Professional summary

Research Interests

My research quantifies the impact of human activities, e.g. farming and habitat restoration, on natural resources and wild species (especially insects).  I hope to identify management solutions that reconcile biodiversity and environmental public goods with the sustainable harvest of food and fuel. Drawing on data from boots on the ground and/or sensors overhead, my work contributes to:

1) Rigorous long-term monitoring of the state of biodiversity and natural resources, from pollinators to soils.

2) Analysis of the drivers of change in biodiversity and natural resources, identifying key trade-offs and win-win solutions.

3) Creative presentation of findings through papers, reports, maps, graphics and applications.

Brief CV

My research has looked at the importance of protected areas for populations of dragonfly and butterfly species; the impact of climate change on populations of bird species; the impact of agri-environment schemes and habitat restoration on populations of moth species and the connectivity of priority habitat networks.

I have analysed large spatial datasets from my own field work, citizen-science monitoring schemes and national habitat inventories. I produce R and python scripts for transparent, repeatable data analysis and geoprocessing.

Peer-reviewed Publications:

Alison, J., Duffield, S.J., Morecroft, M.D., Marrs, R.H. & Hodgson, J.A. (2017) Successful restoration of moth abundance and species-richness in grassland created under agri-environment schemes. Biological Conservation, 213, 51–58.

Alison, J., Wentworth, J. (2016) Rewilding and Ecosystem Services: POSTnotes POST-PN-0537. Available at:

Alison, J., Duffield, S.J., van Noordwijk, C.G.E., Morecroft, M.D., Marrs, R.H., 2580 Saccheri, I.J. & Hodgson, J.A. (2016) Spatial targeting of habitat creation has the potential to improve agri-environment scheme outcomes for macro-moths. Journal of Applied Ecology, 53, 1814–1822.

Stephens, P.A., Mason, L.R., Green, R.E., Gregory, R.D., Sauer, J.R., Alison, J., Aunins, A., Brotons, L., Butchart, S.H.M., Campedelli, T., Chodkiewicz, T., Chylarecki, P., Crowe, O., Elts, J., Escandell, V., Foppen, R.P.B., Heldbjerg, H., Herrando, S., Husby, M., Jiguet, F., Lehikoinen, A., Lindström, Å., Noble, D.G., Paquet, J.-Y., Reif, J., Sattler, T., Szép, T., Teufelbauer, N., Trautmann, S., Van Strien, A.J., Van Turnhout, C.A.M., Vorisek, P. & Willis, S.G. (2016) Consistent response of bird populations to climate change on two continents. Science, 352:6281, 84-87.

Gillingham, P.K., Alison, J., Roy, D.B., Fox, R. & Thomas, C.D. (2014) High abundances of species in protected areas in parts of their geographic distributions colonised during a recent period of climatic change. Conservation Letters, 8, 97–106.