Professional summary

Research Interests

My research interests focus on the effects of abiotic factors (e.g. habitat management including agri-environment schemes, soil fertility or climate change) on communities of  plants and invertebrates, and the interactions between them. 

My projects have included research into hedgerow ecology, in which we used multi-site field experiments to test the effects of hedgerow management and rejuvenation on provision of resources for wildlife, hedge structure and invertebrate assemblages, and monitoring of Higher Level Stewardship agri-environment schemes. I currently lead a large field monitoring project testing the landscape-scale response of mobile species to agri-environment schemes, at 54 1km2 survey sites across England.

Prior to CEH I worked with colleagues at Imperial College and the University of Southampton to test the idea that organically grown plants are ‘better defended’ against phytophagous insects than conventionally produced plants, due to the use of lower concentration, slower release forms of fertiliser.  

During my PhD, I investigated the impacts of climate change on invertebrate communities and plant-mediated interactions between foliar and root phytophages. 

I have supervised MRes/MSc research projects as well as PhD students (below), please get in touch if you are interested in doing a project with me or co-supervising one.

Brief CV

  • Senior Ecologist (NERC band 5), Biodiversity science area, CEH Wallingford, 2015 - present
  • Applied Community Ecologist, CEH Wallingford, 2010 – 2015
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, Imperial College London, 2006 – 2009
  • Scientific Officer, Forest Research, 1999 – 2002


  • PhD, Effects of climate change on plant: insect trophic interactions, University of Reading and CEH, 2002 – 2005
  • MSc Ecology, University of Aberdeen, 1998 – 1999
  • BSc Biology with History and Philosophy of Science, University of Leeds, 1995 – 1998

Panels, committees and memberships

PhD students:

  • Lyndsey Graham (joint with University of Newcastle), 2014 - present (with 6 months external work placement). Optimising hedgerow structure for biodiversity: Developing and testing LiDAR based structural condition models
  • Sarah Facey (joint with University of Western Sydney), 2013 – 2016.  Assessing the effects of climate change on invertebrate interactions and community structure
  • Muhammad Tariq (joint with Imperial College London), 2007 - 2010.  Water stress, root herbivory and above-ground multitrophic interactions in a crucifer-aphid system.

Selected publications