Dr Tom Cameron, Lecturer in Community Ecology, School of Biological Sciences, University of Essex
Dr Tom Cameron obtained his PhD in Ecology from the University of Leeds before undertaking postdoctoral work and fellowships in the UK (Leeds) and Sweden (Umea). He is currently a lecturer in community ecology in the Environmental and Microbial Ecology research group in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Essex.
He has a wide research interest in the responses of ecological communities to environmental change, but this mostly focuses of the interactions between predation, including harvesting, and resource competition on demographic structures of populations. He is currently working on different research projects across a variety of taxonomic groups and approaches spanning from laboratory based invertebrate and fish microcosms to large scale long term field based studies in lakes and coastal seas.
He is a founding Board Member of the University of Essex Centre for Environment and Society. Tom works on a number of stakeholder led initiatives, is a Board Member of the Essex Native Oyster Restoration Initiative (ENORI), and collaborates with scientists at University of East Anglia, CEFAS and IGB Berlin and the Universities of Leeds, Aberdeen and Umea.
Dr Simon Tollington, Conservation Scientist at Chester Zoo, DICE UoK
Dr Simon Tollington’s research interests lie in maintaining and replacing the ecological and evolutionary processes that support species and populations as dynamic, adaptable entities. Much of his work to date has been to provide evidence based solutions to managing endangered bird populations on Mauritius.
As such, his work on population genetics, the effects of supplemental feeding and impacts of disease in the Mauritius parakeet, has direct management implications for this and other species. His experience in population genetic research also extends to using non-invasive sampling methods on tigers in Bangladesh and Arabian leopards in Oman.
He is currently involved in numerous in-situ projects at Chester Zoo providing experimental, methodological and data analyses inputs. Many of these projects focus on developing ways to improve coexistence between people and wildlife and they include Indian elephants in Assam, Andean bears in Bolivia and fruit bats in Mauritius. He is also involved in the assessment of populations of Ecuadorian Amazon parrots in Ecuador.
Dr Simon Tollington joined Chester Zoo in 2016 as Conservation Scientist from DICE, University of Kent where he completed his PhD and was subsequently a Lecturer in Conservation Biology.
Prof Jenny Gill, Professory of Applied Ecology, University of East Anglia
Prof Jennifer Gill obtained her PhD in Population Ecology from the University of East Anglia, and was subsequently a Senior Research Associate (funded by the RSPB, NERC and the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research) a NERC-funded Fellow and a Reader at UEA. She is currently Professor of Applied Ecology and Director of the MSc in Applied Ecology and Conservation.
She is an ecologist with primary interests in the ecology and evolution of migratory systems, and in applied issues of understanding and managing the impact of environmental changes on biodiversity. She has been a British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) member for over 25 years, and is the current Chair of the BTO Board. In 2010, she was the inaugural recipient of the Marsh Award for Ornithology. She has previously served as President of the British Ornithologists’ Union (BOU) and, in 2017, she received the Union Medal of the BOU. She is also a core panel member of the NERC Peer Review College and In-Focus Editor and Associate Editor for the Journal of Animal Ecology.
Dr Jennifer Smart, Principal Conservation Scientist, RSPB Centre for Conservation Science
Dr Jen Smart is an ecologist with more than 15 years’ experience in avian population ecology and applied conservation and she spends a lot of her time testing possible solutions to conservation problems. She has expertise in a range of species and habitats and her research has focused on using habitat, management and demographic data to understand patterns of occupancy and abundance at a range of scales from nests to landscapes.
Jen is passionate about developing scientists of the future and about science communication. She has an Honorary Research position at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, where she is based most of the time. In addition, Jen is a British Trust for Ornithology Council appointed member of Ringing Committee, a British Ornithologists' Union Council Chair and also Chair of the Ibis Management Committee.
Dr Nicola Whitehouse, Associated Professor in Physical Geography, University of Plymouth
Dr Nicki Whitehouse is a palaeoecologist with a broad inter-disciplinary interest in human-environment interactions, mostly over the Holocene, working at the interface between archaeology, geography and biology. Her primary expertise lies in the analysis of Quaternary landscapes and ecosystems using sub-fossil insects (beetles) and a range of proxy data (especially pollen, plant macrofossils), archaeological and C14 data, using a range of scientific techniques. Her research has been funded by NERC, AHRC, ERC, HLF, Heritage Council, British Academy, and Royal Society.
