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Department of Zoology


Our research group studies the ecology of insects, the impacts of human-induced habitat change, and strategies for managing ecosystems in a more sustainable way.

Group members are currently working within agricultural ecosystems in Southeast Asia, chalk grassland reserves in the UK, and green spaces in school grounds, as well as using the Museum of Zoology insect collection to study long-term change.

Please visit our group webpage for more information about our current research projects, and for recent news about our work.

Current research topics include:

  • Impacts of alternative management practices and restoration on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in oil palm plantations

  • Managing chalk grassland reserves for butterflies in the face of climate change

  • The role of school green spaces in supporting biodiversity and raising awareness of the natural world

  • Using museum collections to study long-term change

  • Taxonomic work on scuttle flies (Diptera: Phoridae)

Key Publications

Hayes, M.P., Ashe-Jepson, E., Bladon, A.J., Hitchcock, G.E., Knock, R.I., Lucas, C.B.H., Turner, E.C. (2021) Consistent oviposition preferences of the Duke of Burgundy butterfly over 14 years on a chalk grassland reserve in Bedfordshire. Journal of Insect Conservation 25, pages 611–628

Howlett, K. & Turner, E.C. (2021) Effects of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions on parents' attitudes towards green space and time spent outside by children in Cambridgeshire and North London, United Kingdom. People and Nature. doi: 10.1002/pan3.10291

Disney, R. H. L. (2021) Phoridae (Scuttle Flies), Chapter 59:  1383-1437. In: Kirk-Spriggs, A.H. & Sinclair, B.J., eds, Manual of Afrotropical Diptera. Volume 3. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.

Reiss-Woolever, V.J., Luke, S.H., Stone, J., Shackelford, G.E., Turner, E.C. (2021) Systematic mapping shows the need for increased socio-ecological research on oil palm. Environmental Research Letters 16 063002

Bladon A.J., Lewis M, Bladon E, Buckton S, Corbett S, Ewing S, Hayes M.P., Hitchcock G, Knock R, Lucas C, McVeigh A, Menendez R, Walker J, Fayle T, Turner EC (2020). How butterflies keep their cool: physical and ecological traits influence thermoregulatory ability and population trends. Journal of Animal Ecology 89, 2440-2450

Hood, A.S.C., Advento, A.D., Stone, J., Fayle, T.M., Fairnie, A.L.M.Waters, H.S.Foster, W.A., Snaddon, J.L., Ps, S., Caliman, J-P., Naim, M., Turner, E.C. (2020) Removing understory vegetation in oil palm agroforestry reduces ground-foraging ant abundance but not species richness. Basic Appl Ecol. doi: 10.1016/j.baae.2020.07.002

Luke, S.H., Advento, A.D., Aryawan, A.A.K., Adhy, D.H., Ashton-Butt, A., Barclay, H., Dewi, J.P., Drewer, J., Dumbrell, A.J., Edi, Eycott, A.E., Harianja, M.F., Hinsch, J.K., Hood, A.S-C., Kurniawan, C., Kurz, D.J., Mann, D.J., Matthews Nicholass, K.J., Naim, M., Pashkevich, M.D., Prescott, G.W., Ps, S., Pujianto, Purnomo, D., Purwoko, R.R., Putra, S., Rambe, T.D.S., Soeprapto, Spear, D.M., Suhardi, Tan, D.J.X., Tao, H-H., Tarigan, R.S., Wahyuningsih, R., Waters, H.S., Widodo, R.H., Whendy, Woodham, C.R., Caliman, J-P., Slade, E.M., Snaddon, J.L., Foster, W.A., Turner, E.C. (2020). Managing oil palm plantations more sustainably: large-scale experiments within the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Function in Tropical Agriculture (BEFTA) Programme. Frontiers in Forests and Global Change, 2

Full list of publications


Contact Details

Group Leader

Dr Ed Turner

Department of Zoology
University of Cambridge
Downing St

01223  (7)69353

Group Members