Professor Andy Purvis - Principal investigator
Andy has been at the Natural History Museum since 2013 and before then was at Imperial College's Silwood Park campus from 1995. His research interests include conservation biology, biogeography and macroevolution. He first became interested in modelling species' responses to human impacts when the 1996 IUCN Red List presented the first comprehensive assessment of mammalian conservation status. Together with many others (including Georgina Mace, John Gittleman, Kate Jones, Marcel Cardillo, Rich Grenyer, Jon Bielby, Natalie Cooper and Susanne Fritz), he modelled Red List status empirically to understand how the changes brought about by people interacted with species' biology to determine which species could persist and which would decline globally. With the PREDICTS project, the focus is on how species respond locally – rather than globally – to the changes they face; at the same time, the taxonomic focus is broader, covering all groups for which we are able to collate useful data.
Dr Jörn W P Scharlemann - Co-investigator
Jörn is interested in quantitatively assessing the impacts of environmental changes on biodiversity and identifying policy-relevant strategies to reduce the effects of human impacts. He has recently moved to the University of Sussex in Brighton to take up a readership in ecology and conservation. Before joining the University of Sussex in November 2012, he was the Senior Scientist at UNEP World Conservation MonitoringCentre (UNEP-WCMC) providing scientific expertise and advice to projects, developing a science strategy, and managing a team of scientists involved in biodiversity modelling (in collaboration with Drew Purves, Microsoft Research Cambridge) and spatial analyses. After receiving a BA and MSc from the University of Oxford, a PhD in Zoology from the University of Cambridge, Jörn worked for the RSPB as a research biologist, and held post-doctoral positions at the University of Oxford and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. He regularly uses GIS, remote sensing, statistics and spatial analysis in his research.
Dr Rob Ewers - Co-investigator
Rob works on spatial patterns of forest and the biodiversity contained within those forests. Hi work involves investigating and trying to predict patterns of forest cover from local through to global scales, sampling of taxa within selected landscapes located in both temperate and tropical parts of the world, and manipulative experiments in both the field and lab. Most of the work uses invertebrates as a model system, with a focus on beetles.
A large recent initiative is the Stability of Altered Forest Ecosystems (SAFE) Project. This is one of the world's largest ecological experiments, taking advantage of a planned conversion of forest to oil palm in Borneo to experimentally design a landscape.
Also, see more details about the activities of Rob's research group on the Forest Ecology and Conservation Group website.
Professor Georgina Mace CBE, FRS - Co-investigator
Georgina Mace was previously Director of the NERC Centre for Population Biology at Imperial College and joined UCL on 1st August 2012. Her research interests are in measuring the trends and consequences of biodiversity loss and ecosystem change. She led the development of criteria for listing species on IUCN's Red List of threatened species, and was a coordinating lead author for biodiversity in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Recently she has worked on the UK National Ecosystem Assessment, is a co-investigator on the NERC Valuing Nature Network, and is an Associate Director of the Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation Programme, funded by DfID, NERC and ESRC. She was elected FRS in 2002, and was the 2007 winner of the International Cosmos Prize. She is currently a member of NERC Council, President of the British Ecological Society and Chair of the science committee for the DIVERSITAS global change research programme.
Dr Drew Purves - Co-investigator
Drew Purves is head of the Computational Ecology and Environmental Science group (CEES) at Microsoft Research Cambridge . Before joining Microsoft, Drew studied ecology at Cambridge University, did a PhD in ecological modelling at the University of York (UK), and a 5 year postdoc at Princeton. Drew's overarching research interest is in combining ecological theory with large and varied data sets, via computational statistics, in order to produce quantitative, predictive models of ecological phenomena. Following Drew's lead, the CEES group is using this approach to build new models to address global environmental challenges – e.g. carbon-climate, food security, wood production, biodiversity and ecosystem function, pandemics – whilst developing new software tools to enable others to carry out this kind of ecological modelling.
Drew has published over 30 research papers in top peer-reviewed journals, including Science, PNAS, Proc Roy Soc B, and most of the top ecology-specific journals. In 2012, he was one of 40 'young scientists' worldwide invited to attend the World Economic Forum 'Summer Davos' meeting in Tianjin, China. He lectures at Cambridge University, and is the treasurer of the British Ecological Society, the world's oldest ecological society.
