US, and aim to produce scientific evidence that can be used to design effective conservation measures aiming to protect endangered species and conserve biodiversity.

My group is dynamic and international.  I will be happy to establish new collaborations and supervise PhD students in the areas mentioned above.

Publications: EPrints Digital Repository

Research Group Membership


Rita Ramos
FCT- Portugal PhD student (2020-2024)
Project: Movement, behaviour and microclimate habitat requirements of endangered grassland birds in a warming world


Bruno Herlander
FCT- Portugal PhD student (2020-2024)

Project: Ecological and evolutionary implications of anthropogenic food subsidies on wildlife: the White-stork as a case study


Joao Gameiro
FCT- Portugal PhD student (2018-2022)

Project: Population and environmental drivers of long-term persistence of conservation reliant species


Jethro Gauld
NERC EnvEast DTP PhD student (2018-2022)

Project: Improving detection and estimation of birds’ collision risk with energy infrastructure


Ines Catry
Post-doctoral Research Fellow (2018-2023)

FCT Project: Effects of climate on the breeding biology, habitat quality and population dynamics of steppe birds   


Marta Acacio
NERC CDT NEXUSS PhD Student (2018-2021)
Project: The influence of environmental variables on the migratory behaviour of white storks


Claire Buchan
NERC Env EAST DPT PhD Student (2017-2021)
Project: Demographic consequences of different migratory strategies in a partially migratory species


Past lab members


Kate Rogerson
NERC EnvEAST DTP PhD student (2015-2019)
Project: Mechanisms driving changes in the migratory behaviour of long-lived birds in response to global environmental change


Marta Acacio - Research assistant (2013-2017)
NERC Proof-of-concept: Long-range wireless devices for high-resolution monitoring of animal movement 


Phil Saunders
NERC Case PhD student (2012-2016)
Project: The role of habitat and climate change in recent declines in Eastern and Western populations of European rollers (Coracias garrulus)


Osgur McDermott Long
PhD student (2013-2017)
Project: Response of Biodiversity to Climate Variability and Climate Change


James Gilroy
Post-doctoral Research Fellow (2014-2016)

NERC Project: Migratory decisions in a changing world: mechanisms and drivers of changing migratory behaviour - 


Nathalie Gilbert
NERC PhD student CASE project with BTO (2011-2015)

Project: The role of climate and habitat changes in changing species migratory decisions and population dynamics


Ricardo Correia
FCT  PhD student (2010-2014)

Project: Climate change effects on land use and bird communities of Iberian Peninsula extensive agricultural systems: a conservation approach (with J. Palmeirim, University of Lisbon)


Martin Sullivan
NERC PhD student (2010-2013)
Project: Environmental and climatic factors that influence current and future distributions of non-native breeding bird species in Southern Europe


Audrey Zannese
Post-doctoral Research Fellow (PDRA) (2010-2013)

NERC project: The role of dispersal on species’ ability to respond to climate change


Eveliina Kallioniemi
UEA PhD student (2009-2013)
Project: The role of dispersal on species ability to track climate change

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