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Andrew Bladon

Andrew Bladon

Areas of interest

I am a conservation ecologist interested in the impacts of climate and habitat change on species’ distribution and abundance, and passionate about testing conservation interventions to reverse species’ declines. My research cuts across traditional ecological disciplines, to understand how fine-scale temperature and habitat variation influence the behaviour of individual organisms, and the mechanisms by which these behavioural responses have broad-scale, population-level impacts. Working with practical conservation organisations (such as the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire) and policy-makers (such as Natural England), I use my research to develop and test conservation management strategies which support species’ survival in a changing world.

Postgraduate supervision

Current students

  • Lindsey Barnes (research Masters, 2023–present): “Dragon Tales: Unravelling the story of patterns and biases of major global threats to Odonata”
  • Emily Wenban-Smith (research Masters, 2023–present): “What are the impacts of temperature extremes on Hymenoptera and Lepidoptera?”
  • Matt Hayes (PhD, 2022–present): “How can nature reserves be managed to maintain suitable microclimates for butterflies and other species as climates continue to change?”, co-supervision with Prof Ed Turner, University of Cambridge
  • Sophie Mowbray (PhD, 2022–present): “The impact of climate change on the thermal ecology of cold-adapted butterflies”, co-supervision with Dr Rosa Menendez, Lancaster University

Completed students

  • Dr Esme Ashe-Jepson (PhD, 2019–2023): “Cool as a Caterpillar: Understanding the Responses of Butterflies to Temperature Across the Life Cycle”, co-supervision with Prof Ed Turner, University of Cambridge
  • Matt Lewis (research Masters, 2019–2020): “An Assessment of the Habitat Preferences, Behaviour, and Drivers of Population Change of the Small Heath Butterfly, Coenonympha pamphilus, in the UK”, co-supervision with Prof Ed Turner, University of Cambridge
  • Tate Lavitt (research Masters, 2019–2020): “Habitat Preference and Ecology of Duke of Burgundy Butterflies at Different Latitudes Across the UK”, co-supervision with Prof Ed Turner, University of Cambridge


  • Part 1 Field Ecology (co-convener)
  • Part 2 Quantitative and Professional Skills (co-convener)
  • Part 2 Introduction to Entomology (guest lecturer)

Research projects

Current research projects

  • Testing the transferability of Butterfly Banks as a habitat enhancement strategy across landscapes (CCI Collaborative Fund, 2024–2025)
  • Global Insect Threat-Response Synthesis (GLiTRS) understanding the threats to global insect populations (NERC Highlight Topic, 2021–2024)

Previous research projects

  • Building the Food Systems Transformation Solution-Bank (BBSRC Transforming UK Food Systems, 2023–2024)
  • Banking on Butterflies testing conservation actions to conserve butterflies and other insects in the face of climate change (People’s Postcode Lottery Nature-based Solutions Fund and CCI Knowledge Exchange Studentship, 2021–2023)
  • Diet, disease and distribution: can the microbiome of the White-tailed Swallow explain its climatic range restriction? (University of Cambridge Borysiewicz Fellowship, 2022–2023)
  • Conservation Evidence Butterfly and Moth Synopsis (2019–2021)
  • Managing reserves for tomorrow’s climate (Isaac Newton Trust / Wellcome Trust ISSF / University of Cambridge Joint Research Grants project, 2018–2019)
  • The Effects of Temperature on the Ethiopian Bush-crow and White-tailed Swallow (NERC, 2012–2016)

Awards and honours

University of Cambridge Borysiewicz Fellow (2022-2023)

Professional bodies/affiliations

  • Royal Entomological Society
  • British Ecological Society
  • Society for Conservation Biology