She currently acts as President for INQUA Humans and Biosphere Commission HABCOMM (International Union for Quaternary Research). She is also an AHRC Peer Review College Member, and on the Editorial Board of the Quaternary International, the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports and the Alpine and Mediterranean Quaternary.
Dr Carol Robinson, Reader, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia
Dr Carol Robinson leads a team which studies the role of marine bacteria, phytoplankton and zooplankton in the global cycling of carbon and oxygen, and how this varies in space and time and with changing environmental conditions such as increasing nutrient supply, temperature and carbon dioxide and decreasing dissolved oxygen. This involves laboratory and field observations, remote sensing, numerical models and the use of water mass tracers (sulphur hexafluoride), gliders and time series datasets.
Recent projects have included the determination of oxygen photolysis as a potential bias in the determination of plankton production, the impact of coastal upwelling on carbonate chemistry, the relationship between apparent oxygen utilisation and dissolved organic carbon, and determination of the proportion of plankton respiration attributable to bacterioplankton.
She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and past President of the Challenger Society for Marine Science.
Dr Michael Steinke, Senior Lecturer, School of Biological Sciences, University of Essex
Dr Michael Steinke is a marine biologist with over 20 years of experience in research. He obtained his PhD from the University of Bremen, Germany and subsequently worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher and Fellow at the University of East Anglia. He is currently the Course Director for Marine Biology at the University of Essex, where he has worked since 2006. His main research interest is the production of biogenic trace gases in marine environments. Other research interest areas include:
- Environmental volatilomics
- Ecology and biogeochemistry of trace gases
- Infochemistry of algae and zooplankton
- Chemodetection of dimethyl sulfide (DMS) and isoprene in herbivorous plankton
- Production of trace gases in algae and terrestrial plants
- Sensor technology
Dr Michael Steinke has over 50 publications to his name, including in Nature, Science, PNAS and Scientific Reports.
Prof Richard Thompson, Director of the Marine Institute, University of Plymouth
Prof Richard Thompson obtained his Ph.D. in The Ecology of Epilithic Microalgae from the University of Liverpool, before working at Newcastle University and the University of Southampton. He has over 160 publications including Nature, Science, Current biology (h-index 48). He began working at the University of Plymouth in 2001 as a Reader in Marine Ecology, and then as a professor of Marine Biology. He currently leads the International Marine Litter Research Unit and is Director of the University Marine Institute. He received an OBE in 2017 for his services to Marine Science. His research focuses on three main topics: 1) the effects of plastic debris in the marine environment, 2) modification of coastal engineering, structures such as coastal defences and off-shore renewable energy devices, to enhance biodiversity and 3) the ecology and conservation of shallow water habitats. His research is of considerable relevance to policymakers and in 2013 he presented to the UK House of Commons Select Committee session on water quality and was recently invited to give a keynote presentation on marine debris to US Secretary of State, John Kerry, in Washington and more recently for international audiences at the OECD in Paris and G7 in Tokyo.
He is a member of the Marine Biological Association, the British Ecological Society and the Society for Research in Higher Education. In addition, he has roles in numerous external bodies.
Prof Claire Reeves, Professor in Atmospheric Science, School of Environmental Sciences, UEA
Prof Claire Reeves is an atmospheric scientist whose main interests are in tropospheric ozone chemistry and in halogenated gases that are stratospheric ozone depleting and greenhouse gases. She came to UEA as a student in 1983 and loved it so much that she never left. Initially she studied for a BSc in Environmental Sciences before obtaining a PhD in Atmospheric Science. She was then employed as a researcher for 15 years on various projects and, for a couple of years, was supported by the National Centre for Atmospheric Research (NCAS). In 2005 she began a RCUK Academic Fellowship, becoming a Reader in 2010 and subsequently a Professor in 2014. Prof Claire Reeves teaches atmospheric chemistry and is currently the Deputy Head and Director of Research of the School of Environmental Sciences.
She has been a co-author of the UNEP/WMO Scientific Assessments of Ozone Depletion that are used by the Parties to the Montreal Protocol to amend their controls on ozone depleting substances. In addition, she is on the NCAS Executive Committee and is a member of Defra’s Air quality Expert Group.
