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Kate Jones

Principal Investigator, UCL

Kate Jones is Professor of Ecology and Biodiversity at University College London, honorary fellow of Zoological Society of London, and Director of the Biome Health Project. Her research investigates the interface of ecological and human health, using statistical and mathematical modelling to understand the impact of global land use and climate change on ecological and human systems. Kate’s research has also developed multidisciplinary tools for monitoring ecological health, particularly for monitoring ecosystems acoustically. Kate has written over 100 articles and book chapters in prestigious journals such as Nature and Science and is a scientific advisor for a number of international biodiversity charities. In 2008, Kate won the Leverhulme Prize for outstanding contributions to Zoology.

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Georgina Mace

Professor, UCL

Georgina Mace DBE FRS is Professor of Biodiversity and Ecosystems at the UCL Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research (CBER). Her research interests are in measuring the trends and consequences of biodiversity loss and ecosystem change. Her work has contributed to methods for identifying species at rick of extinction and assessing biodiversity in relation to ecosystem services. Her recent work focuses on the links between environmental condition and poverty alleviation, and debates concerning natural capital accounting. She was elected an FRS in 2002, was the winner of the 2007 International Cosmos Prize and the 2016 Heineken Prize for Environmental Science

Project Leadership

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Rob Ewers

Professor, ICL

Rob works on spatial patterns of forest and the biodiversity contained within those forests.  His 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 his 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.

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Guilherme Ferreira

Postdoctoral Researcher, UCL

Gee joined the Biome Health Project in 2019 and will be overseeing the data collection and analysis from the four field sites. He completed his PhD in 2019 using data he collected from the Brazilian Cerrado.

Country Teams

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Daniel Bayley

Postdoctoral Researcher, UCL

Dan works on developing and applying new technologies for the assessment of tropical reef systems with the aim to gain a better understanding of their ecology and to better inform effective management. Aside from the BHP in Fiji, Dan's work is based primarily in the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT), where he leads work on monitoring changes in reef 3D structure and function. Dan is a committee member of the International Coral Reef Society, and has previously worked on marine projects across the Indian, Atlantic, Pacific and Southern Oceans, as well as acting as an adviser to government on the designation of UK marine protected areas.

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David Curnick

Postdoctoral Researcher, ZSL

David is leading the field-work for our coral reef monitoring project in Fiji. At the Zoological Society of London, his research seeks to understand the spatial and temporal behaviour patterns of sharks and tuna, and how they interact with both marine reserves and fisheries. Other than the BHP in Fiji, David's work is based around the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) Marine Protected Area. David is a committee member of Reef Conservation UK and has previously worked on coral reef projects in the Red Sea, Caribbean and Indo-Pacific region.

Fiji

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Jason Lynch

PhD Student, UCL

Jason studied both his BSc and MSc in environmental science at Queen Mary University of London with an intertidal ecology and hydrology focus. Now part of the London NERC DTP, his PhD aims to explore socio-ecological fishing pressure dynamics in the Great Sea Reef, Fiji. He will use an interdisciplinary approach, employing underwater video technology to monitor the scale and behavioural traits of coral reef fish, which will be interwoven with social science methodologies to build a robust fishing pressure gradient. This collaborative project aims to contribute towards informing the sustainable management practices of locally managed marine protected areas in Fiji.

Borneo

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Sarab Sethi

PhD Student, ICL

Sarab is a PhD student working on developing hardware and automated analysis methods for soundscape monitoring at our Borneo field site. He is interested in investigating how large scale ecosystem dynamics can be detected through fully automated, unsupervised methods. Previously, Sarab studied Engineering Science at the University of Oxford, specialising in computing and signal processing.

Nepal

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Liam Thomas

Graduate Research Assistant, UCL

Liam is working on the Nepal component of the project, where he conducts field work in and around Bardia National Park. Previously, Liam completed an MRes in Bioscience from Cardiff University, where he studied sex biased gene flow in brown bears using genetics markers as well as developing a pipeline for the identification of sex chromosomes in brown and polar bears.

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Santosh Rayamahji

Santosh works in the Institute of Forestry and is partnering with us on the Nepal component of the project.

Professor, Tribhuvan University

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Peggy Bevan

PhD Student, UCL

Peggy will be using the camera trap and audio data from the Nepal site to investigate species responses to human disturbance by measuring changes to behaviour, abundance and more general soundscape. She hope my work can contribute to understanding how animals use the buffer zone around the national park and to quantifying thresholds of disturbance for the wildlife community there.

