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Jessica Fisher


Jessica FisherEmail: jcf22@kent.ac.uk

OrciD 0000-0002-1435-9247 | @Jessjessfisher | LinkedIn

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After an undergraduate in Zoology (Newcastle University), and a Masters by Research in Biodiversity, Evolution, and Conservation (University College London), I was awarded a cross-disciplinary PhD at DICE, University of Kent, in Biodiversity Management.

Previous expedition research surrounds multidisciplinary themes in conservation and human impacts: how disturbance impacts iguana behaviour and variations in public attitudes toward iguanas (US Virgin Islands); and the impact of logging on lemur distribution and patterns of resource use (Madagascar). During my MRes, I conducted two research projects on species distribution modelling of loris populations in Southeast Asia, and the impacts of otter trawling on benthic biodiversity in western Greenland (partnered with ZSL).

I have worked in conservation charities including the ZSL Institute of Zoology (researching kelp monitoring and remote sensing), UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (researching policy initiatives that support connectivity-conservation), and the Science Media Centre (assisting the press office as an intern).

PhD: Benefits of Biodiversity: Human-Nature Interactions in Urban Guyana
Urbanisation is presenting challenges for biodiversity conservation and human welfare. The gap between people and nature is increasing, possibly resulting in reduced interest and engagement with the environment. Yet, evidence is accumulating that demonstrates the societal and personal wellbeing and health benefits that people derive from exposure to nature. Research in this area is rarely conducted in tropical developing countries. My PhD project will be based in Georgetown, Guyana, a biodiverse concrete jungle laced with greenspaces and canal networks. I will be using multidisciplinary methods, supported by both the ESRC and NERC, to investigate Georgetown’s biodiversity and how it is perceived and valued. The results will be used by Guyana's Protected Areas Commission, in conjunction with WWF, to directly inform policy initiatives aimed at improving green/blue space provision for Georgetown residents.​

Publications

  • Yesson, C., Fisher, J., Gorham, T., et al. (2016) The impact of trawling on the epibenthic megafauna of the West Greenland shelf. ICES Journal of Marine Science (In review)
  • Fisher, J., Blow, R., Wintersgill, D.M., Wood, S. (2016) Using animal behaviour and social science to study the impact of human presence on Iguana iguana, St Thomas, US Virgin Islands. Herpetological Conservation and Biology (In prep.)
  • Blow, B., Fisher, J., et al. (2014) Abundance of five nocturnal lemur species and the influence of habitat characteristics in the littoral forest of Tampolo North East Madagascar. Lemur News 18:52-57

Awards

  • Master’s Prize Scholarship - £2000 (UCL, 2014)
  • Environmental Champion Of The Year – Shortlisted (NCL+ Awards, 2013)
  • Research Scholarships and Expeditions Award - £3000 (Newcastle University, 2012)

Grants

  • Grant - £1600 (St Clement Danes Educational Foundation, 2014)
  • Grant - £1000 (Sir Mark and Lady Turner Charitable Settlement, 2014)
  • Grant - £300 (Yorkshire Ladies’ Council of Education, 2014)
  • Grant - £1000 (Hornsey Parochial Educational Charity, 2014)
  • Somerset Special Award - £250 (Tottenham Grammar Foundation, 2014)
  • Expedition Grant - £1000 (Gilchrist Educational Trust, 2013)
  • Geographical Fieldwork Grant - £1500 (Royal Geographical Society, 2013)

Conferences

  • Autumn 2014 (Poster and Talk) – Biological Sciences Panel Member, expedition logistics and planning. Explore, Royal Geographical Society with IBG, London
  • Autumn 2014 (Talk) – Reflections from The Dark: The hunt for Madagascar’s nocturnal lemurs – Daytime Event, Anglo-Malagasy Society, London
  • Spring 2014 (Talk) – Reflections from The Dark: The hunt for Madagascar’s nocturnal lemurs – Geographical Journeys: Microlecture Series, Ontaadje Theatre, Royal Geographical Society with IBG, London
  • Autumn 2012 (Poster and Talk) – Human impacts on the Green Iguana – Biological Sciences Panel, Explore, Royal Geographical Society with IBG, London
  • Autumn 2012 (Talk) - Human impacts on the Green Iguana – Public Lecture Series, Herschel Lecture Theatre, Newcastle University, Newcastle Upon Tyne.

Affiliations

Other activities
2016 – Research Blog Contributor (WomenAreBoring)
2015 – Student-Staff committee representative (University College London)
2015 – Soapbox Science – Volunteer assisting public engagement of research on Southbank
2015 – Sunset Safari – Stall informing the public about oceans research (ZSL)
2014 – Butterflies Volunteer informing the public about wildlife (Natural History Museum)
2014 – STEM Ambassador (STEMNET)
2013/14 – Blog Author (Noah’s Ark)