Dr David Viner, Global Practice Leader – Climate Resilience, Mott MacDonald
An internationally recognised expert, David brings with him over 27 years of experience working in the area of climate change. David worked for 17 years at UEA’s Climatic Research Unit, where he developed a worldwide reputation working across all areas of climate change. During this time he was also director of the UEA’s innovative climate change masters course.
Previously, David has worked as Natural England’s principal Climate Change specialist and as Global Director at The British Council where he developed a ground breaking cultural relations strategy and programme that was delivered through 250 offices in 109 countries. In 2012 he started at Mott MacDonald at which he is now the Global Practice Leader for Climate Resilience, and where his expertise in areas such as water resources, hydropower, agriculture and environmental systems together with his extensive publication record have prepared him excellently for his role in a huge variety of projects, from feasibility studies for hydropower schemes to risk assessments for buildings projects, to education projects overseas.
David contributed to the reports of the IPCC, which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. He has published over 100 papers and research reports and has undertaken numerous public lectures around the world. David is currently a Lead Author for the IPCC Special Report on Climate Change and Land and has been appointed as Convening Lead Author for the IPCC 6th Assessment report.
Dr Sarah Boulton, Lecturer in Neotectonics, School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Plymouth.
Dr Sarah Boulton’s PhD research (focussed on unravelling the tectono-stratigraphic development of the Hatay Graben in southern Turkey) led to the development of a new method for calculating fault-slip rate of normal faults based upon river geomorphology (Boulton & Whittaker, 2009). Subsequently, understanding the role of uplift and active faulting on river systems and how we can extract 'tectonics from topography' has become one of her main research focusses with ongoing projects in Turkey, Morocco, Nepal and New Zealand.
Dr Sarah Boulton is currently a lecturer in Neotectonics at the University of Plymouth. She is also a Fellow of the Geological Society of London, a member of the British Society for Geomorphology and the American Geophysical Union, and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. In addition, she is the current chair of the South West regional group of the Geological Society and the university representative for the Geological Society, London.
Ms Elizabeth Daly, Senior Consultant at Risk & Policy Analysts Ltd.
Elizabeth has a BSc in Environmental Sciences from UEA and an MA in Environment, Policy and Society from the Open University. She has expertise in environmental economics and policy, particularly in relation to flood and coastal erosion risk management and water quality. Her work has included identifying the benefits of mine water remediation schemes and assessing mechanisms to enable the implementation of natural flood management measures. She is also experienced at evaluation and the use of ecosystem services based frameworks for assessing impacts.
Dr Alex Dickson, Lecturer in Geochemistry, Department of Earth Sciences, RHUL
Dr Alex Dickson is a geochemist with over 30 publications to his name with an interest in understanding how environmental processes impart distinctive geochemical signatures on geological materials. When properly understood, these chemical signatures can be used to trace the evolution of Earth’s environmental systems in the past.
A major theme of his research has been to understand how quickly, and by how much, ocean chemistry can become perturbed during intervals of geologically rapid climate change, and during prolonged intervals of warmer-than-present climate. Ocean chemical changes integrate the global effects of rock weathering, tectonic activity, ocean circulation, temperature changes and biological productivity. The ability to trace ocean chemistry during the geological past is therefore a powerful tool for understanding how these different environmental features interact over time to regulate both the global climate system, and the flora and fauna that inhabit the Earth. Unravelling the complexity of past global chemistry sets the scene for interpreting and managing contemporary environmental systems.
Prof Jenni Barclay, Professor of Volcanology, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia
Professor Jenni Barclay’s background is in Geology, with a first degree from the University of Edinburgh and PhD from the University of Bristol. Her real passion within geology is Volcanology. Her PhD looked at several aspects of the degassing process associated with silicic volcanoes. Her first post-doctoral research project in 1996 involved an experimental investigation of the magma storage conditions of the newly erupting Soufriere Hills Volcano and as well as two further post-doctoral positions (Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley and Maitre Assistante at the University of Geneva) she also undertook several periods as a duty scientist at the Montserrat Volcano Observatory.
