Professional summary

Michael is an ecologist interested in the interactions of nature – people – data, especially researching biodiversity change through ‘citizen science’. He has broad experience of citizen science and participatory monitoring: running projects, innovating, building the evidence base for excellence, and using the data for research. At UKCEH, he works within the Biological Records Centre that has a nearly 60 year history of supporting naturalists making records helping to understand changes in biodiversity. Increasingly he working with multiple disciplines to understand biodiversity (and biodiversity monitoring) in the context of the whole system of people interacting with nature, and so is increasingly using co-design to develop with participants.

Michael has undertaken research on a wide range of drivers of biodiversity change, with particular focus on land use change in the UK, agricultural intensification and urbanisation. This includes the impact of light pollution on invertebrates, and impacts on pollinators and natural pest controllers. He has used network approaches to understand the complex system of interactions between species through pollination or predation. (As a piece of network science trivia, his Erdös number is 3.)

Michael is the academic lead for Public Engagement with Research at UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. He has developed public engagement activities and art-science collaborations and is enthusiastic to support genuine public engagement that, via citizen science or other means, leads to research with greater impact.

He was a director of the Citizen Science Association (now Association for the Advancement of Participatory Sciences; 2018-20), and is an editor for Bioscience and Citizen Science: Theory and Practice.

Selected publications