Selected publications

  • Hayes MP, Ashe-Jepson E, Hitchcock GE, Clark R, Hellon J, Knock RI, Bladon AJ & Turner EC (2024) Heatwave predicts a shady future for insects: impacts of an extreme weather event on a chalk grassland in Bedfordshire, UK. Journal of Insect Conservation
  • Toro-Delgado E, Vila R, Talavera G, Turner EC, Hayes MP, Horrocks NPC & Bladon AJ (2024) Regional differences in thermoregulation between two European butterfly communities. Journal of Animal Ecology93 (2), 183–195.
  • Ashe-Jepson E, Bru E, Connell E, Dixit MK, Hargrave J, Lavitt T, Lam M, Prosser R, Roberts BJ, Thompson B, Bladon AJ & Turner EC (2024) Hot topics in butterfly research: Current knowledge and gaps in understanding of the impacts of temperature on butterflies. Insect Conservation and Diversity17 (1), 1–15.
  • Ashe-Jepson E, Hayes MP, Hitchcock GE, Wingader K, Turner EC & Bladon AJ (2023) Day-flying Lepidoptera larvae have a poorer ability to thermoregulate than adults. Ecology and Evolution13 (10), e10623.
  • Ashe-Jepson E, Arizala Cobo S, Basset Y, Bladon AJ, Kleckova I, Laird-Hopkins BC, Mcfarlane A, Sam K, Savage AF, Zamora AC, Turner EC & Lamarre GPA (2023) Tropical butterflies use thermal buffering and thermal tolerance as alternative strategies to cope with temperature increase. Journal of Animal Ecology92 (9), 1759–1770.
  • Laird-Hopkins BC*, Ashe-Jepson E*, Basset Y, Arizala Cobo S, Eberhardt L, Freiberga I, Hellon J, Hitchcock GE, Kleckova I, Linke D, Lamarre GPA, McFarlane A, Savage AF, Turner EC, Zamora AC, Sam K & Bladon AJ (2023) Thermoregulatory ability and mechanism do not differ consistently between neotropical and temperate butterflies.Global Change Biology29 (15), 4180–4192.
  • Sharps E*, Hawkes RW*, Bladon AJ, Buckingham DL, Border J, Morris AJ, Grice PV & Peach WJ (2023) Reversing declines in farmland birds: How much agri-environment provision is needed at farm and landscape scales? Journal of Applied Ecology60 (4), 568–580.
  • Bladon AJ, Bladon EK, Smith RK & Sutherland WJ (2023) Butterfly and Moth Conservation: Global Evidence for the Effects of Interventions for butterflies and moths. Conservation Evidence Series Synopsis. University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.
  • Sutherland WJ, Robinson JM, Aldridge DC, Alamenciak T, Armes M, Baranduin N, Bladon AJ, Breed MF, Dyas N, Elphick CS, Griffiths RA, Hughes J, Middleton B, Littlewood NA, Mitchell R, Morgan WH, Mosley R, Petrovan SO, Prendergast K, Ritchie EG, Raven H, Smith RK, Watts SH & Thornton A (2022) Creating testable questions in practical conservation: a process and 100 questions. Conservation Evidence Journal19, 1–7.
  • Ashe-Jepson E, Bladon AJ, Herbert G, Hitchcock GE, Knock R, Lucas CB, Luke SH & Turner EC (2022) Oviposition behaviour and emergence through time of the small blue butterfly (Cupido minimus) in a nature reserve in Bedfordshire, UK. Journal of Insect Conservation26, 43–58.
  • Christie AP, White TB, Martin PA, Petrovan SO, Bladon AJ, Bowkett AE, Littlewood NA, Mupepele AC, Rocha R, Sainsbury KA, Smith RK, Taylor NG & Sutherland WJ (2021) Reducing publication delay to improve the efficiency and impact of conservation science. PeerJ9:e12245.
  • Amano T, Berdejo-Espinola V, Christie AP, Willott K, Akasaka M, Báldi A, Berthinussen A, Bertolino S, Bladon AJ, Chen M, Choi C-Y, Bou Dagher Kharrat M, de Oliveira LG, Farhat P, Golivets M, Hidalgo Aranzamendi N, Jantke K, Kajzer-Bonk J, Kemahlı Aytekin MÇ, Khorozyan I, Kito K, Konno K, Lin D-L, Littlewood N, Liu Y, Liu Y, Loretto M-C, Marconi V, Martin PA, Morgan WH, Narváez-Gómez JP, Negret PJ, Nourani E, Ochoa Quintero JM, Ockendon N, Oh RRY, Petrovan SO, Piovezan-Borges AC, Pollet IL, Ramos DL, Reboredo Segovia AL, Rivera-Villanueva AN, Rocha R, Rouyer M-M, Sainsbury KA, Schuster R, Schwab D, Şekercioğlu ÇH, Seo H-M, Shackelford G, Shinoda Y, Smith RK, Tao S-d, Tsai M-s, Tyler EHM, Vajna F, Valdebenito JO, Vozykova S, Waryszak P, Zamora-Gutierrez V, Zenni RD, Zhou W & Sutherland WJ (2021) Tapping into non-English-language science for the conservation of global biodiversity. PLoS Biology19:e3001296.
  • Sutherland WJ, Taylor NG, Aldridge DC, Martin P, Rhodes C, Shackelford G, Beard S, Belfield H, Bladon AJ, Brick C, Burgman M, Christie AP, Dicks LV, Dobson AP, Downey H, Hood ASC, Hua F, Hughes AC, Jarvis RM, MacFarlane D, Morgan WH, Mupepele AC, Marciniak SJ, Nelson C, O'hEigeartaigh S, Rios-Rojas C, Savolainen R, Sainsbury KA, Smith RK, Sundaram LS, Tankard H, Thornton A, Watkins J, White TB, Willott K & Petrovan SO (2021) A solution scan of societal options to reduce transmission and spread of respiratory viruses: SARS-CoV-2 as a case study. Journal of Biosafety and Biosecurity(2): 84–90.
