skip to content

Department of Zoology



I completed my PhD (2012-2016) in the Conservation Science Group in Cambridge, studying the impacts of temperature on the behaviour and distribution of two range-restricted endemic birds, the Ethiopian Bush-crow and White-tailed Swallow. Since then, I have worked for the RSPB Centre for Conservation Science, leading two projects assessing the effectiveness of Higher Level Stewardship agri-environment schemes in delivering population recovery of threatened farmland bird species (2016-2018). I returned to the Zoology Department in April 2018 as a Research Associate in the Insect Ecology Group, investigating how a community of British butterflies respond to fine-scale changes in temperature. In July 2019, I joined the Conservation Evidence group, where I am leading the production of the evidence synopsis on interventions for terrestrial and freshwater invertebrate conservation.


I am interested in the ecological determinants of species ranges, and the impact that human-induced changes are having on species behaviour and distribution. My current research focusses on the ability of within-reserve habitat management to create suitable microclimates for butterfly species in the UK. In the face of climate change, incorporating effective microclimate management into traditional habitat management on reserves is increasingly important, as creating a range of climatically suitable sites within the landscape may be crucial to allow cold-adapted species to persist in refugia, and to create "stepping stones" for warm-adapted species as they shift their range northwards to track climatic suitability. My study sites for this project are a network of Wildlife Trust and RSPB chalk grassland reserves in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Wiltshire.


Key publications: 

Bladon AJ, Lewis M, Bladon EK, Buckton SJ, Corbett S, Ewing SR, Hayes MP, Hitchcock GE, Knock R, Lucas C, McVeigh A, Menéndez R, Walker JM, Fayle TM, Turner EC (in review). How butterflies keep their cool: physical and ecological traits influence thermoregulatory ability and population trends. Journal of Animal Ecology

Littlewood NA, Rocha R, Smith RK, Martin PA, Lockhart SL, Schoonover RF, Wilman E, Bladon AJ, Sainsbury KA, Pimm S & Sutherland WJ (2020) Terrestrial Mammal Conservation: Global Evidence for the Effects of Interventions for terrestrial mammals excluding bats and primates. Synopses of Conservation Evidence Series. University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

Bladon AJ & Smith RK (2019). Effects of conservation interventions on terrestrial and freshwater invertebrates: a protocol for subject-wide evidence synthesis.

Bladon AJ, Donald PF, Jones SEI, Collar N, Deng J, Dadacha G, Abebe Y & Green RE (2019). Behavioural thermoregulation and climatic range restriction in the globally threatened Ethiopian Bush-crow Zavattariornis stresemanni. Ibis, 161(3), 546-558. DOI:

Bramer I, Anderson BJ, Bennie J, Bladon AJ, De Frenne P, Hemming D, Hill RA, Kearney MR, Korner C, Korstjens AH, Lenoir J, Maclean IMD, Marsh CD, Morecroft MD, Ohlemuller R, Slater HD, Suggitt AJ, Zellweger F & Gillingham PK (2018). Advances in monitoring and modelling climates at ecologically relevant scales. Advances in Ecological Research, 58, 101–161.  DOI:

Other publications: 
Petrovan SO, Aldridge DC, Bartlett H, Bladon AJ, Booth H, Broad S, Broom DM, Burgess ND, Cleaveland S, Cunningham AA, Ferri M, Hinsley A, Hua F, Hughes AC, Jones K, Kelly M, Mayes G, Radakovic M, Ugwu CA, Uddin N, Verissimo D, Walzer C, White TB, Wood J & Sutherland WJ (in review). Post COVID-19: a solution scan of options for preventing future zoonotic epidemics. Biological Reviews.

Sutherland WJ, Taylor NG, Aldridge DC, Martin P, Rhodes C, Shackelford G, Beard S, Belfield H, Bladon AJ, Brick C, Burgman M, Christie AP, Dicks LV, Dobson AP, Downey H, Hood ASC, Hua F, Hughes AC, Jarvis RM, MacFarlane D, Morgan WH, Mupepele AC, Marciniak SJ, Nelson C, O'hEigeartaigh S, Rios-Rojas C, Savolainen R, Sainsbury KA, Smith RK, Sundaram LS, Tankard H, Thornton A, Watkins J, White TB, Willott K & Petrovan SO (in review). A solution scan of societal options to reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission and spread.

Simmons BI, Balmford AP, Bladon AJ, Christie AP, De Palma A, Dicks LV, Gallego-Zamorano J, Johnston A, Martin PA, Purvis A, Rocha R, Wauchope HS, Wordley CFR, Worthington TA, Finch T (2019). Worldwide insect declines: an important message, but interpret with caution. Ecology and Evolution9 (7), 3678-3680. DOI:

Bladon AJ, Morris AJ, Siriwardena G & Peach WJ (2018). Evaluating the farm-scale responses of birds to Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) 2008–2017. Natural England Report, LM0467.

Bladon AJ, Morris AJ, Grice PV, Phillips J & Peach WJ (2018). Selective use of bespoke habitat management areas by target farmland bird species. Aspects of Applied Biology, 139, Ecosystem and Habitat Management: Research, Policy, Practice, 3–14.

Jones SEI, Bladon AJ, Collar NJ, Dadacha G, Denge J & Donald PF (2018). Varied diet and opportunistic foraging in the Ethiopian Bush-crow Zavattariornis stresemanni: an Endangered generalist. Ostrich, 89 (1): 41–46. DOI:

Bladon AJ, Chown D, Peach WJ & Morris AJ (2017). Assessing the effectiveness of HLS agreements deploying the Farmland Bird Package 2011–2016. Natural England Report, LM0463.

Bladon AJ, Jones SEI, Collar NJ, Dellelegn Y, Donald PF, Gedeon K, Green RE, Spottiswoode CN, Töpfer T & Wondafrash M (2016). Further notes on the natural history of the Ethiopian Bush-crow Zavattariornis stresemanni. Bulletin of the African Bird Club, 23 (1): 27-45.

Bladon AJ, Töpfer T, Collar NJ, Gedeon K, Donald PF, Dellelegn Y, Wondafrash M, Denge J, Dadacha G, Adula M & Green RE (2015). Notes on the behaviour, plumage and distribution of the White-tailed Swallow Hirundo megaensis. Bulletin of the African Bird Club, 22 (2): 148-161.

Kirby WB, Bellamy PE, Stanbury AJ, Bladon AJ, Grice PV & Gillings S (2015). Breeding season habitat associations and population declines of British Hawfinches Coccothraustes coccothraustes. Bird Study, 62 (3): 348–357. DOI:

Research Associate

Contact Details

DAB 3.01
Museum Room G.21
01223 (7)65409 01223 (7)69468