University of Reading cookie policy

We use cookies on to improve your experience, monitor site performance and tailor content to you

Read our cookie policy to find out how to manage your cookie settings

Dr Tom Staton


Environmental economics; community ecology; agroforestry systems
Postdoctoral research associate with the REFOREST project - Agroforestry at the forefront of farming sustainability in multifunctional landscapes in Europe

Areas of interest

I am interested in how agriculture can meet global food demands while being environmentally, economically and socially sustainable. In particular, much of my research involves evaluating and quantifying biodiversity and other ecosystem services in diversified farming systems. My research to date has primarily focussed on agroforestry systems, where productive trees are integrated into cropland or pasture.

Research centres and groups

Agri-food Economics and Marketing

Research projects

REFOREST - Agroforestry at the forefront of farming sustainability in multifunctional landscapes in Europe


My background is in applied ecology, particularly in the UK. I completed a Masters degree in Biological Recording and Ecology Monitoring, while my PhD thesis investigated biodiversity, natural pest control, and pollination in UK agroforestry systems. I am also an experienced ecological consultant, which involves advising on protected species and sites, and biodiversity net gain, in relation to planning applications and appeals in the UK.


  • Ecological consultant, Aspect Ecology Ltd, 2022 and 2012-2017
  • Research Entomologist, Forest Research, 2022
  • Ecological consultant, Andrews Ecology Ltd, 2009-2012

Academic qualifications

  • PhD in Ecology and Agri-Environmental Research (University of Reading, 2021)
  • MSc Biological Recording and Ecological Monitoring (University of Birmingham, 2011)
  • BSc (Hons) Biology (University of Bath, 2008)

Professional bodies/affiliations

British Ecological Society

Selected publications

  • Staton, T., Walters, R.J., Breeze, T.D., Smith, J., Girling, R.D. (2022) Niche complementarity drives increases in pollinator functional diversity in diversified agroforestry systems. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 336: 108035
  • Staton, T., Breeze, T.D., Walters, R.J., Smith, J., Girling, R.D. (2022) Productivity, biodiversity trade-offs, and farm income in an agroforestry versus an arable system. Ecological Economics, 191, 107214
  • Staton, T., Walters, R.J., Smith, J., Breeze, T.D., Girling, R.D. (2021) Evaluating a trait-based approach to compare natural enemy and pest communities in agroforestry vs. arable systems. Ecological Applications, 31(4): e02294