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Department of Zoology


Research in the Conservation Science Group centres around two broad questions:

  • What are the key threats to wild nature?
  • What are the most promising actions for reversing its decline?

We address these questions by tackling a wide range of issues.

Current research topics include:

  • Reconciling biodiversity conservation and farming;
  • Improving conservation policy and practice through evidence-based decision-making;
  • Understanding the functioning of networks in ecological systems;
  • Improving conservation planning, such as identifying priorities for UK forestry or global mangroves;
  • Understanding drivers of change in global waterbirds;
  • Investigating the impacts of veterinary drugs and spent lead ammunition on bird populations;
  • Quantifying the costs and benefits of biodiversity conservation;
  • Testing the use of bioclimatic models for predicting changes in bird ranges and abundance.

Key Publications 

Balmford, A. 2012. Wild Hope: on the Frontlines of Conservation Success. University of Chicago Press.

Phalan, B., Green, R.E., Dicks, L.V., Dotta, G., Feniuk, C., Lamb, A., Strassburg, B.B.N., Williams, D.R., zu Ermgassen, E.K.H.J. & Balmford, A. 2016. How can higher-yielding farming help to spare nature? Science 351: 450–451.

Cuthbert, R.J., Taggart, M.A., Mohini, S., Sharma, A., Das, A., Kulkarni, M.D., Deori, P., Ranade, S., Shringarpure, R.N., Galligan, T.H. & Green, R.E. 2016. Continuing mortality of vultures in India associated with illegal veterinary use of diclofenac and a potential threat from nimesulide. Oryx 50: 104–112.

Pearce-Higgins, J.W. & Green, R.E. 2014. Birds and Climate Change: Impacts and Conservation Responses. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Amano, T., Székely, T., Sandel, B., Nagy, S., Mundkur, T., Langendoen, T., Blanco, D., Soykan, C.U. & Sutherland, W.J. 2018. Successful conservation of global waterbird populations depends on effective governance. Nature 553: 199–202.

Sutherland, W.J., Butchart, S.H.M., Connor, B., Culshaw, C., Dicks, L.V., Dinsdale, J., Doran, H., Entwistle, A.C., Fleishman, E., Gibbons, D.W., Jiang, Z., Keim, B., Le Roux, X., Lickorish, F.A., Markillie, P., Monk, K.A., Mortimer, D., Pearce-Higgins, J.W., Peck, L.S., Pretty, J., Seymour, C.L., Spalding, M.D., Tonneijck, F.H. & Gleave, R.A. 2018. A 2018 Horizon Scan of emerging issues for global conservation and biological diversity. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 33: 47–58.

Full publication list