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Department of Zoology



I have a BA (majors in Classics and Ancient World Studies), BSc (major in Zoology), and MSc (BioSciences) from the University of Melbourne in Australia. My MSc research was supervised by Ben “The Bunyip Whisperer” Phillips; together we explored the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of spreading populations using simulation models and experiments with the water flea Daphnia carinata. I also worked as Ben’s research assistant and as a tutor for both Ormond and St Hilda’s Colleges for a number of years.


For my PhD I’m interested in finding out how best to conserve marine biodiversity given the many pressures placed upon our planet’s oceans by humanity. By using population modelling to pit rival marine conservation strategies against one another, I hope to determine which management options lead to the best outcomes for seascapes as a whole.

I'm a member of the Conservation Science Group and am supervised by Andrew Balmford.


Key publications: 

Erm P., Balmford A. & Holden M. H. (2023) The biodiversity benefits of marine protected areas in well-regulated fisheriesBiological Conservation 284: 110049

Erm P. & Phillips B. L. (2020) Evolution transforms pushed waves into pulled wavesThe American Naturalist 195: E87-E99.

PhD Student

Contact Details

Room 3.01 David Attenborough Building