  • Petrovan SO, Aldridge DC, Bartlett H, Bladon AJ, Booth H, Broad S, Broom DM, Burgess ND, Cleaveland S, Cunningham AA, Ferri M, Hinsley A, Hua F, Hughes AC, Jones K, Kelly M, Mayes G, Radakovic M, Ugwu CA, Uddin N, Verissimo D, Walzer C, White TB, Wood JL & Sutherland WJ (2021) Post COVID-19: a solution scan of options for preventing future zoonotic epidemics. Biological Reviews96 (6): 2694–2715.
  • Hayes MP, Ashe-Jepson E, Hitchcock GE, Knock RI, Lucas CBH, Bladon AJ & Turner EC (2021) Consistent oviposition preferences of the Duke of Burgundy butterfly over 14 years on a chalk grassland reserve in Bedfordshire, UK.Journal of Insect Conservation25, 611–628.
  • Bladon AJ, Donald PF, Collar NJ, Deng J, Dadacha G, Wondafrash M & Green RE (2021) Climatic change and extinction risk of two globally threatened Ethiopian endemic bird species. PLoS ONE16(5): e0249633.
  • Bladon AJ, Lewis M, Bladon EK, Buckton S, Corbett S, Ewing SR, Hayes MP, Hitchcock GE, Knock RI, Lucas CBH, McVeigh A, Menéndez R, Walker J, Fayle T & Turner EC (2020) How butterflies keep their cool: physical and ecological traits influence thermoregulatory ability and population trends. Journal of Animal Ecology89 (11), 2440–2450.
  • Littlewood NA, Rocha R, Smith RK, Martin PA, Lockhart SL, Schoonover RF, Wilman E, Bladon AJ, Sainsbury K, Pimm S & Sutherland WJ (2020) Terrestrial Mammal Conservation: Global Evidence for the Effects of Interventions for terrestrial mammals excluding bats and primates. Synopses of Conservation Evidence Series. University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.
  • Bladon AJ & Smith RK (2019) Effects of conservation interventions on terrestrial and freshwater invertebrates: a protocol for subject-wide evidence synthesis.
  • Bladon AJ, Donald PF, Jones SEI, Collar NJ, Deng J, Dadacha G, Abebe Y & Green RE (2019) Behavioural thermoregulation and climatic range restriction in the globally threatened Ethiopian Bush-crow Zavattariornis stresemanniIbis,161, 546-558.
  • Simmons BI, Balmford AP, Bladon AJ, Christie AP, De Palma A, Dicks LV, Gallego-Zamorano J, Johnston A, Martin PA, Purvis A, Rocha R, Wauchope HS, Wordley CFR, Worthington TA & Finch T (2019) Worldwide insect declines: an important message, but interpret with caution. Ecology and Evolution9, 3678–3680.
  • Bladon AJ, Morris AJ, Siriwardena G & Peach WJ (2018) Evaluating the farm-scale responses of birds to Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) 2008–2017. Natural England Report, LM0467.
  • Bladon AJ, Morris AJ, Grice PV, Phillips J & Peach WJ (2018) Selective use of bespoke habitat management areas by target farmland bird species. Aspects of Applied Biology139Ecosystem and Habitat Management: Research, Policy, Practice, 3–14.
  • Bramer I, Anderson BJ, Bennie J, Bladon AJ, De Frenne P, Hemming D, Hill RA, Kearney MR, Korner C, Korstjens AH, Lenoir J, Maclean IMD, Marsh CD, Morecroft MD, Ohlemuller R, Slater HD, Suggitt AJ, Zellweger F & Gillingham PK (2018) Advances in monitoring and modelling climates at ecologically relevant scales. Advances in Ecological Research58, 101–161.
  • Jones SEI, Bladon AJ, Collar NJ, Dadacha G, Denge J & Donald PF (2018) Varied diet and opportunistic foraging in the Ethiopian Bush-crow Zavattariornis stresemanni: an Endangered generalist. Ostrich89 (1): 41–46.
  • Bladon AJ, Chown D, Peach WJ & Morris AJ (2017) Assessing the effectiveness of HLS agreements deploying the Farmland Bird Package 2011–2016. Natural England Report,LM0463.
  • Bladon AJ (2017) The effects of temperature on the Ethiopian Bush-crow and White-tailed Swallow. PhD thesis. University of Cambridge, UK.
  • Bladon AJ, Jones SEI, Collar NJ, Dellelegn Y, Donald PF, Gedeon K, Green RE, Spottiswoode CN, Töpfer T & Wondafrash M (2016) Further notes on the natural history of the Ethiopian Bush-crow Zavattariornis stresemanni.Bulletin of the African Bird Club23 (1): 27-45.
  • Bladon AJ, Töpfer T, Collar NJ, Gedeon K, Donald PF, Dellelegn Y, Wondafrash M, Denge J, Dadacha G, Adula M & Green RE (2015) Notes on the behaviour, plumage and distribution of the White-tailed Swallow Hirundo megaensis.Bulletin of the African Bird Club22 (2): 148-161.
  • Kirby WB, Bellamy PE, Stanbury AJ, Bladon AJ, Grice PV & Gillings S (2015) Breeding season habitat associations and population declines of British Hawfinches Coccothraustes coccothraustesBird Study62 (3): 348–357.

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