My main interests relate to the effects of agricultural practice on biodiversity, with my research focusing on the responses of biodiversity, and the complex ecological processes underlying them, to land management interventions at different spatial scales, and across taxonomic groups.
Past projects have included long-term studies on the effects of arable field margin management on plants and invertebrates, a landscape-scale study of factors affecting the biodiversity of farmland ditches, and large-scale, multi-site projects on the impacts on biodiversity of set-aside and organic farming. I have a particular interest in Lepidoptera and have been involved with projects on the impacts of agricultural and woodland management on butterflies and moths.
Other projects have included developing protocols for the ecological monitoring of the Scottish beaver trial release, and working with the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust on the ecology and conservation of Triops cancriformis, an rare invertebrate (in the UK) of temporary ponds. I currently manage a project which is a review of threats to the welfare of UK vertebrates.
I have recently finished editing, with David Macdonald, two academic volumes which synthesize the results of the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit’s (WildCRU’s) agro-ecology studies over the last 25 years in the Wildlife Conservation on Farmland two-volume book set. I am also keen on promoting research outcomes beyond the academic arena and have written a practitioner’s handbook which disseminates key results from our farmland studies in an accessible format (available here for download). View my other publications on my personal publication list.