Dr Samuel Turvey
Senior Research Fellow
- 2009-present: Royal Society University Research Fellowship, Institute of Zoology.
- 2006-2009: NERC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Institute of Zoology.
- 2004-2006: Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship, Institute of Zoology.
- 2002-2003: Royal Society Banks Alecto Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Canterbury, New Zealand.
- 1998-2002: NERC/CASE D.Phil student, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford.
- 1995-1998: BA (Hons), Biological Sciences, University of Oxford.
My main interest is the history and prehistory of human-caused extinctions – their geographic, taxonomic and ecological patterns; their drivers, duration and ecosystem impacts; and the usefulness of this environmental history in developing conservation strategies for today’s threatened species.
My research so far has focused mainly on reconstructing pre-human ecosystems and the chronology and dynamics of mammal and bird extinctions on islands such as New Zealand and the West Indies, which are both evolutionarily innovative and ecologically fragile.
I am also heavily involved with ZSL’s new EDGE of Existence programme, which aims to support conservation projects for evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered species (hence the acronym) – species that represent branches rather than twigs on the Tree of Life – in order to prevent the imminent extinction of disproportionate amounts of biodiversity.
In particular, I am currently developing conservation projects for solenodons and hutias, the only surviving land mammals of the West Indies, which are now extremely threatened. Over the past few years I have also witnessed the sorry saga surrounding the extinction of the Yangtze River dolphin (Lipotes vexillifer), and I continue to support both research and active conservation for the remaining threatened species of the Yangtze Basin.
Turvey, S.T. (Ed.) (2009). Holocene Extinctions. Oxford University Press (352 pp).
Turvey, S.T. (2008). Witness to Extinction: How We Failed to Save the Yangtze River Dolphin. Oxford University Press (234 pp).
"We passed slowly between soggy mud banks heavy with wet grass and the skeletons of trees … in front of the ship everything faded into a grey void. It was completely silent. We stood vigilantly on deck, peering out into the blankness. Everything felt poised and expectant...
...and then, ahead of us, the end of the side-channel condensed out from the grey air. We had seen nothing."
'At last someone is publicly mourning the tragic extinction of the Yangtze River dolphin. This is a highly authoritative, well written, thought-provoking and timely book'
– Mark Carwardine
Why not buy a copy
and read it for yourself?
Olson, V.A. & Turvey, S.T. (2013). The evolution of sexual dimorphism in New Zealand giant moa (Dinornis) and other ratites. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 280: 20130401 (early online edition).
Zhao, X., Wang, D., Turvey, S.T., Taylor, B. & Akamatsu, T. (2013). Distribution patterns of Yangtze finless porpoises in the Yangtze River: implications for reserve management. Animal Conservation DOI: 10.1111/acv.12019 (early online edition).
Turvey, S.T., Risley, C.L., Moore, J.E., Barrett, L.A., Hao, Y., Zhao, X., Zhou, K. & Wang, D. (2013). Can local ecological knowledge be used to assess status and extinction drivers in a threatened freshwater cetacean? Biological Conservation 157: 352-360.
Hansford, J., Nuñez-Miño, J.M., Young, R.P., Brace, S., Brocca, J.L. & Turvey, S.T. (2012). Taxonomy-testing and the ‘Goldilocks Hypothesis’: morphometric analysis of species diversity in living and extinct Hispaniolan hutias. Systematics and Biodiversity 10: 491-507.
Dávalos, L.M. & Turvey, S.T. (2012). West Indian mammals: the old, the new, and the recently extinct. In: Patterson, B.D. & Costa, L.P. (Eds.) Historical biogeography of the Neotropics: 157-202. Chicago University Press, Chicago.
Chatterjee, H.J., Tse, J.S.Y. & Turvey, S.T. (2012). Using Ecological Niche Modelling to predict spatial and temporal distribution patterns in Chinese gibbons: lessons from the present and the past. Folia Primatologica 83: 85-99.
