Dr. Jennifer Crees
Postgraduate Research Assistant
- Jan-March 2012: POST Fellow, House of Commons Science and Technology Committee.
- 2009-present: PhD Student, Institute of Zoology and Imperial College, London.
- 2008-2009: Policy Assistant, Sustainable Development Commission, Defra.
- 2007-2008: Research Intern, Institute of Zoology, ZSL.
- 2006-2007: MSc Conservation Biology, DICE, University of Kent (Distinction).
- 2003-2006: BA (Hons) Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Oxford.
My broad interests lie in combining ecological and historical approaches to further our understanding of patterns of current day biodiversity and biodiversity loss. In particular I am interested in the nature of historic and prehistoric human impacts on species and ecosystems, and in applying knowledge of past ecosystems to inform the conservation of present day threatened biodiversity.
The Holocene epoch, from around 11,500 years ago to the present has witnessed large numbers of anthropogenically-driven species extinctions and regional extirpations, yet these processes remain poorly studied in comparison to end-Pleistocene or present day extinctions. In particular, a substantial amount of conservation research has focused on identifying intrinsic and extrinsic correlates of extinction risk among species, yet little is still understood about other fundamental aspects of species decline such as the biogeography of range collapse and extinction, even in otherwise well-studied vertebrate groups. Such studies also tend to be temporally limited, typically containing inherent ‘extinction-filters’ by excluding extinct populations and species.
My project therefore aims to combine these research areas by using data from the extensive Holocene record of Europe (comprising zooarchaeological, paleontological and historical records) to model timings, patterns and drivers of range collapse, regional extirpation and extinction among large mammals in the western Palaearctic over the preceding 10,000 years.
The results should yield implications for a number of fields of research including macroecology, zooarchaeology and the conservation of threatened extant megafauna, including informing reintroductions and debates on ‘rewilding’.
My PhD is supervised by Prof. Georgina Mace (Imperial College London), Dr. Samuel Turvey (IoZ) and Dr. Chris Carbone (IoZ). I am funded by NERC with IoZ as a CASE partner.