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Department of Zoology



Current role: Henslow Research Fellow, Downing College. Affiliated with Department of Zoology, Conservation Evidence group and the Biosecurity Research Initiative at St Catherine’s (BioRISC) College. 

Background: I studied at the University of St Andrews for my BSc Hons in Marine Biology from 2013-2017. During my time I trained and helped conduct research on seals at the SMRU/SOI, cetaceans in Turkey with DMAD, and studied abroad at James Cook University, Australia, undertaking research on coral reefs with Dr Maria Dornelas and Professor Sean Connelly. I was also lucky enough to study polar ecology, including a field course to the Western Antarctic Peninsula in March 2017. I then applied for a PhD project advertised through the Cambridge ESS DTP and joined the Conservation Evidence group in the UCCRI. I completed my PhD in Zoology (Determining the biases and consistences in the evidence for conservation) in March 2021 as a member of King’s College and the University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute (UCCRI) in the Cambridge Conservation Initiative (CCI). I was a postdoctoral research associate in the Conservation Evidence group until October 2021 when I started a Henslow Research Fellowship at Downing College, Cambridge.

I am very interested in communicating science and conservation issues to the public and particularly interested in becoming a wildlife television presenter. In my spare time I am also an amateur wildlife photographer, love getting outdoors and playing all sorts of sports when I can.


Fellowship: My fellowship project has three stands: 1. Finding ways to directly combine and assess different forms of evidence (e.g., the scientific literature and indigenous and local community knowledge) into evidence-based decision-making; 2. Developing new approaches to assessing the reliability and relevance of evidence to different decision-making contexts; 3. Quantifying the generalisability of evidence for different conservation actions to understand whether the findings of evidence transfer well between different contexts. I want to ensure that in the future, evidence-based decision-making combines diverse sources of knowledge for decision-making, whilst making sure to assess the reliability and relevance of each piece of evidence so we can provide tailored recommendations to decision-makers based on their local context. 

Previous work: My PhD research focused on applying evidence-based principles from medicine to biodiversity conservation via the Conservation Evidence project. In particular, my work involved quantifying the gaps and biases in the evidence base for conservation, as well as co-developing decision support tools with conservationists to make the reasoning and evidence behind their decision-making more transparent. In my postdoc with the Conservation Evidence project, I worked on the BioRISC project to design and improve an interface to an online application that enables users to obtain customised syntheses of evidence on invasive species management interventions that are dynamically updated ( 


Other professional activities:

Zoocast project co-presenter and co-producer.


Key publications: 


Christie, A.P., Downey, H., Grainger, M., O’Brien, D., Frick, W.F., Tinsley-Marshall, P., White, T.B., Winter, M., Sutherland, W.J. A practical conservation tool to combine diverse types of evidence for transparent evidence-based decision-making. Conservation Science and Practice e579.

Christie, A.P.,* White, T.B.,* Martin, P.A., Petrovan, S., Littlewood, N.A., Rocha, R., Bladon, A.J,  Sainsbury, K.A., Taylor, N.G., Mupepele, A.-C.,  Smith, R.K., Sutherland, W.J. Reducing publication delay to improve the efficiency and impact of conservation science. PeerJ 9:e12245  *Joint first-authorship.

Amano, T., Berdejo- Espinola, V.B., Christie, A.P.,  Willott, K., Akasaka, M., et al. (2021). Tapping into non-English-language science for the conservation of global biodiversity. PLOS Biology 19(10): e3001296. (Major contribution to analyses and data figures).

Sutherland, W.J., Taylor, N.G., Aldridge, D.C., Martin, P., Rhodes, C., et al. (2021). A solution scan of societal options to reduce transmission and spread of respiratory viruses: SARS-CoV-2 as a case study. J Biosaf Biosecurity. doi:

Christie, A. (2021). Determining the biases and consistencies in the evidence for conservation (Doctoral thesis).

Shackelford, G.E., Martin, P.A., Hood, A.S.C., Christie, A.P., Kulinskaya, E., et al. (2021). Dynamic meta-analysis: a method of using global evidence for local decision making. BMC Biology. 19, 33.

Downey, H., Amano, T., Cadotte, M., Cook, C.N., Cooke, S.J., et al. (2021). Training future generations to deliver evidence-based conservation and ecosystem management. Ecological Solutions and Evidence. 2, e12032.

Christie, A.P., Abecasis, D., Adjeroud, M., Alonso, J.C., Amano, T., et al. (2020). Quantifying and addressing the prevalence and bias of study designs in the environmental and social sciences. Nature Communications, 11, 6377. (Editors’ Highlight).

Spake, R., Mori, A.S., Beckmann, M.A., Martin, P.A., Christie, A.P., et al. (2020). Implications of scale dependence for cross-study syntheses of biodiversity differences. Ecology Letters. 24, 374-390.

Christie, A.P., Amano, T., Martin, P.A., Petrovan, S.O., Shackelford, G.E., et al. (2020). The challenge of biased evidence in conservation. Conservation Biology. 35, 249-262.

Christie, A.P., Amano, T., Martin, P. A., Petrovan, S. O., Shackelford, G. E., et al. (2020). Poor availability of context-specific evidence hampers decision-making in conservation. Biological Conservation, 248, 108666.

Junker, J., Petrovan, S.O., Arroyo-Rodriguez, V., Boonratana, R., Byler, D., et al. (2020). Severe Lack of Evidence Limits Effective Conservation of the World’s Primates. Bioscience, 70, 794-803. (Major contribution to analyses and data figures).

Christie, A.P., Amano, T., Martin, P.A., Shackelford, G.E., Simmons, B.I., et al. (2019). Simple study designs in ecology produce inaccurate estimates of biodiversity responses. Journal of Applied Ecology, 56, 2742-2754.

Sutherland, W.J., Taylor, N.G., MacFarlane, D., Amano, T., Christie, A.P., et al. (2019). Building a tool to overcome barriers in research‐implementation spaces: The conservation evidence database. Biological Conservation, 238, 108199.

Geldmann, J., Alves-Pinto, H., Amano, T., Barlett, H., Christie, A.P., et al. (2020). Insights from two decades of the Student Conference on Conservation Science. Biological Conservation, 243, 108478.

Simmons, B.I., Balmford, A., Bladon, A.J., Christie A.P., De Palma, A., et al. (2019). Worldwide insect declines: An important message, but interpret with caution. Ecology and Evolution, 9, 3678-3680.

House J.E., Brambilla V., Bidaut L.M., Christie A.P., Pizarro O., et al. (2018). Moving to 3D: relationships between coral planar area, surface area and volume. PeerJ, 6, e4280.



Research supervision: 

Supervision of second-year and third year Natural Sciences undergraduates in research projects on conservation science topics. (2021-2022).

Co-supervision of student for Summer Research Project in the Centre for Mathematical Sciences, University of Cambridge. (2021).

Co-supervision of student project in Department of Computer Science, University of Cambridge. (2021).



Supervisor for Part II (3rd year) Conservation Science, Applied Ecology and Behavioural Ecology modules.

Demonstrator for Part Ia (1st year) Biology of Cells microscopy practicals.

Master's in Conservation Leadership Seminar on Evidence-based Conservation.

Open University Associate Lecturer for S397 Ecosystems.

Henslow Research Fellow, Downing College, Cambridge

Contact Details

Room 3.01 David Attenborough Building
Pembroke Street
Available for consultancy


Person keywords: 
impact evaluation
experimental design
study design
evidence-based conservation
evidence synthesis