Dr Luca Borger - Project partner
Luca is interested in understanding and predicting how environmental change leads to changes in biodiversity dynamics. His work is not system specific but question-driven, thus he works on contrasting study systems (invertebrates, vertebrates, plants), using experimental, statistical, and simulation modelling approaches. His questions span different levels of ecological organisation, from the behaviour and traits of individuals to the structure and function of landscapes and ecosystems, and Luca is equally excited about basic and applied research, with a keen interest in testing and developing new methods. For more details, see Luca's research group on the Movement Ecology and Biodiversity Dynamics Lab website. Luca has recently moved to Swansea University in Wales to take up a readership/associate professor in ecological biosciences. Before joining Swansea, Luca studied Biology at the University of Pisa (Italy), did a PhD in Zoology at Cambridge, whilst being also visiting PhD student at Imperial College's Silwood Park campus, followed by four years of postdocs in Canada, working on Movement Ecology and species distribution modelling and forest management, and three years of postdoc in France (CNRS & INRA), working on Agroecology. He is Associate Editor for the journals Methods in Ecology and Evolution and Journal of Animal Ecology and Review Editor for Endangered Species Research.
Dr Ben Collen - Project partner
Ben Collen leads a research group focussed on developing integrated measures of the status and trends of biodiversity. He was previously Head of the Indicators and Assessments Unit at the Zoological Society of London, and joined UCL's Centre for Biodiversity & Environment Research on the 1st April 2013. His research is directed at using ecological and evolutionary principles to identify the processes underpinning heterogeneity in response (e.g. extinction risk, abundance change, range change, extinction) to a range of drivers of biodiversity loss (e.g. climate change, habitat degradation and exploitation). He has carried out field projects in Kenya, Equatorial Guinea, Mongolia, Australia, Tanzania, Liberia and most recently the Antarctic.
Dr Lawrence Hudson - Post-doctoral research associate
Lawrence is a post-doc in Andy Purvis' lab at the Natural History Museum , working on PREDICTS. Before starting on the project, he completed a PhD on the structure and dynamics of food webs with Dan Reuman at Imperial College London. He is the author and maintainer of the Cheddar R package.
Dr Tim Newbold - Post-doctoral research associate
Tim is an ecologist, whose main interest is in understanding the impact of human activities on the ecological communities. As well as working on the PREDICTS project, he also part of a team building a global mechanistic model of ecosystem structure and function, The Madingley Model. Tim studied Zoology and completed a PhD on Egyptian biodiversity at Nottingham University.
Sara Contu - Technician
Sara has a MSc in Natural Sciences with a Conservation focus and she is interested in how human activities influence ecological processes and how this is changing species' distribution ranges and conservation status. She has worked as IUCN Conservation Assessor for several Institutions, including the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and the Natural History Museum, assessing plant species' risk of extinction.
Dr Sam Hill - Technician
Sam's past research focussed on the conservation of aquatic invertebrates with a particular interest in the role of host-parasite interactions in limiting population sizes and changing population dynamics. Since completing her PhD at the University of Reading, Sam has undertaken post-doctoral research at Bristol University and has worked within private industry.
Dr Adriana De Palma - Post-doctoral Research Associate on PREDICTSv2
Adriana is particularly interested in using extensive ecological datasets to understand how biodiversity is impacted by human activities. Adriana completed her PhD at Imperial College London and the Natural History Museum, which explored land-use impacts on bee diversity in collaboration with the PREDICTS project. She is now the post-doctoral research associate on the new stage of the PREDICTS project, which explores how biodiversity responds over time to land-use impacts.
Have a look at Adriana's blog, The Rostrum, for more information.
Dr Igor Lysenko - Biodiversity GIS analyst
Victoria Burton - PhD student
Victoria completed a BSc in Natural Sciences with the Open University in 2011 followed by an MSc in Taxonomy and Biodiversity at Imperial College London. Her PhD at Imperial focuses on soil and litter biodiversity, investigating how the composition of these communities will respond to predicted land use change in the UK. This combines new and existing data, including extensive datasets from the Natural History Museum Soil Biodiversity Group, where her MSc project was based.