Turvey, S.T., Brace, S. & Weksler, M. (2012). A new species of recently extinct rice rat (Megalomys) from Barbados. Mammalian Biology 77: 404-413.
Mei, Z., Huang, S., Hao, Y., Turvey, S.T., Gong, W. & Wang, D. (2012). Accelerating population decline of the Yangtze finless porpoise (Neophocaena asiaeorientalis asiaeorientalis). Biological Conservation 153: 192-200.
Turvey, S.T., Risley, C.L., Barrett, L.A., Hao, Y. & Wang, D. (2012). River dolphins can act as population trend indicators in degraded freshwater systems. PLoS ONE 7(5): e37902.
Huang, S., Hao, Y., Mei, Z., Turvey, S.T. & Wang, D. (2012). Common pattern of population decline for freshwater cetacean species in deteriorating habitats. Freshwater Ecology 57: 1266-1276.
Brace, S., Barnes, I., Powell, A., Pearson, R., Woolaver, L.G., Thomas, M.G. & Turvey, S.T. (2012). Population history of the Hispaniolan hutia Plagiodontia aedium (Rodentia: Capromyidae): testing the model of ancient differentiation on a geotectonically complex Caribbean island. Molecular Ecology 21: 2239-2253.
Collen, B., Turvey, S.T., Waterman, C., Meredith, H.M.R., Kuhn, T.S., Baillie, J.E.M. & Isaac, N.J.B. (2011). Investing in evolutionary history: implementing a phylogenetic approach for mammal conservation. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London 366: 2611-2622.
Turvey, S.T. & Fritz, S.A. (2011). The ghosts of mammals past: biological and geographical patterns of global mammalian extinction across the Holocene. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London 366: 2564-2576.
Turvey, S.T. & Blackburn, T.M. (2011). Determinants of species abundance in the Quaternary vertebrate fossil record. Paleobiology 37: 537-546.
Cooke, S., Rosenberger, A.L. & Turvey, S.T. (2011). An extinct monkey from Haiti and the origins of the Greater Antillean primates. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 108: 2699-2704.
Carbone, C., Turvey, S.T. & Bielby, J. (2011). Intra-guild competition and its implications for one of the biggest terrestrial predators, Tyrannosaurus rex. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 278: 2682-2690.
Turvey, S.T., Weksler, M., Morris, E.L. & Nokkert, M. (2010). Taxonomy, phylogeny and diversity of the extinct Lesser Antillean rice rats (Sigmodontinae: Oryzomyini), with description of a new genus and species. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 160: 748-772.
Turvey, S.T. (2010). Evolution of non-homologous venom delivery systems in West Indian insectivores? Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 30: 1294-1299.
Turvey, S.T. (2010). A new historical record of macaws on Jamaica. Archives of Natural History 37: 348-351.
Turvey, S.T. (2010). Failure of the baiji recovery programme: conservation lessons for other endangered freshwater cetaceans. In: Ruiz, M. and Shostell, J.M. (Eds) Biology, evolution and conservation of river dolphins within South America and Asia: 377-394. Nova Science Publishers Inc., New York.
Turvey, S.T., Barrett, L.A., Hart, T., Collen, B., Hao Yujiang, Zhang Lei, Zhang Xinqiao, Wang Xianyan, Huang Yadong, Zhou Kaiya & Wang Ding (2010). Spatial and temporal extinction dynamics in a freshwater cetacean. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 277: 3139-3147.
Turvey, S.T., Barrett, L.A., Hao Yujiang, Zhang Lei, Zhang Xinqiao, Wang Xianyan, Huang Yadong, Zhou Kaiya, Hart, T. & Wang Ding (2010). Rapidly shifting baselines in Yangtze fishing communities and local memory of extinct species. Conservation Biology 24: 778-787.