Kenya

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Emily Madsen

Graduate Research Assistant, UCL

Emily is working on the Kenya component of the project. Based in the Maasai Mara, Emily uses camera traps and acoustic monitors to monitor how wildlife responds to different levels of grazing across five different sites. Emily is also interested in multi-species interactions and carnivore distributions in sub-saharan Africa. Previously, Emily completed her MSc in Wild Animal Biology from the Royal Veterinary College and Zoological Society of London, where she assessed the distribution of wildlife outside of the protected areas in the Maasai Mara working with the Mara Cheetah Project. 

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Dr. Paul Webala

Senior Lecturer, Maasai Mara University

Paul is a National Geographic Explorer and a senior lecturer a MMU. He is a regional expert on small mammals, especially bats, with extensive fieldwork experience. Paul uses bats as a focal group to understand and interrogate processes that drive rarity and abundance of mammals in natural, and human-dominated, environments. He is primarily a community ecologist, although his research addresses a variety of important questions for improving bat conservation in Africa. His research also spans several sub-fields of biology including behavioural, ecological and systematic/ taxonomic questions. He is a member of the Bat Specialist Group of the IUCN Species Survival Commission and co-chair of Bat Conservation Africa. He is also a research associate with National Museums of Kenya, Kenya Wildlife Service, Bat Conservation International and the Field Museum of Natural History (FMNH, Chicago, IL., USA).

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Mohamed Sayed

PhD Student, UCL

Mohamed is a Computer Science PhD student at UCL supervised by Prof. Gabriel Brostow and funded by Microsoft Research Cambridge. His main research area is focused on bringing the state of the art in Machine Vision to edge devices. Mohamed works on pooling different non-homogeneous datasets and using different models to classify camera trap images.

Current Students

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Holly Pringle

PhD Student, UCL

Holly working on camera trap and acoustic data from Kenya, with a focus on freshwater biodiversity and the use of riparian habitats in response to anthropogenic pressure. She completed her Masters at UCL in 2017, where she investigated the effects of livestock presence and habitat type on deer activity in the Brazilian Cerrado. She has recently returned from South Africa where she worked as a research assistant on a camera trapping project studying leopards.

Alex Rabeau

Biological Sciences MSci, 2019/2020 UCL

Title: An investigation into the effects pf livestock grazing on an African grassland ecosystem

Jenny Linden

Biodiversity, Evolution and Conservation MRes 2019/2020, UCL

Title: Investigating the impact of human pressure on bat activity and composition in the Mara ecosystem.

Rosie Clewett

Biodiversity, Evolution and Conservation MRes 2019/2020, UCL

Title: Variation in the functional ecology of coral reef fished in Fiji due to anthropogenic pressures.

Past Project Members

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Postdoctoral Researcher, UCL

Sarah Whitmee

Sarah worked on theoretical aspects during the conception of the Biome Health Project. She is a conservation biologist and macroecologist interested in understanding the drivers of species decline and the efficacy of biodiversity conservation measures. Previously, Sarah worked on the BIOPAMA project investigating protected area effectiveness. Her PhD was on the dispersal and distribution of mammals at Imperial College London.

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Postdoctoral Researcher, UCL

Daniel Ingram

Daniel was a Postdoctoral Researcher at UCL for 2018/2019, where he oversaw the research at the four field sites. Dan's research investigates the relationship between people and wildlife, and he is particularly interested in quantifying human influences on biodiversity. Previously, Dan investigated the harvest of wild animals for subsistence, livelihoods, and traditional medicines in Africa for his PhD. Dan is also an active member of the IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group, where he investigates the illegal trade in pangolins and works towards their conservation.

Past Students

Liam Pattullo

Biodiversity, Evolution and Conservation MRes 2018/19, UCL

Title: Human vs. Machine: How an existing machine learning algorithm can be transferred to another Topical Grassland to enhance our knowledge of the biome crisis.

Liam worked on data collected during the 2018 field season from Kenya and assessed the effectiveness of a machine learning algorithm developed from data from the Serengeti.

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Bethany Fairbairn

Biodiversity, Evolution and Conservation MRes 2018/19, UCL

Title: Finer scale habitat type has greater influence than forest management zone on bat activity in a subtropical dry forest in Nepal.

Thomas Luypaert

ERASMUS Intern

Thomas worked in Nepal with Liam in 2019 and was responsible for the acoustic data collection.

Project vision

Ben Collen

Ben Collen founded and designed the Biome Health Project and was awarded the funding from WWF-UK to complete the project. 

Following the untimely death of Ben, we now work in his memory and strive to make his vision for the project a reality.

Ben was an incredibly talented and inspiring conservation biologist, one-of-a-kind. To find out more about Ben's life, please read the following:

Remembering Dr Ben Collen, an exemplary conservation biologist.

Ben Collen (1978-2018)

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