Katia Sanchez Ortiz - PhD student
Katia graduated from the Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos (Mexico) in 2012 with an honours degree in Biology and she completed a MRes in Biodiversity, Evolution & Conservation at University College London. Her PhD at Imperial College London focuses on human impact on islands biodiversity, comparing patterns of biodiversity response to land-use change on islands and mainlands. Her project also investigates whether native and alien species on islands respond differently to land-use change. Katia is currently funded by CONACyT - the National Council of Science and Technology of Mexico.
Helen Phillips - PhD student
Helen started her PhD with the PREDICTS project in 2012, following on from an Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Master's at Imperial. Helen's MSc project was also based with the PREDICTS team; investigating the effect on biodiversity of land-use change at a continent level – with particular focus on the transition of primary forest and secondary forest to plantation forests. For her PhD, Helen continued to expand upon her Master's project, as well as investigate the effect of habitat fragmentation on biodiversity. Helen is now a postdoctoral researcher at the Idiv in Leipzig, Germany.
Helen's PhD has been funded by a Hans Rausing Scholarship.
Terence Chung - MRes student
Terence graduated from Imperial College London in 2016 with an honours degree in Biology. He continued his studies at Imperial College London, studying for his MRes degree in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation. Terence’s thesis project with PREDICTSv2 focuses on the effects of establishment, expansion and intensification of biofuel crops on biodiversity.
Tom Brewer - MRes student
Tom graduated in 2015 from the University of Leeds with a BSc (Hons) in Zoology, which included a 12-month research placement at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory. He is currently enrolled on the MRes in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation at Imperial College London, where he is conducting his winter research project within the PREDICTS team. His project aims to investigate the responses of biodiversity to agricultural expansion and intensification.
Emily Warner - MRes student
Emily is currently studying for an MRes in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation at Imperial College London. Having graduated from a degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Oxford in 2015, Emily spent a year volunteering and working for a number of conservation NGOs, including Trees for Life and Herefordshire Wildlife Trust. Her PREDICTS project will build on her interest in restoration ecology, looking at the terrestrial biodiversity response following habitat restoration.
Jack Bonnick - MRes student
I graduated in 2016 from Oxford Brookes University with a BSc (Hons) in Animal Biology and Conservation. I am currently studying an MRes in Biodiversity, Evolution and Conservation at University College London, in collaboration with ZSL and the Natural History Museum. My research project with the PREDICTS team will focus on the effects of land use change on island biodiversity.
Mark Titley - MRes student
Following his degree in Natural Sciences (Zoology) at the University of Cambridge, Mark worked for two months at UNEP-WCMC, where he first became involved with PREDICTS. Mark’s current research, for his MRes in Ecosystem and Environmental Change at Imperial College London, will investigate how biodiversity responds over time after small-scale deforestation.
Oliver Scott - MRes student
Oliver is currently studying an MRes in Ecosystem and Environmental Change at Imperial College London. Having graduated with a degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Warwick in 2015, he spent a year working in a number of different industries before deciding to continue higher education. His project will focus on the functional traits responsible for resilience in ecosystems undergoing restoration.
Kara Taylor - MRes student
Kara graduated from the University of Chicago in 2015 with a BA in Anthropology and is now pursuing her MRes in Biosystematics at the NHM and Imperial College London. Kara's particular ecological interests are community assembly and, specifically niche-vs-neutral theory, as a framework for considering humans both as members of the ecological community and as strong factors influencing community assembly. Toward that end, Kara is using PREDICTSv1 to investigate how island characteristics create differential effects of anthropogenic disturbance and land use change for native vs alien species.
Dr Claudia Gray - Post-doctoral research associate
Claudia was a post-doc in Jörn Scharlemann's lab at the University of Sussex and is now an EDGE Fellow at the Zoological Society of London . She is interested in human impacts on biodiversity and how scientific evidence can inform environmental policy and natural resource management. Claudia did her PhD at Oxford University, quantifying the impact of riparian zone management on biodiversity and ecosystem services in oil palm plantations (within and around the S.A.F.E. project). She also has an MSc in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management from Oxford University, and did her undergraduate degree in Zoology at Cambridge University.