Baillie, J.E.M., Turvey, S.T. & Waterman, C. (2009). Survival of Attenborough’s long-beaked echidna (Zaglossus attenboroughi) in New Guinea. Oryx 43: 146-148.
Zhao Xiujiang, Barlow, J., Taylor, B.L., Pitman, R.L., Wang Kexiong, Wei Zhuo, Stewart, B.S., Turvey, S.T., Akamatsu, T., Reeves, R.R. & Wang Ding (2008). Abundance and conservation status of the Yangtze finless porpoise in the Yangtze River, China. Biological Conservation 141: 3006-3018.
Turvey, S.T., Meredith, H.M.R. & Scofield, R.P. (2008). Continued survival of Hispaniolan solenodon (Solenodon paradoxus) in Haiti. Oryx 42: 611-614.
Turvey, S.T. & Cheke, A.S. (2008). Dead as a dodo: the fortuitous rise to fame of an extinction icon. Historical Biology 20: 149-163.
Rowcliffe, J.M., Field, J., Turvey, S.T. and Carbone, C. (2008). Estimating animal density using camera traps without the need for individual recognition. Journal of Applied Ecology 45: 1228-1236.
Li Songhai, Akamatsu, T., Wang Ding, Wang Kexiong, Dong Shouyue, Zhao Xiujiang, Wei Zhuo, Zhang Xianfeng, Taylor, B., Barrett, L.A., Turvey, S.T., Reeves, R.R., Stewart, B.S., Richlen, M. and Brandon, J.R. (2008). Indirect evidence of boat avoidance behaviour of Yangtze finless porpoises. Bioacoustics 17: 174-176.
Turvey, S.T., Pitman, R.L., Taylor, B.L., Barlow, J., Akamatsu, T., Barrett, L.A., Zhao Xiujiang, Reeves, R.R., Stewart, B.S., Pusser, L.T., Wang Kexiong, Wei Zhuo, Zhang Xianfeng, Richlen, M., Brandon, J.R. and Wang Ding (2007). First human-caused extinction of a cetacean species? Biology Letters 3: 537-540.
Isaac, N.J.B., Turvey, S.T., Collen, B., Waterman, C. and Baillie, J.E.M. (2007). Mammals on the EDGE: conservation priorities based on threat and phylogeny. PLoS One 2(3): e296.
Turvey, S.T., Oliver, J.R., Narganes Storde, Y.M. and Rye, P. (2007). Late Holocene extinction of Puerto Rican native land mammals. Biology Letters 3: 193-196.
Turvey, S.T., Grady, F.V. & Rye, P. (2006). A new genus and species of ‘giant hutia’ (Tainotherium valei) from the Quaternary of Puerto Rico: an extinct arboreal quadruped? Journal of Zoology 270: 585-594.
Turvey, S.T., Barrett, L.A., Braulik, G.T. & Wang Ding (2006). Implementing the recovery programme for the Yangtze River dolphin. Oryx 40: 257-258.
Turvey, S.T. and Risley, C.L. (2006). Modelling the extinction of Steller's sea cow. Biology Letters 2: 94-97.
Turvey, S.T., Green, O.R. & Holdaway, R.N. (2005). Cortical growth marks reveal extended juvenile development in New Zealand moa. Nature 435: 940-943.
Turvey, S.T. & Holdaway, R.N. (2005). Postnatal ontogeny, population structure and extinction of the giant moa Dinornis. Journal of Morphology 265: 70-86.
Reeves, R.R., Brownell, R.L.Jr., Gulland, F., Smith, B.D., Turvey, S.T. & Wang Ding (2009). Assessment of mortality of Irrawaddy dolphins in the Mekong River and recommendations for a population recovery plan. IUCN Cetacean Specialist Group Report. <downloadable from http://www.iucn-csg.org/?page_id=23>
Turvey, S.T., Barrett, L.A., Wang Ding & Reeves, R.R. (2006). Conservation of the Yangtze River dolphin: emergency implementation meeting. Final report. Unpublished report. Download PDF (402 KB)
And for those of you who like trilobites, feel free to check out the following papers:
Ghobadi Pour, M. & Turvey, S.T. (2009). Revision of some Lower to Middle Ordovician leiostegiid and associated trilobites from Iran and China. Memoirs of the Association of Australasian Palaeontologists 37: 463-480.