Her experiences on Montserrat and elsewhere convinced her of the need for a truly inter-disciplinary approach in order to properly understand volcanic eruptions and mitigate their impact. Since her appointment at UEA in 1999, she has made full use of the rich diversity of researchers at UEA that go beyond the usual realms of geology and collaborated with sedimentologists, atmospheric scientists, geophysicists and social scientists on a variety of different problems relating to volcanic phenomena.
Prof Anthony Hall, Head of Plant Genomics, Anthony Hall Group, Earlham Institute
Anthony Hall received his PhD from the University of Leicester from the Botany Department and has worked as an Arabidopsis molecular geneticist for 18 years, focusing on the field of plant circadian biology. He is now the head of Plant Genomics at Earlham Institute, after moving from the University of Liverpool where he held the Holbrook Gaskell Chair of Botany at the University of Liverpool. Previously, he has been research lead for the Institute of Integrative Biology, Director at the Centre for Genomic Research (CGR) and academic lead of the Liverpool GeneMill (£3.8M investment).
His plant genomics group started in 2009, and has focused on using and developing next generation genetic approaches to address key questions in plant science. In 2010 he was awarded a senior BBSRC research fellowship entitled “Developing Next Generation Genetic Tools for Wheat”. To date he has played a leading role in generating both the first draft wheat genome and epigenome. His group have developed novel strategies for the identification of EMS induced point mutations in Arabidopsis using high throughput sequencing and extended these to wheat. He currently leads three international wheat genomics and epigenetic program grants in collaboration with India, Mexico, Australia, USA and Germany. His groups overarching aim is to understand how domestication, breeding programmes and adaptation has driven the evolution of the crop genomes.
Dr Karen Tait, Microbiologist, Plymouth Marine Laboratory
Dr Karen Tait is a Senior Scientist at Plymouth Marine Laboratory. Her research has focused on the involvement of bacterial quorum sensing (QS) signalling molecules in the development of marine communities. Bacteria use these QS signal molecules to regulate expression of many genes, including those involved in biofilm formation, motility, secondary metabolism and virulence. Within marine biofouling communities, Karen has demonstrated these consortia are hot-spots of both signal-producing and signal-degrading bacteria, and that key members of this community utilise QS to aid their attachment to surfaces. In addition, QS also influences the settlement of higher fouling organisms. Karen has demonstrated the problematic fouling alga, Ulva sp., and, more recently, the barnacle Balanus improvisus, tap in on this signalling system when locating surfaces for settlement.
Also of interest are signalling interactions amongst coral- and sponge-associated microbes, and the production of signal-mimic compounds by micro-algae.
More recently, Karen has expanded her interests of complex microbial communities to sediments. This work aims to determine the environmental drivers influencing microbial community structure and diversity in benthic habitats, particularly those microbes associated with nitrogen cycling, and the impact of environmental change on microbial community structure and function. Much of this work has involved studies of the impact of elevated CO2 and temperature on benthic microbes.
Dr Jonathan Todd, Senior Lecturer, School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia
Jonathan Todd is a molecular microbiologist who is interested in how a broad range of microbes, both Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic, participate in biogeochemical cycling. My research group focuses on the specific mechanisms that allow such organisms to synthesise and breakdown key biological molecules and importantly regulate these processes as to allow them to sense and respond to environmental cues.”
Current Research Projects:
- Identification and characterisation of the ways in which microbes breakdown the anti-stress molecule dimethylsulphoniopropionate (DMSP) that is made by many marine phytoplankton, macroalgae and a few angiosperms. This microbial DMSP catabolism is central to the global sulphur cycle, can affect both the local and global climate and is an important signaling cue to many higher organisms.
- How and why do Eukaryotic Algae make DMSP? As well as studying the catabolism of DMSP we are also identifying the ways in which algae make the most abundant sulphurous molecule in the oceans and importantly why do they do so. Surprisingly the exact function of DMSP remains unclear.
- Studies of mechanisms involved in metal transport and metal responsive gene regulation in Rhizobium and marine proteobacteria.
- Analysis of Carbon Monoxide Dehydrogenase enzymes in marine roeobacters that serve to detoxify this respiratory inhibitor.
- A study into denitrification in marine roseobacters. We are interested in the expression, regulation and enzymology of a suit of denitrification genes that exist in these microaerobic organisms.
Dr Corinne Whitby, Senior Lecturer in Environmental Microbiology, School of Biological Sciences, University