Emma Caton - Master's Student
After completing her BSc (Hons) Zoology degree at the University of Leeds, Emma enrolled straight onto a Masters degree in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation at Imperial College London. Her Masters project involves linking PREDICTS to the next generation of land-use scenarios.
Greg Counsell - Master's Student
Greg is currently studying for his MSc in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation at Imperial College London. His PREDICTS project is looking at how land-use change impacts biodiversity, with a focus on agricultural abandonment. Since receiving his undergraduate degree in Zoology from the University of Manchester in 2013 he has worked in both science policy with the British Ecological Society, and in science communication at the University of Manchester.
Felipe Espinoza De Janon - Master's Student
Felipe obtained his undergraduate degree in Environmental Engineering (Hons) from Universidad de Especialidades Espiritu Santo (Ecuador) in 2013. He is currently studying for his Masters degree in Taxonomy and Biodiversity, run jointly by Imperial College London and the Natural History Museum, funded by a scholarship from the Ecuadorian government (SENESCYT). His PREDICTS project is investigating how biodiversity is impacted using the next generation land-use scenarios, with specific focus on managed pastures and rangelands.
Harriet Lambert - Master's Student
Harriet is currently undertaking an MSc in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation at Imperial College London. Her project at PREDICTS is focussing on land use impacts on bee diversity, extending an ongoing analysis of bees in Europe in order to assess how different assemblages respond to human pressures. Since completing her undergraduate degree in Biology at the University of Oxford, Harriet has been able to expand her interest in pollinator ecology and biocommunication.
Alex Raposo - Master's Student
Alex is currently studying for her MRes in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation at Imperial College London. Her PREDICTS project aims to understand the effects of logging on biodiversity through time, with a focus on selective logging practices. Since completing her undergraduate degree in Biodiversity and Conservation from the University of Toronto in 2015, she has collaborated with Dr. Isabel Rosa and Dr. Andrew Bradley on improving StocModLCC, a spatially-explicit model of land-use and land change used to understand patterns of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon.
Sasha Suryometaram - Master's Student
Following a B.Sc. in Biology from the University of Indonesia in 2009, Sasha is currently pursuing an M.Sc. in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation at Imperial College London. Her thesis project with the PREDICTS team focuses on the land-use impacts on soil macro-invertebrate biodiversity.
Gemma Annetts - Intern
Gemma has just completed her second year of studying Natural Sciences at Peterhouse, University of Cambridge. Next year she will be specializing in Zoology, with a view to undertaking a Master’s degree the following year. Gemma is working as an intern on PREDICTS in the Science programme of UNEP-WCMC. She is currently investigating how the responses of biodiversity to different land use changes are affected by both current climate and climate change.
Dom Bennett - Master's student
Dom undertook an MRes in Biodiversity Informatics and Genomics at Imperial College London. In Andy's lab, he used the Phylogenerator software to focus on how phylogenetic diversity responds to human impacts, with a particular emphasis on urban ecosystems. Currently, Dom is a PhD student in Earth Sciences at Imperial College London and the Institute of Zoology
Charlotte Chng - MRes student
Charlotte completed her MRes in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation at Imperial College London. Her project involved the modelling of land-use effects on biodiversity in New Zealand. Charlotte previously studied Biology at Imperial College London, where she graduated in 2014. After completing her research project with the PREDICTS team, Charlotte researched the relationship between age and reproductive fitness in a captive house sparrow population at the Max-Planck Institute for Ornithology in Germany.
Argyrios (Sylvester) Choimes – Master's student
Sylvester was studying the MSc in Taxonomy and Biodiversity at Imperial College London and the Natural History Museum. His project focused upon human impact on biodiversity in Mediterranean ecosystems. Sylvester graduated from Cardiff University with a degree in Biology in 2012.
Leejiah Dorward - Intern
Leejiah's research interests are the interactions between poor rural communities and their local environment. He was working on the PREDICTS project looking at human impacts on biodiversity in Central Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Leejiah has recently graduated from Imperial's Conservation Science MSc. Prior to the MSc he studied for a PGCert with SOAS in Managing Rural Development and a BSc in Environmental Science at UEA.