Turvey, S.T. & Siveter, D.J. (2007). Assignment of the South Chinese Ordovician trilobite Calymene paronai to Neseuretus. Alcheringa 31: 173-183.
Turvey, S.T. (2007). Asaphoid trilobites from the Arenig-Llanvirn of South China. Palaeontology 50: 347-399.
Yuan Wenwei, Fortey, R.A., Zhou Zhiyi & Turvey, S.T. (2006). Ontogeny and relationships of the trilobite Pseudopetigurus Prantl & Přibyl, 1949. Palaeontology 49: 537-546.
Turvey, S.T., Zhou Zhiyi & Yuan Wenwei (2006). Two new species of Pseudopetigurus (Trilobita) from the Arenig-Llanvirn of South China. Paläontologische Zeitschrift 80: 52-59.
Turvey, S.T. (2005). Agnostid trilobites from the Arenig-Llanvirn of South China. Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh: Earth Sciences 95: 527-542.
Turvey, S.T. (2005). Reedocalymenine trilobites from the Ordovician of central and eastern Asia, and a review of species assigned to Neseuretus. Palaeontology 48: 549-575.
Turvey, S.T. (2005). Early Ordovician (Arenig) trilobite palaeoecology and palaeobiogeography of the South China Plate. Palaeontology 48: 519-547.
Turvey, S.T. & Zhou Zhiyi (2004). Arenig trilobite associations and faunal changes in southern Shaanxi, China. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 23: 91-103.
Turvey, S.T. & Zhou Zhiyi (2004). Arenig trilobite associations from the Jiangnan Transitional Belt of northern Hunan, China. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 23: 47-61.
Turvey, S.T. (2002). Phylogeny of the Reedocalymeninae (Trilobita): implications for Early Ordovician biogeography of Gondwana. In: Crame, J.A. & Owen, A.W. (Eds.) Palaeobiogeography and biodiversity change: a comparison of the Ordovician and Mesozoic-Cenozoic radiations. Geological Society, London, Special Publications 194: 53-68.
Turvey, S.T. & Zhou Zhiyi (2002). Arenig trilobite associations of Daping, Yichang, Hubei, South China. Acta Palaeontologica Sinica 41: 10-18.
Co-supervised PhD students:
- Selina Brace (2007-2010). Investigating the impact of Late Quaternary environmental changes using ancient DNA from small mammals. Royal Holloway University of London.
- Jennifer Crees (2009-). Dynamics of large mammal range collapse and extinction: evidence from the Holocene record of Europe. Imperial College, London.
- Jessica Bryant (2010-). Ecological and behavioural constraints on recovery of small populations: the Hainan gibbon as a conservation case study. University College London.
- Nadia Richman (2010-). River dolphins, fish and fisheries in Bangladesh: evaluating trends in mortality and indicator status. University of Bangor.
- Ben Garrod (2010-). Primates of the Caribbean: using historical-era introductions of monkeys in the Lesser Antilles to understand rates of island evolution. University College London.
- Ros Kennerley (2010-). The ecology of the Hispaniolan solenodon and Hispaniolan hutia in agricultural and native forest systems in the Dominican Republic. University of Reading.
- Helen Meredith (2011-). Improving the impact of amphibian conservation programmes. Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, University of Kent.
- Su Shan (2012-). Prayer animal releases in Taiwan: an analysis of an Eastern pathway to biological invasions. University College London.
Biodiversity & Macroecology
T: 020 7449 6326
F: 020 7586 2870
Institute of Zoology
Zoological Society of London
London, United Kingdom