James is a globally-leading expert on the spatial dynamics and management of biodiversity. He has >280 peer-reviewed publications (Web of Science h =70, Google Scholar h=90, i10=239) and has been in the top 1% of of his field by citation every year since 2019 (Clarivate Highly Cited Researcher). James has developed new knowledge on restoration and rewilding that includes two of the seven most-cited papers on restoration in the last 15 years, the most cited paper on rewilding in the last five years. He has edited two books on dispersal and used mathematical and statistical models to further understanding of ecological dynamics over large scales.
James has also pushed forward ecosystem service science, with numerous projects on their measurement and modelling. His expertise in these areas comes together in research on sustainable farming, future environmental scenarios and conservation planning – all with the aim to find solutions to the biodiversity crisis. His forte is in working across research areas and he has recently developed a new complexity paradigm for restoration, led a project linking climate change, socio-economics, pollution and biodiversity loss, and developed National Capability research linking net zero with agro-ecology.
James leada large projects with multidisciplinary teams within UKCEH, across UK HEIs, and involving partners in Europe, the USA and Africa, funded by the European Commission, NERC, ESRC and Defra. He undertakes applied research for government departments, UK and EU agencies and the private sector. He has led several stakeholder events involving NGOs, industry, farmers and government.
Pettorelli Nathalie et al. , (2023), Restore or rewild? Implementing complementary approaches to bend the curve on biodiversity loss. Ecological Solutions and Evidence, 4, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/2688-8319.12244
Isbell Forest et al. , (2023), Expert perspectives on global biodiversity loss and its drivers and impacts on people. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 21, 94-103, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/fee.2536