Susan Emerson - Master's student
Susan graduated from the University of Reading, with a degree in Zoology in 2013. She completed her MSc in Taxonomy and Biodiversity at Imperial College London and the Natural History Museum. Her project concentrated on biodiversity hotspots to examine whether they are particularly sensitive to human impacts.
Susy Echeverría-Londoño - Master's student
After studying Biology at Universidad Industrial de Santander (Colombia), Susy undertook an MRes in Biodiversity Informatics and Genomics at Imperial College London. Her research was based on the response of Colombian biodiversity to human impacts. Susy is now undertaking a PhD at Imperial College London and the Natural History Museum, funded by COLCIENCIAS (The Administrative Department of Science, Technology and Innovation of Colombia–in spanish: Departamento Administrativo de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación).
Melanie Jane Edgar
Melanie graduated from Durham University with a BSc Ecology, Evolution and Behaviour and studied the MRes Biosystematics at Imperial College London with the hope of starting a PhD in 2014/2015. Her project was focused on determining the predictability of physical and ecological traits in Coleoptera, including body length, invasiveness and geographic range size, from phylogenetic trees, i.e. determining whether closely related species share traits. The resulting database is used as part of the PREDICTS models of biodiversity.
Helen Ford - Master's student
Helen has completed a Bsc in Biology at the University of Sussex, which she steered towards ecology and conservation modules. After her undergraduate degree, she decided to take a year out to travel in Asia and Australia and gain experience volunteering for various conservation organisations. She has recently started her MRes in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation at Imperial College London and is currently working on her first project with PREDICTS. Helen's project focuses on whether the biodiversity in different layers of strata are unevenly impacted by land-use change.
Di Gao - Master's student
Di undertook an MSc in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation at Imperial College London. He investigated the effects of human land-use and use intensity on biodiversity in China. He graduated from Nanjing University with a bachelor degree in Biological Sciences in 2013.
Morgan Garon - Master's student
Morgan was a student on the Ecology, Evolution and Conservation MSc course at Imperial College London. Her project focused on the response of invertebrate and plant species to human impacts in agricultural systems within temperate regions. Morgan graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 2011 with an honours degree in Zoology.
Guillermo Gilbert - Master's student
After studying Biology at Universidad de Guayaquil (Ecuador), Guillermo is undertaking an MRes in Ecology Evolution and Conservation at Imperial College London funded by SENESCYT (National Secretary of Higher Education, Science and Technology–in spanish: Secretaria Nacional de Education Superior Ciencia y Tecnologia). His MRes project is based with the PREDICTS team with interest on the before-after control-impact studies to understand the changes of biodiversity caused by human impacts.
Lorna Harvey - Master's student
Lorna is currently studying for her MRes in Ecology Evolution and Conservation at Imperial College London. Her project is focusing on Land use impacts on bee biodiversity. She completed her undergraduate degree in Animal Science at University of Nottingham in 2011 and has spent the last few years gaining field research experience in Africa.
John Hughes - Master's student
John was undertaking an MRes in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation at Imperial College London. His project focused on the responses of New Zealand's biodiversity to human impacts. John graduated from the University of Glasgow in 2013 with an honours degree in Zoology.
Daniel Ingram - Master's student
Daniel was studying at Imperial College London undertaking an MSc in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation . His project modelled the local biodiversity responses to shifting agriculture in tropical ecosystems and tested whether agriculture's residence time is around 15 years, as is currently assumed from the IPCC Integrated Assessment Models. Daniel graduated from the University of Birmingham in 2012 with an honours degree in Biological Sciences, and is now a PhD student at the University of Sussex, supervised by Jörn Scharlemann and Lauren Coad. His research focuses on quantifying the exploitation of terrestrial wild animals.
Stewart Jennings - Master's student
Stewart's project modelled the relationship between biodiversity and remotely-sensed vegetation index data. The vegetation index data provides a quantitative measure of habitat disturbance, and the best spatial scale at which to model this disturbance will be tested.
