Areas of interest
- Tropical ecology
- Plant-insect interactions
- Biodiversity and conservation
My main research interests include plant and invertebrate ecology in human-modified systems, particularly in the tropics. For my PhD I focused on the effects of rainforest fragmentation through oil-palm expansion on insect herbivory and chemical leaf defence in Malaysian Borneo. I have also previously been involved in projects that used morphological trait-based and molecular techniques for species identification and to assign pollinator species to functional groups.
I have a strong passion for field research and have been lucky enough to have carried out data collection in a wide range of ecosystems, both temperate and tropical including Ireland, Spain, Poland, Uganda, South Africa, Borneo, Australia and Colombia.
Research centres and groups
BioSmart - https://www.biosmartamazonia.org/
Research projectsWorking with Dr Mike Garratt as part of the BioSmart project, I am responsible for researching the effects of silvopastoral systems on invertebrates in the Colombian Amazon region. The larger project considers the social, economic, and environmental impacts of this form of agriculture. There has been a recent revival in interest in silvopasture, particularly in the tropics, as it is often promoted as a sustainable solution to food production in areas under threat from agricultural expansion. Using invertebrates as indicator taxa, we investigate whether incorporating trees and forage banks into pastureland benefits biodiversity. This has involved carrying out fieldwork across farms in the Colombian department of Caquetá in early 2020, remote management of further fieldwork, and data analysis to produce both scientific publications and outputs that benefit local farming communities and policymakers in Colombia.
- Garratt, M. , O'Connor, R. , Carvell, C. , Fountain, M. , Breeze, T. ORCID: 0000-0002-8929-8354 , Pywell, R. , Redhead, J. , Kinneen, L. , Mitschunas, N. , Truslove, L. , Xavier e Silva, C. , Jenner, N. , Ashdown, C. , Brittain, C. , McKerchar, M. , Butcher, C. , Edwards, M. , Nowakowski, M. , Sutton, P. , Potts, S. ORCID: 0000-0002-2045-980X (2022) Addressing pollination deficits in orchard crops through habitat management for wild pollinators. Ecological Applications ISSN: 1051-0761 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1002/eap.2743