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Dr Deepa Senapathi

Head of Department of Sustainable Land Management

Areas of interest

My research focusses on the impacts of environmental change on biodiversity and ecosystem services. To date I have worked in both tropical and temperate systems and assessed the effects of climate change and land-use change on avian populations and insect pollinator communities. I also work as knowledge exchange fellow with different stakeholder communities including policy makers, non-government organisations, delivery agencies and land managers with a view towards enhancing land management for biodiversity conservation and improving ecosystem services. More recently I have begun to explore ecological intensification within small holder communities to enhance biodiversity and improve livelihoods.

Specific areas of interest include:

  • Exploring interactions between drivers of biodiversity loss including climate and land use change impacts.
  • Conservation of threatened and endangered species and populations
  • Ecological intensification to enhance biodiversity and improve livelihoods
  • Knowledge Exchange to facilitate link between research and practical conservation
  • Science-Policy dialogue to ensure existing and emerging policy is informed by up to date scientific evidence

Postgraduate supervision

PhD Students:

  • Fathema Rana – Quantifying the impact of extreme events on bees and butterflies in the UK 2023 – 2027  (Scenarios DTP)
  • George Allen –  Reconstructing bee communities  -  the role of national parks in supporting pollination ecosystem services 2023 – 2027 (Pollinis, co-supervisor)
  • Megan Sherlock – Modelling the impact of planting choices and management on the delivery of multiple ecosystem services by domestic gardens 2023 – 2027 (Scenarios DTP, co-supervisor)
  • Aditya Chelmaya – Conservation prioritization of South Asian bats 2021-2024 (University of Reading international studentship, co-supervisor)
  • Sophie Cunnington - Impacts of Farming Practice on Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava) Populations in Lowland England 2021-2026 (University of Reading Bursary)
  • Laura Reeves - Climate driven mismatches in fruit pest and natural enemy phenology to mitigate crop damage 2020-2024 (Waitrose CTP)
  • Chris Wyver: Spatio-Temporal Responses of British Wild Bees and Fruit Trees to Climate Change 2019-2024 (Waitrose CTP)
  • Theresa Robinson: Population ecology of the endangered endemic Mauritius Fody 2016-2024 (University of Reading Bursary)
  • Elena Cini: New tools for improving Bee Health - 2018-2022 (EU H2020 - PoshBee, co-supervisor)
  • Alice Haughan: Exploring the interaction between climate and land use change and the resulting impact on ecosystems - 2017 -2021 (QMEE CDT)
  • Kelly Jowett: Modelling landscape quality and configuration effects on natural enemy communities and the provision of pest regulation services - 2017-2021 (Rothamsted-Reading Alliance)


I regularly act as guest lecturer and dissertation supervisor for several postgraduate and undergraduate modules including

  • GVMRP - MSc Research Project
  • APMA112 - Issues in Agriculture and the Environment
  • AP3AE75 - Wildlife and Farming
  • AP3A81 - BSc Dissertation
  • AP2A59 – Nature Conservation
  • AP1A30 – Agricultural Research Skills
  • AP0AE1 - Foundation Programme: Environment, Ecology and Sustainability
  • ISLI - International Study and Language Institute's Pre-sessional English Programme

Research projects

  • WildPosh – A project aiming to better evaluate the risk to wild #pollinators of pesticide exposure, enhancing their health & pollination services (EU Horizon Europe 2024-2028)
  • RestPoll - Restoring pollinator habitats across European agricultural landscapes (EU Horizon Europe 2023-2027)
  • MAMBO – Modern Approaches to Monitoring of BiOdiversity (EU Horizon Europe 2022-2026)
  • Safeguard - Safeguarding European wild pollinators (EU H2020 2021-2025)
  • FoodSEqual – Food Systems Equality (Transforming UK Food Systems 2021-2025)
  • TROPICAL - Translating Research Opportunities to enhance Pollination benefits to economically Important Crops And improve Livelihoods (GCRF BBSRC NERC 2020-2022)
  • NERC Knowledge Fellowship - Working together to add value: Enhancing land management for biodiversity and multiple ecosystem services (UKRI NERC 2019- 2022)
  • SUPER Farm India - SUstainable farming through effective Pollination and pEst Regulation in India (University of Reading GCRF 2019-2021)
  • PoshBee - Pan-European assessment, monitoring, and mitigation of stressors on the health of bees (EU H2020 2018-2023)
  • SUPER-B - Sustainable Pollination in Europe (EU COST Action, 2014-2018)
  • LIBERATION - Linking farmland biodiversity to ecosystem services for effective ecofunctional intensification (EU FP7 2014-2017)
  • NERC Knowledge Exchange Impact Accelerator Fellowship - Role of biodiversity in improving and enhancing human health and well-being (2014-2015)

Professional bodies/affiliations

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Bumblebee Conservation Trust – Scientific Trustee
  • A Rocha International - Conservation Science Advisory Council
  • British Ecological Society – Member, personnel committee & former Policy Fellow
  • BBSRC – Pool of experts
  • NERC – Peer review college
  • University of Reading Athena Swan SAT 2019
  • Athena Swan SAT. School of Biological Sciences - Co-chair - 2016
  • Ecological Entomology - Associate Editor
  • Walker Institute - Ambassador


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