Victoria Kemp - Master's student
Victoria undertook an MRes in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Imperial College's Silwood Park campus. She worked with the PREDICTS team, focusing upon human impact on biodiversity in high latitude ecosystems. Before starting the masters Victoria studied Zoology at the University of Leeds. Victoria is currently studying for a PhD, investigating the effects of fragmentation on above-belowground linkages at the S.A.F.E project in Sabah, Borneo.
David Laginha Pinto Correia - Intern
David has just graduated from Imperial College London with an MSc in Conservation Science . He was working with the PREDICTS team and with the IUCN Small Mammals Specialist Group. Before doing his MSc David completed a Post-Graduate course in Conservation Biology and a BSc in Environmental Biology with the University of Lisbon.
Callum Martin - Master's student
Callum studied the MSc in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation at Imperial College London. His project involved quantifying how biodiversity of secondary habitat changes with time since recovery began. Callum previously studied at the University of Manchester where he graduated with a degree in Zoology in 2012. Callum is currently researching the impacts of parasitism on bumblebee behaviour, and whether parasites can affect the pollination services bumblebees provide to both crops and wildflowers at Royal Holloway University of Londons.
Joseph Middleton Welling - Master's student
Joseph studied the MSc in Taxonomy and Biodiversity at Imperial College London and the Natural History Museum. He used the data in the PREDICTS database to establish correlates of extinction risk in Lepidoptera throughout the world. Joseph previously studied Biological Science at the University of East Anglia, and is about to start a PhD at Oxford Brookes University looking into trait evolution and reponses to evironmental change in the Nymphalidae
Yuan Pan - Master's student
Yuan studied the MRes in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation at Imperial College London. Her project investigated how humans impact biodiversity, using China as a case study. Yuan graduated from Imperial College in 2012, with a degree in Biology.
Gwilym Pask-Hale - Master's student
Gwilym attended the University of Hull undertaking a bachelor degree in Zoology, specialising in modules focused on Evolution and Conservation. Before and during this degree he volunteered with a number of conservation organisations ranging from South African Game and Nature reserves to zoos specialising in rare species. Lessons from these experiences have given him a wide range of knowledge on conservation efforts and furthered his desire to work in conservation. To improve his knowledge base and skill-set he undertook an MSc in Taxonomy and Biodiversity at Imperial College London. His project for PREDICTS investigated the relationship between size and extinction risk from human impacts.
Maeve Ryan - Intern
Maeve studied the MSc in Environment and Development at King's College London. Her project involved matching the major taxonomic groups used to classify species in PREDICTS to the functional groups used in the Madingley Model, so that the two models can make predictions about the same aspects of the structure of ecological assemblages. Maeve previously studied at Trinity College Dublin where she graduated with a degree in Environmental Science in 2013.
Rebecca Senior - Intern
Rebecca graduated from King's College, University of Cambridge, where she studied Natural Sciences (Zoology). Rebecca was an intern in the Science programme of UNEP-WCMC working on PREDICTS. She modelled how species' traits such as seed mass, plant height and vertebrate body mass vary with land use change. Rebecca is now a PhD student at the University of Sheffield, researching the impacts of selective logging on tropical climate refugia and the ectotherms that utilise them.
Benno Simmons - MRes student
Benno studied for an MRes Ecology, Evolution and Conservation at Imperial College London, where his project examined whether the biota of biodiversity hotspots is unusually sensitive to human impacts. Benno graduated from the University of Oxford in 2014 with a degree in Geography, where he focused on ecology, biodiversity conservation and species' responses to climate change. Benno is going on to start a PhD on global plant-pollinator interactions at the University of Cambridge, supervised by Bill Sutherland.
Hanbin Zhang - Master's student
Hanbin was a student taking an MSc in Environmental Technology at Imperial College London. He realised his passion in conservation from volunteer fieldwork, which involves conservation for a few flagship endangered species with front-line NGOs in Philippines islands, Tibetan plateau and Yunnan old forest, China. He worked with the PREDICTS team focusing on the response of large mammals diversity to human impacts. Hanbin graduated from City University of Hong Kong in 2013, with a bachelor degree in Environmental Policy Studies.