These nine experts with a variety of backgrounds and expertise will guide the work to set out a vision for the Future of Ecological Research in the UK.
The panel includes experts who have made outstanding contributions across a wide range of areas. They will guide the project, oversee consultation with the broad and diverse ecological community and create the final report outlining the research priorities for ecological research in the UK.
Yadvinder Malhi is Professor of Ecosystem Science at the Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford. He explores the functioning of the biosphere and its interactions with global change, including climate change. He has a particular fascination with and love for tropical forests, though he has been spotted in ecosystems ranging from savannas, the Arctic, tropical coral reefs and Oxfordshire’s woodlands and floodplain meadows. A recent focus has been on nature recovery and biodiversity restoration in the UK.
Yadvinder is President of the British Ecological Society, a trustee of the Natural History Museum of London, chairs a number of programmes on biodiversity at the Royal Society, and is a scientific advisor on nature restoration for the UK government and the government of Scotland.
Bridget Emmett is Head of Soils and Land Use at the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.
She has over 30 years’ experience in environmental research focusing on understanding the impacts of air pollution, climate change and land management for soils and ecosystems.
Most recently, Bridget has focused on leading large multi-partner programmes for national governments to deliver integrated national-scale monitoring of our natural capital. These projects track policy outcomes, develop integrated modelling platforms to support policy development, and robustly review the evidence base for agri-environment actions.
Jaboury Ghazoul is Professor of Ecosystem Management at ETH Zurich, a position he has held since 2005. He also has a part-time position as the Director of the Centre for Sustainable Forests and Landscapes at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.
Jaboury is a plant ecologist, with broader interests in forest and landscape ecology and management, working in both natural and human dominated landscapes.
Current topics of research include socio-ecological systems approaches to forest restoration, landscape transitions and agroforestry.
He was President of the Association of Tropical Biology and Conservation from 2014 to 2016.
Professor Rosie Hails is Nature and Science Director at the National Trust, holding honorary chairs at Exeter and Cranfield universities.
Her role is to develop the Trust’s nature strategy, research portfolio and advise on science evidence relevant to Trust decision making. She leads teams focusing on nature conservation, trees and woods, wildlife management, land use, farming and public benefits delivered by nature.
Rosie is a member of the UK Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs’ Science Advisory Council, chairing the Biodiversity Targets Advisory Group. She is also a Council member of the RSPB, chair of the Woodmeadow Trust Steering Group and trustee of the John Innes Foundation, as well as serving on a number of advisory boards.
Jane Memmott is a Professor of Ecology in the School of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol. She runs a research group that uses ecological networks as a tool for asking about the impact of environmental change.
She works in a variety of research fields including the pollination ecology, agro-ecology, invasion ecology, urban ecology and restoration ecology. Field sites range from English meadows to Hawaiian swamps and from Scottish islands to inner cities.
Working with conservation practitioners is a key part of her approach and a wide variety of techniques are used by her research group, from field observation to field experiment, from theory to molecular approaches. Jane is Past President of the British Ecological Society.
As Professor of Ecology at Cardiff University, Steve Ormerod is interested in global change effects on freshwater ecosystems.
Previous roles include Chair of the RSPB, the invertebrate charity Buglife, the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology’s Science Development Group and Dŵr Cymru’s Environment Advisory Panel. Steve has also served as President of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management and Chief Editor of the Journal of Applied Ecology.
He is currently Deputy Chair of Natural Resources Wales, a committee member of the UK Joint Nature Conservation Committee and Vice-President of the RSPB.
Josephine Pemberton holds the Chair of Natural History at the University of Edinburgh. She is a molecular ecologist whose research lies at the interface of ecology and evolution. For many years she has been involved in running the long term, individual-based studies of red deer on the Isle of Rum and Soay sheep on St Kilda.
Her lab developed some of the most widely used methods for recovering pedigree information in wild populations, enabling studies of breeding success, inbreeding and the quantitative genetics of fitness-related traits in natural populations. Current research themes include inbreeding depression, the measurement of natural selection and understanding the mechanisms underlying phenology change.
Nathalie Seddon is Professor of Biodiversity and Founding Director of the Nature-based Solutions Initiative at the University of Oxford. Nathalie trained as an ecologist at Cambridge University and has over 20 years’ research experience in a range of ecosystems across the globe. As a University Research Fellow of the Royal Society, she developed broad research interests in understanding the origins and maintenance of biodiversity and its relationship with global change.
She is a Senior Associate of the International Institute for Environment and Development, a Senior Fellow of the Oxford Martin School, Director of the Agile Initiative and co-Director of the Leverhulme Centre for Nature Recovery. Nathalie advises governments, UN agencies and businesses on nature-based solutions and is a Friend of CoP26, one of 30 global experts currently advising the UK government on its Presidency of the UNFCCC’s climate change conference, CoP26.
Martin Solan is Professor of Marine Ecology at the National Oceanography Centre and the University of Southampton.
He is a marine benthic ecologist with broad interests in understanding biodiversity-environment interactions and the ecosystem consequences of altered diversity and environmental change. He champions strategic and applied interdisciplinary research in benthic habitats, from coastal to full ocean depth and across environmental gradients.
His current focus is to maximise the benefits of coupling powerful experimentation with theory and observations of natural systems by combining in situ observations in the field with appropriate laboratory experiments. A growing area of investigation is how adaptive sustainable management strategies can be applied to secure the ecosystem services that marine environments provide to humanity. He is applying these concepts to contemporary issues in marine coastal and offshore shelf zones.
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