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Dr Deepa Senapathi

Black and white photograph of 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:

  • Quantifying climate change and land-use change impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services
  • Exploring the interactions between drivers of biodiversity loss
  • 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

Postgraduate supervision

Current PhD Students:

  • Sophie Cunnington - Impacts of Farming Practice on Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava) Populations in Lowland England 2021-2025 (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: Mitigating risks to pollination services caused by climate change 2019-2023 (Waitrose CTP)
  • Theresa Robinson: Population ecology of the endangered endemic Mauritius Fody 2016-2022 (University of Reading Bursary)

Completed PhD Students

  • 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)
  • Elena Cini: New tools for improving Bee Health - 2018-2022 (EU H2020 - PoshBee, co-supervisor)


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

  • 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)
  • PoshBee - Pan-European assessment, monitoring, and mitigation of stressors on the health of bees (EU H2020 2018-2023)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • IPI Agriland - Linking Agriculture and land-use change to pollinator populations (2011-2014)

Professional bodies/affiliations

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Member of Conservation Science Advisory Council for A Rocha International
  • Member & first Policy fellow of British Ecological Society
  • Member of University of Reading Athena Swan SAT 2019
  • Co-chair - Athena Swan SAT. School of Biological Sciences 2016
  • Associate Editor - Ecological Entomology
  • British Ecological Society - member of personnel committee
  • COP26 Universities network ambassador
  • Walker Institute Ambassador


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