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Department of Zoology



I work on increasing the use of the Conservation Evidence project by conservation practitioners. This involves communication about the benefits of evidence based conservation, promotion of the Conservation Evidence database, and the provision of academic support for practitioners who want to test conservation interventions that can add to the Conservation Evidence project. I work closely with NGOs who want to increase their use of evidence in decision making, and improve their impact evaluation and publication of conservation interventions.

Most recently I was a contributing author on the PRISM toolkit for evaluating the outcomes and impacts 
of small/medium-sized conservation projects. My 2017 paper 'Evidence complacency hampers conservation' was used by Lord John Krebs to ask the UK government to ensure the the government's 25 year environment plan would be evidence based.

Prior to this I worked for the RSPB, looking at the evidence base for management options for seabirds in marine protected areas.

I did my PhD at the University of Leeds under the supervision of Professor John Altringham. I worked in collaboration with the Nature Conservation Foundation(, and focused on changes in bat species composition and functional diversity between different plantation types, forest fragments and riparian corridors in the Western Ghats of India. 



2018: £12,500 from People's Trust for Endangered Species to assess the impacts of woodland management on bats with Cambridge Past, Present and Future and The Cambridgeshire Bat Group.

2014: £3,000 from the British Ecological Society to undertake fieldwork in India

2013: £2,500 from the UK-India Research Institute to undertake fieldwork in India 

2010: c £68,000 NERC funded PhD



2018: CIEEM In Practice award for best article in the In Practice magazine

2016: Best talk at the British Ecological Society Tropical Ecology Group Early Career Conference

2014: Best fourth year ecology talk at the Faculty of Biological Sciences Postgraduate Symposium, at the University of Leeds 



2010-2014: NERC funded PhD at the University of Leeds on the ecology andconservation of bats in the Western Ghats of India,under the supervision of Professor John Altringham and Dr Mahesh Sankaran.

2005-2009: MBiolSci in Zoology at the University of Sheffield with First Class Honours. Master’s project supervisors were Dr Jon Slate and Dr Jess Stapley.


I have done extensive public outreach in the UK and India, mostly focused around bats, including talks in schools, newspaper series, poster exhibitions and science outreach events.

My newspaper series in The Hindu In School can be found here:



I have also been involved in activism to encourage the University of Cambridge to divest from fossil fuels, and to ask the UK government to go carbon neutral by 2025.

Speaking about the climate crisis in an interview with BBC Radio Cambridgeshire: My interview starts at 2 hrs 22 mins, with the climate breakdown section at 2hrs 35: 
Writing about the need for environmental scientists to be activists:

Press coverage of my work includes:


Key publications: 

Romero-Muñoz, A., Fernández-Llamazares, Á., Moraes R., M., Larrea-Alcázar, D. M. & Wordley, C.F.R. (2019) A pivotal year for Bolivian conservation policy. Nature Ecology & Evolution 3, 866–869

Nick Salafsky, Judith Boshoven, Zuzana Burivalova, Natalie S. Dubois, Andres Gomez, Arlyne Johnson, Aileen Lee, Richard Margoluis, John Morrison, Matthew Muir, Stephen C. Pratt, Andrew S. Pullin, Daniel Salzer, Annette Stewart, William J. Sutherland, Claire F. R. Wordley (2019). Defining and using evidence in conservation practice. Conservation Science and Practice; e27.

Benno I. Simmons, Andrew Balmford, Andrew J. Bladon, Alec P. Christie, Adriana De Palma, Lynn V. Dicks, Juan Gallego‐Zamorano, Alison Johnston, Philip A. Martin, Andy Purvis, Ricardo Rocha, Hannah S. Wauchope, Claire F. R. WordleyThomas A. Worthington, Tom Finch (2019). Worldwide insect declines: An important message, but interpret with caution. Ecol Evol. 2019; 00: 1– 3.

Wordley, C., Petrovan, S., Smith, R., Dicks, L., Ockendon, N., & Sutherland, W. (2018). What Works in Conservation 2018. Oryx, 52(4), 609-610. doi:10.1017/S0030605318000765

Sutherland, W.J., and Wordley, C.F.R. (2018) A fresh approach to evidence synthesis. Nature

Jucker, T. , Wintle, B. , Shackelford, G. , Bocquillon, P. , Geffert, J. L., Kasoar, T. , Kovacs, E. , Mumby, H. S., Orland, C. , Schleicher, J. , Tew, E. R., Zabala, A. , Amano, T. , Bell, A. , Bongalov, B. , Chambers, J. M., Corrigan, C. , Durán, A. P., Duvic‐Paoli, L. , Emilson, C. , da Silva, J. F., Garnett, E. E., Green, E. J., Guth, M. K., Hacket‐Pain, A. , Hinsley, A. , Igea, J. , Kunz, M. , Luke, S. H., Lynam, W. , Martin, P. A., Nunes, M. H., Ockendon, N. , Pavitt, A. , Payne, C. L., Plutshack, V. , Rademacher, T. T., Robertson, R. J., Rose, D. C., Serban, A. , Simmons, B. I., Emilson, E. J., Tayleur, C. , Wordley, C. F. R. and Mukherjee, N. (2018), Ten‐year assessment of the 100 priority questions for global biodiversity conservation. Conservation Biology. Accepted Author Manuscript. . doi:10.1111/cobi.13159

Wordley, C., Ockendon, N., & Thomas, D. (2018). Restoring nature with evidence. Oryx, 52(3), 413-414. https://doi:10.1017/S0030605318000510

Wordley, Claire F.R., Sankaran, M., Mudappa, D., Altringham, J.D. (2018) Heard but not seen: Comparing bat assemblages and study methods in a mosaic landscape in the Western Ghats of India. Ecology and Evolution

Petrovan, S.O., Junker, J., Wordley, C.F.R.Kühl, H. S.,Ort, L., Smith, R. K. and W. J. Sutherland (2018) Evidence-Based Synopsis of Interventions, a New Tool in Primate Conservation and Research. International Journal of Primatology, 38, 1-4.

Sutherland, W.J. and Wordley, C.F., (2017) Evidence complacency hampers conservation. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 1(9) 1215-1216 

Wordley, C.F.R., Mudappa, D., Sankaran, M. and Altringham, J.D., (2017) Bats in the Ghats: Agricultural intensification reduces functional diversity and increases trait filtering in a biodiversity hotspot in India. Biological Conservation 210, 48-55

Wordley, C.F., Foui, E.K., Mudappa, D., Sankaran, M. and Altringham, J.D., (2016) Range extension of the endangered Salim Ali’s Fruit Bat Latidens salimalii (Chiroptera: Pteropodidae) in the Anamalai Hills, Tamil Nadu, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa, 8 (12), 9486-9490

Wordley, C. F., Sankaran, M., Mudappa, D., & Altringham, J. D. (2015) Landscape scale habitat suitability modelling of bats in the Western Ghats of India: Bats like something in their tea. Biological Conservation, 191, 529-536

Wordley, C.F.R., Altringham, J.D. and Shankar Raman, T.R. (2014) Bats in Indian coffee plantations:doing more good than harm? Current Science 107 (12) 1-3

Wordley, C.F.R., Foui, E., Mudappa, D., Sankaran, M., Altringham, J. (2014) Acoustic identification of bats in the southern Western Ghats, India. Acta Chiropterologica 16 (1) 213-222

Wordley, C., Slate, J. and Stapley, J., (2010) Mining online genomic resources in Anolis carolinensis facilitates rapid and inexpensive development of cross-species microsatellite markers for the Anolis lizard genus. Molecular Ecology Resources, (1):126-33. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-0998.2010.02863.x

Stapley, J., Wordley, C. and Slate, J. (2010) No Evidence of Genetic Differentiation Between Anoles With Different Dewlap Color Patterns. Journal of Heredity, 102 (1): 118-124

Other publications: